Tag Archives: SBO

First Impressions of the Mountain: by Kyera (SBO)

I am currently a member of a local youth group organization in Connecticut that strives to perform community service acts in order to meet the social, physical, and emotional needs of others. This group, Pilgrim Fellowship (PF), has had the amazing privilege to meet our criteria by being elatedly welcomed by Mountain Top’s staff. To say the least, I was instantly appalled by not only the beauty of the campus, but the overflowing personalities emanating form the Mountain Top staff. 

Within seconds of entering the dining area, I was warmly introduced by a few of the team who made my stay unforgettable. As they spoke to my youth group, it was evident that their focus was clear: to serve God by loving and showing compassion to those around them. There was never a member without a smile on their face or an intention that was not to serve the Lord.

Throughout the week, there was a constant talk of the Mountain Top’s hospitality. The variety and quality of food proved to be exceptional. They would even take into consideration any dietary necessities. So much so, that one of PF’s veteran groupies admitted that MTOP were the best hosts that they have experienced. Our hosts were amazing but the campus itself is another topic. If we were not working, there was always something to do such as volleyball, basketball, or just simply laying out in the fields of the relaxing grass. One of our members had visited the campus this winter while it was snowing and they said that MTOP was equally as beautiful in the winter as it was in the spring. That was hard to believe.

But though others in PF have had the luxury to assist in numerous mission trips, this was my first one due to financial struggles that did not fully count to the cost of the trip. But by the grace of God, I was able to seek financial aid and have the experience of a lifetime. I know in my heart that God called me to receive the blessings, given by Himself, in which MTOP had to offer. Just having the capability to give back, impact the lives of others, and viewing this country in a new perspective was more than humbling. The relationships formed throughout my one week stay have honestly been heart rendering and fully satisfying. This would not have been even close to possible without the generosity that MTOP has showed my PF group.

My experience at MTOP has gifted me with a revelation: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10) I now am fully aware that both MTOP and I have callings on our existences to serve and love all of God’s children by using the blessings God has given.

If I have the opportunity to go back to Mountain Top again, there is no part of me that would not do everything that I can to come once again. Thank you for everything!

-Kyera Bryant

Hooked: Reflections from a Spring Breakout Group

“As the Campus Minister for the students going on this trip and as the primary coordinator for our annual Spring Break mission trips, I am always looking for ways to stretch my students. All too often, they get into the mindset that their way of doing something is the *only* way to do something. This is why I chose Mountain T.O.P. as our service site.

Group putting together bunks for new cabins
Group putting together bunks for new cabins

 I have traveled to MTOP in the past and I loved the diversity of Christians who serve the Lord and bring their own prayer styles to the community. When you are at MTOP, you are one serving body of Christians, each with his or her own gifts to bring to the community. Further, MTOP entrusts their participants with a great deal of responsibility in accomplishing their given projects. Our students grew in confidence and knowledge as we accomplished our projects and our hearts were opened to the wonderful diversity that the Lord works within his Church. We prayed, ate, laughed, and served together – just as I imagine it will be in Heaven. Mountain T.O.P.’s Spring Breakout is a wonderful experience that our students will not soon forget!”