Brody Holloway
BRODY FULL LOGO.jpg

Blog

 
BRODY FULL LOGO.jpg
 
 
Posts tagged SWO
SWO Update

swo update  

We have just finished our first two rounds of Winter SWO Retreats.  This year, our Winter SWO teaching focus is Psalm 23.  This passage is a very familiar for most Christians, but it’s one that few of us have ever really dug into and studied.  The feedback from staff and students so far is really positive, and it seems that this is a very practical and encouraging study.  One of the goals we have here in our teaching ministry is to be faithful in our handling of God’s Word while being practical in our delivery and instruction.  We want staff, students and leaders to be encouraged as they sit under the teaching and preaching ministry of SWO, but we also want them to be focused and determined in their own commitment to study God’s Word—that they’d be shaped by it.

The kickoff to Winter SWO was pretty wild as unseasonably warm temperatures left us with no snow and no possibility of skiing or snowboarding.  Many of the groups that come for Winter SWO sign up to spend an afternoon at the slopes.  But this year, we just didn’t have that option.  With temperatures in the seventies, we did what we had to in order to make the experience memorable.  We went whitewater rafting!  That’s right.  We took students down the Nantahala River on the first day, but even that was cut short! We’ve gotten a lot of rain here lately, and since the forest service said the water levels were too high, we couldn’t go rafting the second day of the retreat.

The week between Christmas and New Years brought the craziest weather we had ever seen for that week, but the SWO staff, Pastors, and students who were here just made the most of it.  In the end, we had a blast, and the Gospel remained the focus of the week.  Students were challenged both spiritually and physically and God moved in our lives.

We will be traveling and preaching a lot over the next several months and maybe we will see you while we are on the road.  God is good, and we want to see him do great things in 2016.

Why You Should Work at SWO

swo16napkinholder  

This is an exciting time at SWO.  We are ramping up for SWO16 and staff applications have started trickling in.  We are already over eighty five percent booked for SWO16 summer camps!  This is a record, as we typically don’t reach that number until January.  God is moving in and through the ministry at SWO.  I am so grateful for the team God has assembled here and for the way I am seeing these laborers come to work to serve students and leaders.  I will be on the road preaching and teaching a good bit this winter (you can follow my schedule here), so I hope to see you at one of those events.

We are planning breakout session topics, media projects, facility improvements, and of course, NEW REC IDEAS!  If you or someone you know would be interested in serving or maybe just looking for a great way to serve while being trained and discipled, staff applications are open until February.  Please check it out.  Let me know if you have questions or need some direction as you pray about joining the SWO team.  We typically select about one hundred additional staff to join our year-round team of forty--and we've already had over 200 folks start the application this year.  Go to the SWO website for more information here.

Hope to hear from you soon.

New Year: Same Gospel, Bigger World PART 2

I don’t know why, but “missions” is a subject that seems to make people nervous. It seems that whenever we start talking about reaching the unreached or seeing the Gospel spread to the ends of the earth, folks start squirming. For most American Christians, the thought of “having” to go to some other part of the world and minister to a people group of a different culture and language is scary. In fact, it stirs in most of us a tight-fisted attitude of rebellion.

There is, no doubt, a Jonah-type syndrome in the American church. The need is obvious, and the fields are white for harvest. And everyone seems to be looking for the first ship to Tarshish. There really are only a few laborers. I think that the very word “missions" still conjures up images of spear-chucking natives bent on killing and eating foreign human flesh. And that scares people. But we will be held responsible for what we do with the Great Commission.

Jesus gave us clear instructions before he left to have a seat at the right of God the father: We are to baptize people from EVERY language and nation. We are to teach them the commands of Christ and scripture. The American church needs desperately to realize that no other generation has had the resources that we have to reach the world.

Technology is amazing, and rather than using it simply to keep in touch with old high school teammates and ex-girlfriends, we should be seizing the opportunity it gives us to make a global impact. Through websites like www.joshuaproject.net, we can learn of needs of foreign people groups and pray and give to the work of the Gospel to reach those groups. If we are too weak-spirited to go, we should first repent of our attitude of self-preservation, and then learn how we might give to the work and support of those obedient to go and do what God has called us to do.

We can pray for these groups, pray for missionaries, and write letters of support to those who are serving in the field. We do this as a family, and many of you have taken part in our letter writing campaign at SWO Underground. There are so many opportunities to give our resources and to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are willing to forsake all for the sake of the Gospel. We ALL have a responsibility to close the gap on the 3 billion who have never heard.

This past year, we saw students from all over the United States raise more than $30,000 so that part of the Bible could be translated into the language of an unreached people group. Many of you participated in this, known at SWO as the Garia Project. I am excited to share with our readers that the project — Phase 1 — is complete. The Gospel of Mark has been successfully translated into the Garia language!

For the first time in history, this South Asian people have the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus, in their language! This is a good reminder that there are things we can do from right here at home. The fields really are white, and for the first time in history, we have the means necessary to begin the harvest. Pray about how you might give if you are not able or willing to go. SWO has opportunities for partnership in the global work of the Gospel. To find out more, email us at thebird@swoutfitters.com.