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Former Highland student doing mission work in Destin

Thursday, August 9, 2012

For one former Highland High School student, the dream of spending the summer in beautiful Destin, Fla., while also working to serve God and help others has become reality.

Kore Colwell, a 2010 Highland High School graduate who currently attends the University of Central Arkanas in Conway, and is involved with the Kaleo program.

Kaleo is from the Greek word, meaning, "to be called." The project is a partnership between local churches and the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, in cooperation with the North American Mission Board and the National Kaleo Network.

Students travel to Destin, form a discipleship group (d-group) with others, with whom they live all summer. A representative from the campus is also present and lives with the girls during their stay.

The girls study and support one another through various activities, and go regularly to the beaches and condominiums in the area to witness to other young people.

Colwell said, "My d-group leader, Allie, is 24 and is on staff with Student Mobilization, which is the student ministry of Kaleo. She is not only our d-group leader, but she is also the female staff member assigned to our campus at UCA. Allie is the main reason all four of us attended Kaleo, and she is pushing us to try and live like Christ more and more each day. I have been so blessed to have such an amazing woman of God trying to disciple me and help me find the truths God has for me. All of the girls are so incredible and have already influenced my life in so many different ways. As we are living together, we have not only been getting to grow our friendships, but also we are getting to live out Proverbs 27:17, "as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

While in Destin, the group has regular jobs, and spends alot of time studying the Bible.

"Our week begins on Tuesday with a full day of work. I work at The Track Family Recreation Center with 4 other students from Kaleo, and it is so much fun. We finish our work day at four and have our d-group Bible study at seven." Colwell explained.

After work on Thursdays, the group has StuMo service night. "This night is awesome because all 180 of us come together to worship. Fridays, we go to work and then have the night to catch up on all of our assignments. Saturday is our last day of work for the week, and that night we have world prayer. This is one of my favorite nights because five different d-groups are put together, and we go to a different condo each week that focuses on a specific country. We spend an hour learning about that country and praying for different topics for that country. It has been so interesting to learn about the countries and the way the people there view God," Colwell said.

"Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Each d-group is assigned to a different church around Destin to attend and help in areas they need extra help. After church, we head straight to evangelism training," she explained.

"Once training is over, we are paired up and go to different beaches, and actually get to share the gospel with different people. Already this summer, I've seen five people make Christ the center of their life. Mondays are our day off to run errands, finish up any assignments or spend the day relaxing on the beach."

Colwell said she grew up going to church, but got burnt out on it by high school and quit attending. In high school, she said she was very materialistic and selfish, living from event to event. She said she got to the point she was numb to life and didn't know why she was living.

She said the feeling went on well into her sophomore year in college. Only after reading the book Heaven is For Real, did she actually start thinking about eternity.

" I realized that God was using that book and different people throughout my life to show me my need for Him. For some reason, I started praying every night before I went to sleep. I used to only pray when I wanted something."

Later she said, "It finally clicked that I was sinful and separated from God, but through Jesus I could have eternal life and a relationship with God, if I made him the center of every area of my life, not just a few areas."

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