July Transformations

A Castaway Sunset

I was privileged to be at Young Life’s Castaway Club last week. I flew up there for Assigned Team Training, a period of preparation, team introductions, planning, and sharing amongst the 17 or so people I will be serving alongside this July 1-21st. I will be on the Assigned Team as a Summer Staff Coordinator, a shepherding/pastoral type of role, with my good friend and mentor Ray, as the male SS Coordinator. To work with closely with Ray will be an amazing opportunity as he has been on the YL staff for decades, has a DMin and wisdom, experience, integrity, and the spirit of encouragement that blesses and teaches me each time I get around him.  Together, Ray and I will get to foster community, discipleship and service for 40 college-aged students who come to serve as boat drivers, cooks, landscapers, retail associates, climbing wall/zip-line belay-ers, and lifeguards. Last year when I served in this role, I felt the most close to who I was created to be- my abilities and passions so connected with God’s work in the lives of the college students I was so fortunate to serve and serve alongside. Last July was truly a gift.

This July will be the fourth July in a row that the Osborne family has been at Castaway for an assignment. As I sat in meetings last week, I was overcome with gratitude. I am a different person because of the months we’ve spent on YL assignments at Castaway. My family is different as well. Living in community, working day and night, laughing and thinking hard, making new and deep relationships, gleaning wisdom from parenting cohorts and those farther along on the journey, seeing beauty in sunsets, green grass, and lake reflections, my children receiving so much love and caring attention, my children (and hopefully me) giving love and attention to others, Drew being able to work at his YL best…all of these have so formed and shaped me that I could not be who I am without that sacred setting, those people.

When the 2012 team was asked to think about the mark we wanted to make as a team this summer, the impact we would have while we served, and the memories people would have of us after we left, the list of character traits, personalities, attitudes, and postures we wanted to embody was daunting in its breadth but inspiring in its invitation for transformation and service.

The people we want to be, the team we intend to become, will come to be because of the grace of God, extended towards us in Christ and shared with each other in fellowship and community.We talked about intentionality and deliberate focus on submitting ourselves to this calling. Indeed, we will not become who we want to be without turning into Jesus’ Spirit and letting Christ lead our leading.

Our list is below- as a reminder to me and an encouragement to all of us. Let us become people who so look and act like Jesus that the world is different- more loving, more at peace, holding more firmly to hope- because of our being present in a given place, at a certain time.

The 2012 Castaway Session 2 Assigned Team will intentionally seek to be people who (are):





-peaceful- motivated not by fear or anxiousness




-Say “Yes-we-can/will”


-Have humility

-Are searchlights for those unseen


-Mindful of the other (focused selflessly outside of ourselves)

-Invisible so that they see Jesus instead of us

-Excellent in order to remove distractions from kids hearing about Jesus

-Generous and extravagant

-Fueled by God


-Redemptive- may the month be a redemptive time and place for people

-Acting as a family that is open to everyone/all

-Say “Yes, you are ok, loved, invited, Yes you belong”


We hope to be standard bearers for these as we lead the college students and high school students who will be serving with us for the month. Most of all, we hope to be so transformed into these marks that the ministry of the Gospel goes out daily, uninhibited and fresh. I anticipate Jesus pruning and preparing we as I’m way off the mark of being one who embodies most of these things. I await the transformation and promise to focus in on the hard work and attention required in the months leading up the divine moments in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.



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