One month into my IMPACT 360 experience and I already feel like I have learned so much. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a knowledge building, spiritual growing, and life developing experience. We started out the month with a stack of books (“gifts,” Ed called them) and schedule cram packed with activities. At first, this new routine of life seamed a bit daunting and perhaps overwhelming, but I found that this new chapter in my life was in a way less stressful. It was different, and yes busy, but I could not wait to dive into adventure, both in intellectual expansion and outside classroom events.

If you came onto campus on a weekday around noon until five thirty or so, you would find a multitude of activities being participated in by the thirty students. Many of us love to ride the bikes that Mr. Truett Cathy donated to our community. Pine Mountain has a lovely downtown with quaint antique shops, a tearoom, and other novelties. It can be the perfect place to coast around and get fresh air. My personal favorite place to bike is in Callaway Gardens. Callaway has so many wonderful bike trails that wined around its beautiful gardens. The weather this past month has been so lovely, sunny and clear that it saddens me when I am unable to enjoy God’s nature.

Another activity that is also well loved is reading in our “Hammock Village,” lovingly coined by Eric Turner. It is the perfect place to immerse ourselves in the weekly reading. However, when we returned from our Adventure Module we found that our village had been stolen by skilful and sneaky hands. A cat burglar could not have done a better job, for the only things that were missing were the beloved trees that had so courageously held up our hammocks. At first there was an outburst of excitement and wonder at the reason for their disappearance, but the speculation soon died down after a note written by the tree’s captor was discovered. The poor trees had stood strong through six classes bearing the weight of more then their own and it was time for them to be laid to rest. There was good news to follow, for we are to have our hammock village in the near future though instead of God’s natural handiwork holding us up we will hang our village from artifacts (a manmade product).

This month has been a combination of many wonderful moments. I think that this fall break’s timing was planned perfectly. After moving in with twenty-nine other people and having to learn to live with each other, it can get a bit demanding in all areas, mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical. I will be the first to tell you that the morning is not my very favorite time of the day. I could be a morning person, if the morning started at noon. I believe that God has given us so much grace over the past month and we all have been empowered by Him to make this transition a smooth one. The break will be a good one and I am praying that every single student will get the rest and rejuvenation that needed for us to successfully continue this adventure together. To God be the glory and praise!

Ellie Grace Hughes