Scenic view of trees at camp

A Faith-Filled Foundation – Checking in with the Forge

by Lizzie Klein

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They say that a week in the Forge is actually a month in normal life, so if that’s true, we are a few years into the Forge this December! So what’s happened so far? What is a fall semester like in the Forge?

Well it all started with move-in day, which if I’m being honest was a complete blur, where 32 of us pulled into the Shores with truly no idea what the next eight months would hold. I vividly remember standing out on the field looking around at all of the unknown faces, trying to figure everyone out and wondering who my friends would be. Little did I know that in just a few short weeks those faces would be family to me.

The Forge is a leadership program where about 30 young adults come to camp for eight months to live life together, take theology classes, work at internships throughout Pine Cove, and dedicate themselves to building a faith-filled foundation that will impact them for the rest of their lives. Each person who comes into the Forge has different lessons to learn, but our goal is the same: to have a faith worth following.

If there is one thing that the Forge is teaching me, it’s that when I am weak, the Lord is strong. I won’t lie: a week in the Forge can be a lot. Balancing class, community, workouts, fundraising, and everything in between is not always an easy task. But what I’ve seen—not just in my own experience, but in every student in the Forge—is that the Lord loves to show us His strength through His provision. Learning to trust that God will provide all that He promises is something I will treasure forever.

But I’m not the only one who is being transformed by my time in the Forge. Here’s what some of my Forge brothers and sisters have to say about what they have learned so far this semester…

“Growth and change look different than I thought, and it doesn’t just happen overnight. I’m learning that what I want might not be what the Lord has in store for me, but His plan is so much sweeter than my own.”

-Zoe Gasaway

“I’m learning about the Lord’s sovereignty and purpose in all things and the security that comes with walking hand-in-hand with a God who is completely trustworthy.”

-Dusti Scruggs

“A word I would use to describe the Forge so far is ‘dependence.’ I am learning that there’s never been a moment in my life where my strength has been enough; it is only through the Lord’s strength that I am able to truly glorify the kingdom with my life.”

-Jeb Butler

“I feel like I am learning everything about everything. I am learning what vulnerability in community looks like, developing a deeper understanding of what my strengths and weaknesses are, and growing in trust of the Lord’s character through His word.”

-Andrew Gaikema

Since that first week, we have had family dinners, class trips, covenant meetings, movie nights, and lots of trips to Slim Chickens. Each week looks so different than the one before, but one thing that is consistent is the God who is walking with us through it all. And these past four months have just been the beginning! The second semester is just around the corner and I can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to use the Forge to grow and shape me (and my Forge family!) into Christ’s likeness. WE LOVE THE FORGE!

Want to know more about the Forge? Interested in applying for next year’s class? Learn more here.


Posted Dec 21, 2022

Lizzie Klein

Forge Student

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