Taylor's ELI Story

“ELI changed her life.”

Pellum Peters couldn’t stop talking about the impact ELI had on his daughter, Taylor. He told one staff member in-person, then talked to another by phone, then sent a follow-up email to make sure we caught it all.

“This experience gave her a new sense of accountability and responsibility for serving her peers – a new desire to help her peers in the development of their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

While many ELI participants have been Glisson campers in the past, a camp ministry environment was foreign to Taylor at first.

“Her confidence grew,” Pellum explained. “She was initially very hesitant going into a strange environment with people she did not know. It was an opportunity to trust Jesus in a way that she had not previously. She walked out on faith.”

A few months removed from summer, Taylor reflected on her experience.

“It was very inspiring – looking at yourself, at your leadership style, and getting experience working with others and seeing life from their perspective. Stepping into a new environment and meeting new people prepared me to make new friends in college. And talking about others’ faith and experiences allowed me to grow closer to God.”

When asked what she loved about ELI, Taylor mentioned listening to the campers’ stories, and that while being a day camp counselor could be challenging at times, “The kids didn’t want to leave and neither did I. Every day was a good time.”

ELI participants debrief with their mentors on a daily basis. That practice has stuck with Taylor moving forward.

“Evening reflections helped me make the next day better. I find myself reflecting on my experiences every day. I try not to be too hard on myself when things go wrong – just reflect and find a way to make it better. I pray a lot.”

Pellum was thrilled with his daughter’s experience and just thrilled in general that ELI exists.

“ELI should be a priority in the church. It’s crucial for the growth of the church and the development of our youth into the type of adults that will make the church vital and vibrant on into the foreseeable future – to bring about the change that we say we’re about.”

Pellum praised the chance to learn leadership theory at a young age and then the opportunity to put it into practice immediately, solidifying the lessons learned. He also made a point to note the cultural aspect of the experience. “[Serving] all types of churches – small/large, urban/rural, black/white – encourages innovation in one’s approach for making disciples for Jesus Christ.”

Taylor wrapped up her thoughts on her experience with this encouraging directive:

“Everybody should do ELI.”