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It's the summer of 2016, you just graduated high school and have no clue how the next four years, let alone the next four months will change your life forever.

So, you're headed to this place called Ionian Village. You've heard the hype, their supposed "this is going to be the best summer of your life" claim, but you aren't buying it. You think you have your Orthodox faith figured out, years of Sunday School and metropolis church camp, you are basically a veteran. How different could Ionian Village really be?

You have been complaining because you don't want to give up your phone for three weeks... those poor poor Snapchat streaks and don't even get me started on missing out on almost a whole month of Instagram.

Little do you know the life-changing adventure you are about to embark on... 

It is your first time in Greece, and you are going without your parents? Kind of like the one time when your mom was sent to the xorio to stay with her YiaYia for the summer, right? Lucky for you, you have quite a few familiar faces at camp, so you aren't too worried.

When you get there, it is SO LOUD. Whistles, screaming, banging, jumping, and you hate all of it, obviously. How could this be anyone's idea of fun?

While only the next day, you are the one screaming in excitement banging on the tables. Funny how much can change in one day, huh? Let alone, three weeks.

The first night you gain bonds unimaginable. These girls are going to be your family for the next three weeks. The following days you rekindle old friendships and form unbreakable new ones.

You will be exhausted. You will be hot (it is summer in Greece after all). You will be forced to play games you may not think you want to play or have to drink decaf frappes (blasphemy, I know), but the thing is... you will love every second of it.

Eventually, you will get tired of having to listen to your counselors all the time. The same counselors who were there for you to cry with, laugh with, support you, and encourage you. The same counselors who will become some of the greatest mentors you never knew you needed. The same counselors who guided you and everyone else in your cabin to be unapologetically themselves.

There is so much more to Greece than what you thought. Visiting some of the most beautiful monasteries and witnessing the Lord's miracles are priceless. You will gain a special bond with places and Saints to have with you forever.

These places will push your faith. I bet you never thought you would be crawling into a hole too small to seem possible, crying out of fear and amazement. Letting the Lord show you the impossible is possible if you just believe.

You may have thought you had your faith figured out, but were you living through it every day? Were you always believing? Ionian Village showed you how to live through your faith each and every moment. To be able to communicate your faith to others with no device, no barriers. To connect with one another through your faith and your hardships.

Through faith, you gained some of the best relationships you will ever cultivate. This faith will help guide you into the next scary four years of college.

Three weeks will fly by... you've only called your parents twice to let them know how much you don't want to leave, you have no voice, you have 20+ new best friends dancing your hearts out on the final night in Athens. The girl who never cries bawled her eyes out thinking about having to leave the people who gave her so much.

You had the best summer of your life. 

Little do you know, your freshman room decor would solely be IV photos. The highlight of your freshman year is heading to Nashville for your reunion. You would make your own reunions the following year.

Little do you know, you would be hoping to end college the same way you started it. At Ionian Village. But this time, trying to help teenagers find themselves and their faith just like you found yours.

Meet me at the chapel. #PICKMEFORIV2020

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