Hello friends! I hope you are well and enjoying your summer! I’ve gotten behind posting about Abby’s adventures at The Wilds Christian Camp. I’ve been on some adventures of my own! I’ve decided to save that for later and catch you up on camp life and what God is continuing to teach Abby this summer. – Gaye
Week 5- Eating Humble Pie during the Weak Week
Hey! We were told at the beginning of the week that this one is usually where it starts to get hard because the constant lack of sleep really catches up with you. I was thinking, “Oh really? I thought I was already there!” I’m running on coffee and God’s grace at this point. Lol! But I want to share some thoughts from a message I heard this week about weakness.
The message was on 1 Corinthians 12:9 where Paul tells us that God’s grace is sufficient for us, and that His power is perfected in our weakness. I love this verse. It has so many applications especially as I get older. But there were some things he pointed out that I had never thought about before. I’ve always known that this verse meant that when we are weak, God’s strength will sustain us. God will give us grace to get through the trials in our lives.
But the speaker took it to the flip side. This verse is also saying that when we try to rely on our own strength, God will not give us grace, because we aren’t receiving and asking for it. It’s easy to ask for God’s help in things I know I can’t do on my own. But what about the things I feel like I’m good at? I need to be asking for God’s grace in EVERY area of my life. I can’t do ANYTHING on my own.
Week 6- Sowing the Seeds of the Gospel
Hey! I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the summer! July 4th is tomorrow, and I can’t help but get a little homesick when I think about the cookouts, fireworks, watermelon, pies, Frisbee, and countless other things I associate with this holiday. I hope you all enjoy this long weekend with your families!
As operational staff, I don’t always get to know about all the specific stories that go on during a week of camp. But, usually once or twice a week, there is a big invitation given and the counselors can’t talk with everyone, so operational staff go help counsel the campers that want to make a decision. Counseling is a very humbling experience. I feel so inadequate for it, but it’s crazy how God brings verses to your mind. It’s just like Luke 12:12 talks about when it says “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Each time I talk with a camper, I’m reminded of how blessed I have been to grow up in a good home. My heart breaks hearing these girls talk about their parents divorcing, or their brother who is into drugs, or their Dad who doesn’t love them. There are so many bad situations that they are coming from, and at the end of the week, we’re sending them back to that. How can I prepare a child to be a light in their home, or to fight against bitterness, when I only have them for 15 minutes?
There are no magic words I can say. In fact, they probably wouldn’t even remember them if I did. But, the encouraging thing is that isn’t my responsibility. All I can do in those 15 minutes is point them to Christ. He is the only one who can follow them home and help them for the rest of their lives.
I was so encouraged by the testimonies this week. We tend to get discouraged when we don’t see immediate change here at camp. But I was reminded that these youth pastors who bring the campers have been laboring all year long and pouring into these kids, and we just get to pick the fruit. But sometimes, they aren’t ready yet. Sometimes we have the job of laboring, and we may never see the time of harvest.
One of the testimonies that particularly blessed me was this guy counselor who had a camper who was very closed up. I think his name was John. He had been here at camp before. The counselor who had had him last year, warned John’s new counselor that he didn’t like to participate in activities, wouldn’t talk, and just had a bad attitude about camp in general. Last year John left without making any changes in his life.
This year, he had the same attitude. He wouldn’t listen in service, he got “lost” a lot, and he wouldn’t open up to anyone. Thursday afternoon all the guys went on a hike, and it just so happened that John and his counselor were walking together behind everyone else. On that hike, he and his counselor talked for a long time about what it means to be a Christian, and John accepted Jesus as his Savior.
It’s amazing to hear how God softens people’s hearts. After John got saved, he was taking notes in the service and witnessing to his cabin. When God changes a life, it’s dramatic! It makes me ask myself, “Where did my fire go?”
I wanted to share this story because a lot of times I tend to forget that what I’m doing matters. I think about that other counselor who had John in his cabin last year. He didn’t get to see John changed. He wasn’t the one who got to lead him to the Lord. But his love and patience made an impact. When you pour into someone’s life, even if you only come in contact with them for 5 minutes, you are laboring for the Gospel. You may never see the day when that person’s field is white for harvest, but you can be one of the things God uses to bring them to Himself.
It’s comforting and humbling to know that God doesn’t need me, but He wants to use me anyway.
Happy 4th of July!
Week 7- We ARE Salt and Light