These pictures were taken by Abby on a hike Saturday afternoon. The campers arrive each week on Monday afternoon and leave Saturday morning. After the staff thoroughly cleans the camp, they are free for the afternoon. The following is Abby’s update for this past week. –Gaye
Wow. Where do I even begin? I have so much to testify about this week, but I’ll try to pick out the important parts.
I think this week has been the best one I’ve had all summer. Not because of anything I did, but because of everything God has done. I’ve always heard that I should have my devotions and spend time alone with God to pray. But these past few weeks, I’ve realized that it’s not just that I SHOULD have time alone with God… I NEED it. Oh boy do I need it. I don’t always rely on God’s strength. I say that I do, but I don’t always live that out. I have always been very unfaithful in my Bible studies. When I was at school I was “too busy” to have time for anything more than skim reading a chapter or so in the Bible a day. There was no depth. Since I’ve been at camp, I think it’s finally hitting me that my actions are DIRECTLY related to my level of dependence on God. I’m still learning how to die to myself every day, but I have seen improvement and growth. I’m becoming more faithful in my devotions because I know I NEED Him.
I won’t go into detail, but Tuesday night I counseled a girl who struggled with homosexuality. God had convicted her of it during the service and she was so broken about her sin. She told me about how she had pushed God and her parents away for months. She stopped going to church and had completely rebelled. But now she was sitting in front of me in tears. It’s amazing how God’s word can change a person.
At first when she said that she struggled with homosexuality, I started freaking out a little on the inside. I was thinking “I don’t identify with this at all! I have no idea what to say! What if she thinks I’m judging her? How can I show her this in love? What if I say the wrong things?” But as I talked with her, God gave me words to speak. I don’t remember everything I said, but I just remember walking away from it thinking, “Where did that come from?” I knew beyond a doubt that it didn’t come from me. God had worked in her heart so much and all I had to do was watch it happen.
That is one of at least 3 separate times this week that I felt God’s power take over when I was completely unqualified for the job.
Please pray for the girl I mentioned above. A lot of things are going to have to change in her life. She kept saying, “I just feel trapped in this and I can’t change now.” But we always have the choice to do right. Jesus died to free us from sin. We aren’t slaves to it anymore. It just comes down to when we say we love God, do we mean it? She has a tough road ahead with cutting off some of her close friends, apologizing to her parents, possibly having to repent in front of her church, etc. She knows it’s not going to be easy, but she seemed very firm about her decision to forsake her old lifestyle. Just pray that she will continue to make that decision every day.
There were several other girls I talked with this week who also made really big decisions that will drastically change their lives when they go home. I pray that these won’t just be “camp decisions” that fade away when they go home, but that they will continue to let God show them areas of their life to surrender to Him.
Nothing that happened this week was because of my strength. I experienced God working as I counseled these girls and it was THE COOLEST!!! I could never have come up with the perfect words to provoke that kind of change in these girls’ lives. God changed their hearts. I’m just so thankful I got to witness it all.
Working at camp this summer has been so rewarding. Seeing lives changed every week never gets old. Now I’m constantly looking for the next opportunity to talk with someone about God, or ask them what God has been teaching them. I’m reminded of how only God can bring true joy and satisfaction. The world has NOTHING on God. Experiencing God is the best high you will ever get.
Thank you so much for your prayers!