Tuesday, September 3, 2013

so, i decided to work at camp

I decided to work at a Christian summer camp because I wanted to change lives, but God changed mine.

Having happened to hear about it from a friend, I had never been to Camp War Eagle before, but I decided to go ahead and apply. I filled out the application, had an interview over Skype, and so began the process of something that would change my life forever.

Before the kids ever arrived, we had Pre-orientation and Orientation (basically training sessions on how to have a blast and be safe and share the gospel with kids). After those two weeks, I felt so prepared to be a camp counselor. I also understood that, while Camp War Eagle is the best stinkin' job ever, it was also going to be difficult and exhausting and would require every ounce of strength I possessed. (And yes, it did.)

So, I show up to the first day of camp scared to death, but ready to be used by God. It's pretty scary to be completely responsible for 10-12 kids 24/7, and that's why I knew that anything good that came out of the weeks I worked at camp was going to be ALL God.

Once the front gates open and the kids start arriving, I can barely contain my excitement. With each new cabin of campers I had, I absolutely fell in love with those girls. There are some pretty awesome and fun activities to do at camp, but it's those campers, those sweet girls that make my summer so worthwhile. There's no greater feeling than knowing that you're investing your life into so many precious little children and young people.

First few days of working at camp: I was loving it. I had an awesome cabin of girls, we were having fun, things were going great.

Then I got sick.

It was pretty much miserable. My head hurt, I was exhausted, and I had no energy whatsoever. There was even one night I broke down crying because I seriously thought I couldn't do anymore. It was so frustrating not having the energy to completely focus on my campers and their needs. I mean, that's why I came to camp: to serve them, not to be drained by a stupid cold. I was also frustrated that God would let this happen to me.

But you know what? Something I saw over and over again was God's faithfulness. He always gave me just what I needed at the right time. Whether it was encouragement from a friend, a hug from one of my campers, or some rare moments of solitude. God is faithful and God is enough. "God is Enough" — that was our theme for the summer. Not only were the kids learning about God's sufficiency, but I was also learning firsthand how "God will supply all your(my) needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

God additionally grew me through my personal time spent in His Word. It is so challenging to find a quiet moment to spend alone with God at camp, but it's so important when He's the only one sustaining you.

As I made my way through 2 Timothy while I was there, here are a few things that stuck out to me.

Because we share the gospel at camp, I was particularly drawn to the last part of 2 Timothy 3 where Paul is talking about the role that Scripture played in young Timothy's faith. From childhood, he says that Timothy was "acquainted with the sacred writings" which are "able to make you wise for salvation through faith" (3:15). This encouraged me so much because even though none of my campers may have made a specific decision to accept Jesus' gift of salvation at camp, I have had the opportunity to share the Bible with them. It's those small seeds of Scripture that God will use and grow in those kids' lives...and someday it could lead to their saving knowledge of Christ.

My calling is simply to plant those seeds of Scripture and "preach the word," as 2 Timothy 4:2 says. "Be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort..."As God reminded me of the power of His Word, I became more intentional about using Scripture as I interacted with my campers. My words will not last when those campers go home, but the God-breathed Word of God is more than powerful enough to save—even after camp is over.

The letter continues as Paul describes how he is being "poured out as a drink offering" and how he has "fought the good fight, kept the faith, and finished the race" (4:6-7). As an exhausted camp counselor, this is exactly the kind of challenge I need to hear to keep pressing on and to completely pour myself out for my campers.

Okay. Okay. OK OK OK. Oooooooh Kaaaaaaay!
Porch Parties.
Firework shows.
A super-cool-T-shirt.
C. C-A. C-A-D-D-O go Caddo!
Rainy Ultimate Solution.
Mish Mash.
Ropes course.
G-O-O-D-M-O-R-N-I-N-G good morning, good morning!
Constant dancing.
Cookie cake.
God is a nuff nuff, God is a nuff nuff.
Star cabin.
Eagle Tales (what what what).
Tch, tch tch!
Tribal Initiation.
Pharaoh, Pharaoh, OH baby let my people go...

You know how some of the hardest/toughest times of your life become the most memorable times of your life? That's because the moments that are most difficult are the moments you grow the most. Camp War Eagle is one of those difficult, challenging experiences that leaves you utterly spent, but abundantly rewarded. It's service, ministry, challenging, life-changing, memorable, incredible, FUN, and you get paid for it. Best job ever. Boom.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for sharing your experiences with God. I find it so encouraging to see how God takes others by surprise. He is so relentless in His love for us and proves faithful over and over again.


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