The impact of Christ at camp
My family lives at camp and while we love this place that God has allowed us to serve at, the people that we get to reach and love on for God's Kingdom are the ministry that matters most. I want to see people come to camp and leave with friends that will encourage each other in their faith. I want campers to see leaders that were a good example of Christian leaders. I pray that they all grow closer in their relationship with their heavenly Father. We saw a total of 26 commitments to Christ at camp this summer. Here are a few examples where we saw God make an impact in lives around us this summer. Their names will be changed to protect them, but as you pray for them, God knows who they are.
When Amber came to camp, she didn't believe that God was real. She was given two cabin leaders that spent time with her and shared their faith in God and love of Jesus. After a chapel, they had an opportunity to talk to Amber and she decided to pray and ask Jesus to forgive her and come into her life.
Lilly attended church regularly before coming to camp but hadn't placed her faith in Christ. She told her cabin leaders that she had been wanting to ask Jesus to be her Savior, but just hadn't yet. After a cabin talk, she found that she couldn't put it off any longer. Lilly also told her cabin leaders that she wanted to get baptized at her church when she gets home.
Jake grew up in church and with a Christian family. He came to camp hoping to grow closer in his relationship with Christ. After a week as a camper, serving others at other camps, and making a commitment to read his Bible more, Jake said he had never been closer to God. Jake also decided that he wanted to share his faith with his friends when he goes home.
Mission trip to Broken Arrow Bible Ranch
My dad was one of the youth leaders at the church I grew up at. Every Summer he would take a group of teens on a mission trip to New Mexico to serve at a camp called Broken Arrow Bible Ranch. I loved the years that I got to go with my youth group to BABR. When I was 17, I wanted to go and serve at camp for a whole Summer. God used that Summer to move my heart toward being a camp missionary. I went to Bible college, where I met Charissa, who also wanted to be a camp missionary.
Last Fall my family visited BABR. Madi decided that she wanted to save up to go for camp and we figured she would have her money saved by next Summer. She saved up her money by this May. I called BABR to let them know that we were excited to come next Summer with Madi as a camper and that I would try to get a work team together to help that week. Ann Kontz, their camp administrator, said they needed help after a work group backed out this Summer. I told her that my Summer is booked and that the only week that isn't booked at our camp was the 4th of July. She told me that was the week that the group backed out of. I said we would pray about it, and see if we could get a work group from the church I grew up at. The work group didn't work out, but we saw that God was working things out for us to be able to go. We booked flights and went.
For the week, I was the chapel speaker, Madi was a camper, and Ian and I did photos and video for their video team as well as for a missions project I am working on for next Summer. It was amazing to see so many people that were there in 2004 and earlier, that are still serving faithfully today. There were also a lot of staff from 20 years ago that have kids and grand kids serving at the camp now.
The chapel sessions went well and it was really neat to see the campers respond so positively to what God laid on my heart in preparation for going on this trip and speaking. At the fire circle we saw about a dozen campers that gave testimony of their giving their lives to God that week. On the last night they were serving sundaes to the winning campers and while I was talking with another leader, a camper walked up to us and said that she wanted us to know that she gave her life to God this week. It was special to hear the testimonies and to hear the one camper go out of her way to tell us, was truly special.
The week went really well. Ian loved getting to hear stories of what led missionaries to serve God, which we heard while filming for the missions project we are making for campers next summer. Madi made a lot of new friends. Her cabin was Winnebago, and each of her cabin mates made up nicknames of what type of bagel they were. It was cute to hear them talk about how they didn't want to eat bagels because that would be cannibalism (and other silliness). Cabin Winnebago was the girls cabin of the week as well!!