Did anyone notice I was gone? Yeah last week was camp and so I didn’t have any access to the interwebs. I like saying that word because it makes me laugh to think of people saying it for real. Anyways, camp was pretty frigintastic. We did our own small camp we called “Camp Unity.” We did hiking and played some fun games, but more importantly we had some great teaching, preaching, and testimonies. The day was broken up very well. We had breakfast morning devotions and session 1 before lunch. That allowed a good amount of free time for just hanging out. I think that is pretty important. After lunch we had session 2, which was usually pool time, snacks, more free time, and session 3 then dinner. Mostly the sessions were either games or hiking except session 2 which was usually spent at the pool. After dinner we had a bit more free time, chapel, and depending on everything we either had a game or went to the fireside for testimonies.
The whole experience was great but there were a couple of parts that really stood out. On Tuesday we did a geocaching hike to planned locations. We split into 3 groups and I was sent with one group. I was the backup if there were problems but the students had to do it themselves. The coordinates for the third location were over a mile away through the woods and I questioned it but the students felt pretty sure that it was right. I followed them till we reached a road and still had a third of a mile to go. Then I told them I thought the coordinates were wrong but couldn’t reach anyone on the radio so I guessed at what the error was and led them back through the woods another half mile to where the next location was. We found the bag but it had been shredded by an animal. About then I started receiving calls on the radio so I gave them a hard time about losing students to a bear attack. We found the next location much more easily and then I led them all back to the camp. As we approached I was going toward a trail but the students heard voices and started running straight up the hillside through the woods. It was so funny because you would think they had been lost in the woods for days. Later that day I got to play a really good game of Ultimate Frisbee. For me this was the second best day.
The best day was Wednesday, but I have to talk about the worst day to get there. Monday was terrible. One of my students, C, is 14 but less mature than my 3 year old. I mean that literally. She did nothing but complain. She made friends with a girl, S, and made her miserable the whole time because they complained together about everything. S called her parents and they came but we convinced them to make her stay. C wanted to go home but I wouldn’t let her call her mom. Instead I sent a message to her mom and she agreed to have her stay. S got so upset that she ended up running away. We found her and that night I stayed up till about 2 talking with her. One of the ladies was there the whole time. I shared my testimony with her and answered so many questions. She didn’t know anything about Christianity but had lots of questions. The next day she was a different person already. She was helpful and full of questions. C complained some more and eventually her mom and step dad came for her.
On Wednesday I preached for chapel and one of the students shared her testimony at the campfire then we opened it up to others. After several of the students shared S started to speak. She told us about how her mom was a crack addict and got taken to jail when she was about 12. She was sent to live with her grandmother who lived off welfare and sold pills for extra money. She talked about how her grandmother taught her to shoplift and how she got busted for that a few times and abut using drugs and smoking and sex. She told us about when she tried to kill herself after her mom got out of jail and how she was released from the hospital without any complications. Then she talked about going to live with her dad who wasn’t any better than her mom or grandma but then her dad started going to church. She had never been and when her dad started going he would occasionally make her go but she never listened at all till Sunday when someone said something about the camp. When she heard that she felt like she had to go and told her dad. Next thing you know she was here but feeling like it was a bad idea. She said she was glad that we found her and answered all her questions but that she wasn’t ready yet and didn’t know if she could ever be ready. She said, “so I guess I’m not a Christian and so I don’t even know if this is a testimony but this is where I’m at.”
After that the youth pastor from her church went to talk with her and she was with one of the ladies from her church (the same one that stayed up with her so late). Then I went over and talked with her. Long story short I ended up leading her through the sinner prayer. From the first word she began sobbing and I was so overwhelmed I barely made it through. It was one of the most genuine conversions I have ever seen. God did a serious change in S that week. She is still asking a million questions and I’ve told her to never stop asking. There is so much she doesn’t know but she is picking up so fast. At lunch on Friday we were asking for someone to bless the meal and I asked if S would and it was one of the best prayers I’ve heard. Not some big fancy thing but sincere and amazingly deep for a 2 day old Christian of her age. Thursday I explained baptism to her and she wanted to get baptized right away. I talked with her pastor and youth pastor and they said a service was being planned that her dad and step mom were going to get baptized during. S asked if I could baptize her and I was trying to graciously step down when her pastor invited me to come be a part of their service. I am so honored for the way God used me in this.
I could go on and on but I will stop here. Please pray for S as she is going back to the life she left behind. All of her then friends need to know who she met at camp but they will work to pulling her back into the life she is now dead to. I can’t tell you all of the excitement and worry I am feeling for her so please pray.