This weekend we will have 37 kids/teenagers/staff at camp. I could not be more excited for our church family! Camp has played a role in my life that is dramatic and I give full credit to my camp experiences for leading me down a very good path in life.
I first was introduced to the love of Jesus at camp the summer before Junior High. It was at Hungry Horse Bible Camp in Montana. I still remember walking outside of the chapel that night, looking up at the stars, and knowing that my life would be different from that point on. I also gave up a lot of bitterness at many camp altars throughout my teen years. I sat alone at altars and met God there. I cried with Him, hurt with Him, and it was there that I learned to be dependent on His mercy. I also experienced joy at those same altars. I sang, danced, jumped, and felt the freedom in Christ that the Bible talks about. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit sitting next to my camp counselor, Joanna Weaver, one year. The next year, I went back to Kids Camp as my first year as a cabin staff. It was there that God broke my heart for people. I would never do anything but ministry. It was settled at a camp altar. Then when I was 20 years old and travelling on a drama team, I met Mark, my husband, at camp. It was two years after that when I took a job overseeing our Network’s summer camps. I stayed at the camps summer after summer and watched teen after teen experience what I had experienced. Life change.
And our 37 people are experiencing that this weekend. Mark and I will drive to Spokane on Sunday afternoon just to see the last night of camp with our teenagers. I know that God will whisper to my heart some of the amazing secrets that He has in store for some of them. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, I will know that our kids are having their first night at an altar in Auburn. I know that even as a 3rd grader, He will be calling some of them to be teachers, missionaries, and leaders. I know that He will heal hearts of kids who have went through divorces. I know that He will give them self-esteem when they feel so insignificant. I know that those kids will never be the same.
I wish that my kids were old enough to go to camp. There is nothing that I am more excited about than giving them those memories. It’ll be a few more years, but you better believe that I’ll be the first one to sign up!