I had the privilege of going to camp with the middle school students from Springdale in the middle of June. Talk about an amazing week! We went to camp at Crossings Jonathan Creek in Western KY. It was a 4 hour hop skip and a jump, that was totally worth it! I had a blast getting to bond with 13 wonderful girls and hopefully give them an example of how to live a life for Christ after middle and high school are long over (but I am by no means saying that I am the perfect example).
The Lord was by no doubt at work while we were in camp. Even though this camp was for the students, I totally felt challenge and encouraged by the staff, camp pastor, the messages, and worship. It was a week away from everything else going on in my life to just focus on Him and on encouraging and mentoring the girls.
The theme of the week was Washed and it was based off of 1 Corinthians 6:11 “… But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
The whole week focused on being stained, but cleansed by God. This is something that I think we all know, but don’t think about enough. We spend so much time focused on how we can become more spiritual and what “good” things we can do, we forget to look focus on the areas in our life that are stained and we are not giving to God. We make it look like everything is great, but we have our life in categories. We keep our church family away from our work, and school, and anything else that we do. That we we can have our secrets and no one has to know about it. I know that I have been a pro at this in my life.
No don’t get me wrong, the whole week wasn’t super serious. We had a lot of fun along the way that came in many forms. I rode on the boat with some of my girls who went tubing, watched some of our students ride the zip lines, climb the alpine tower, and play ultimate frisbee during their POI times. Not to mention the dance parties and crazy conversations and make-up/hair styling parties that occurred in our room. It was so great to bond with the girls during these fun times and during worship services and connect points with our whole church group. Hearing the hearts of our students on how they want to focus on the Lord and serve Him is part of why I am in student ministry. I want to see these students passion for Christ grow and for them to allow the Lord to use them to further His kingdom!
This week really helped me see that I can’t do things on my own. This is something that I tend to do a lot. I have always been independent and a let me do it and try it myself kind of girl and as much as I know that I can’t rely on myself, it is like my default setting. Never did I think that this would be something that God would work on my heart with during camp with the middle schoolers, but that is totally how he works. Through these girls and ministering to them, I had to wake up to the fact that I am not able to help them on my own. I need the Lord and the strength that comes through Him. Whether it is confronting one student about an issue in their life or the whole group about how they are acting, I need His help and strength. Not to mention that if without His words and scriptures I would just be giving them my own opinion and that is not how we are to do things.
Not only were the worship services with all of the students, leaders, and staff about being washed impactful, but for me the adult bible studies, the trainings, and the time spent with a couple girls I knew from different things who were helping lead groups from their churches were just as impactful.
It was a reconfirming week for me in that I know that I am doing what the Lord has planned for me. I had been struggling with moving again and starting over with new people, a new church, new ministry opportunities, and a new city. I just did this in January and to already be doing it again just 7 months later is hard. Especially when I am starting to get so involved in the church and ministries I am serving in in Louisville. To leave behind my new friends, family, and the awesome students that I have been spending so much time with was a huge challenge for me when considering taking the job at BC. But over the course of the week I became at peace with moving, but that didn’t mean that I am not spending as much time as I can ministering right where I am. I am sad to be leaving, but I know that there is a reason I have only been here for 7 months. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back, but then again maybe I won’t. That’s up to God!
I could talk about camp forever, because I truly learned way more than I could have ever expected at a camp that was for our middle schoolers. I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to go! It came at a perfect time in my life.
I am going to leave you with one final thought that the camp pastor left us with on the first night to set the tone for the week: “Will you give God permission to show you who you really are?”