I could easily spend the next 5 or 6 blog posts talking about Camp YES, but if I had to sum up the week in 1 word it would be... AMAZING!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Camp YES you can read about some of my other experiences there here and here, and you can also check out their website here.
I was able to be a counsellor again this year. I arrived a bit late, so when I got there the cabins were already divided up, and I was told what girls were going to be in my cabin. As soon as I heard who I had, my heart dropped! I had what I've come to call the "hard" cabin. Immediately I prayed and asked the Lord to give me wisdom. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe they would be better this year. Well, my worst fears were about to come true. Tuesday morning I had a MAJOR issue I had to deal with with one of my campers. It wasn't easy, and she wasn't happy, but I God helped me through it. It's funny though. The girls I was expecting to be a problem were actually really good, and it was some of the other girls that were more difficult. There were several more issues I had to deal with throughout the week, and some issues I didn't deal with, but probably should have. For the most part the girls responded well, and I appreciated that greatly! There were some girls in my cabin that have a great many struggles, but I could see God working to soften their hearts all week. I pray He continues to do a great work in their lives, and they continue to listen to Him!
God taught me a lot through those girls. He taught me to be careful with my words. Words can offend so easily. He taught me not to judge, because sometimes I don't know the whole story. It's very easy to develop opinions of people based on the way they act, but so often our opinions are wrong. I know I need to be careful in this area, because I tend to judge quickly and sometimes harshly without bothering to get the facts. He taught me patience. Boy did He teach me that one! He taught me to be more forgiving. He taught me that I need to rebuke in love and not in anger.
A couple of really neat things happened that I'll share. Each day there's a time set aside for personal devotions. The counsellors have the option of doing devotions as a group with their cabin, or letting the teens go on their own. I'd had some problems with some of the girls on Tuesday, so Wednesday, I decided we needed to do a group devotion. I'm so thankful that I've been reading my Bible more this year and meditating on it more, because God led me to the perfect Scripture passage to deal with some of the things that had gone on. It was Ephesians 4. I actually did a blog post a while ago on Ephesians 4. I know it was partly because of that that God brought it back to my mind for this situation, and it certainly helped! Then on Friday morning I was going to let the girls do their devotions on their own, but from the moment I got up, I couldn't get Romans 12 out of my mind. I debated back and forth all morning about using Romans 12 with the girls or letting them have their own devotions. However, when the Holy Spirit impresses something on your heart, it's never a good idea to ignore that. So, when devotion time came, I called the girls together again. Noting spectacular happened in that devotion, but I shared with the girls how God had placed that Scripture passage on my heart right when I got up in the morning. We spoke a bit about it, and I told them that I believed someone in our group needed that passage that day. I don't know who it was or why, but God wanted someone to meditate on that passage. I'm praying that He's still using that in that person's life!
Like usual, the preaching at Camp was AMAZING! I'll share some quotes later from that. The food was good, the games were good, the fellowship was good. The campfire time was good. The singing was AMAZING. That blessed me greatly. I wish every Christian could hear those teens sing. We didn't sing those lame 7/11 "praise and worship" songs that repeat the same phrase over and over. Blah! We didn't sing hard, driving, rock-and-roll type "Christian" music. Blah! Those teens weren't interested in that kind of "Christian" music. They sang songs like "It is Well With my Soul", "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art", "Seek Ye First", and many more. They sang with all their hearts. They sang with enthusiasm. It was GOOD! We sang music that I believe truly honoured God, lifted Him up, and exalted His name, and we didn't need a rock band, smoke, and coloured lighting to do it! It was real. It was heart felt. And I believe God was glorified!
Camp is one of the most encouraging things I've experienced. That's why I always look forward to going. I KNOW I'm going to be blessed by Camp, and this year was no different. I was GREATLY blessed, and I'm so thankful God gave me the opportunity again to go and serve.