I grew up going to church camp every summer. I loved every minute of it and never missed a session, even going as a counselor once I was too old to be a camper. Then got married and I had kids. Changing diapers while swatting at mosquitoes was not my idea of pleasant motherhood, so I quit going. My husband continued to go each summer to teach Bible classes – something he is very gifted at doing.
Our oldest began going to church camp several years ago, followed a few years later by our second son. They love it so much ain’t nothin’ could keep them from going. We have seen so much spiritual growth in them as a result of their time studying God’s word out in the middle of His creation.
Through the years, several men and women whom I respect have told me that I should consider going to camp to teach. I always gave the “nod and smile” response. Camp? Not for me. I have kids to take care of, a website to run, and several other excuses that involve cleaner showers and fewer bugs.
In January of this year, our church hosted a Youth Rally in which teens from all over Nebraska (and beyond) came for a weekend of fun, fellowship, and worship. As I looked around the auditorium on Sunday morning at all of the teens, I was struck with the thought, “These are my son’s good friends, many of whom he is growing with spiritually. I don’t really know any of them.”
At that point, God gave me a nudge which said: “Go to camp.”
Ah, now that would be a great way to get to know these kids and to become a part of their lives. But I quickly reminded God that I didn’t do camp. That I sent my husband to camp to teach. That I sent my boys to camp to learn. That I prayed for people at camp. That I cheerfully washed dozens of loads of laundry after camp. But that I didn’t do camp.
He didn’t respond, which I now assume meant that he was just giving me the “uh-huh go ahead and try to talk yourself out of it and I’ll just be right here waiting for you to come around to obedience” face.
As I prayed that morning (while simultaneously listening attentively to the sermon of course) it didn’t take long for me to not only decide that I needed to go to camp, but to actually become excited about it. If that’s not a God thing, I don’t know what is.
Over the past seven months, God has taught me so much about laying my life down for Him. Each time I began to doubt that I would be effective in this role for Him, He reminded me that He always gives us everything we need, especially when He calls us out specifically.
All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16
So this week, I am at camp. I’ll be doing my best to keep up with my blog work while I’m here. There is wireless internet available here if I sit in just the right spot in the cafeteria and curl my toes just the right way.
I’d appreciate your prayers as God puts it on your heart. I’ll be teaching a girl’s Bible class each day while we’re here. Matt will be teaching a mixed (girls and boys) Bible class. Asa is a camper. Justus, Elias, and Malachi have agreed to work as “kitchen staff.”
Here’s to a great, full week of serving God and checking heads frequently for ticks!
Blessings to you this week! I look forward to hearing your experiences. My kids are going for the first time this year (first time ever away for more than a night for my youngest). My oldest came back saying he had so much fun he wished he’d gone when he was younger. As you said, it means so much that they have the chance to experience the gift of His word while enjoying His outdoor world.
I was actually able to get these prices yet this (Monday) morning!! :) Thanks!
Oops, how did I do that?? I meant it for the post on Tropical traditions!! :0
Jill Roper says
This must be the week for camp. Our church hosts a week up at Michigan Christian Youth Camp in Attica Michigan. Several of our grandbabies are up there this week along with half the church! You will love it. I have cooked for a camp several times over the years. You my dear will do great teaching the young ladies, awesome!
Laura, I have started a new series for the next 60 days on substituting food for God. I know this isn’t a struggle for you but for me it has become one. If any of your readers are interested they can click on my name. When I first shared my story last month I was overwhelmed with private emails from women who struggle with the same thing, food addictions. Would you pray for me as I start on this journey?
Will pray for NO ticks and lots of giggles and heart felt talks to our LORD and Savior during your week at camp!
Colleen B says
Sometimes I wish blogs had a like button! Enjoy your week at camp; I too have felt called to camp and I think I may have learned more than the kids that I was “teaching”! :)
Have a fun, blessed week!
I’m sure the kids you minister to this week will be blessed as richly as you! Have a great time!
Prayers coming your way!! I have totally enjoyed being a camp counselor with my children by my side at a wilderness camp here in KY. Cabins in the woods, cooking on an open fire (not all healthy, but doable since I packed my own cooler) It’s a great way to be engaged with your children and their friends. Have a wonderful time!!
Great article Laura as usual :), but just think no cooking for a week, how much better can it get lol…..
Love your articles as much as I do your recipes :) This one was really touching…my youngest granddaughter just got back from church camp, she is 11 and this was her second yr. (her Dad is a minister and was a counselor at camp, my daughter usually goes, but couldn’t due to having surgery…but she loves it too, she helps out in the kitchen….they try to get me to go, but I keep telling them I don’t do camp :) can’t stand mosquitos, etc……praying that you and your family have a great time….looking forward to your articles while you are there…..that is if you find time to do them lol….
Laura, I’m so glad the Lord persuaded you to be at camp this week. :) I’m praying for you, and for the girls whose lives you will touch. Love you.
Susan F. says
I’ll be praying for you, the family and the campers. Who nows who will have a changed life after this week. :)