Kids camp in Forsyth, Ga
Throughout my life I have spent approximately 54 weeks as a counselor at summer camps. (Some day, I'll write about many of those weeks when I was the horse back director at a YMCA camp - what fun!)
When rating these camps on a spiritual level, I would consider this year’s camp one of the top five experiences. I rate it this high because I have already (just one week later) seen lasting results.
We returned from camp on a Friday afternoon. That evening one of the children, a 12 year old boy, convinced his grandmother to go to the Christian Book store to buy lots of worship music. On Sunday morning he bounced up to me and handed me his ear buds. “Listen to this!” he said. I listened with enthusiasm as he proceeded to tell me which Christian musician it was and how much worship music he had bought on Friday night. His smile was huge and the spirit of the Lord shined out of him. For the entire service, he was also an incredible help. All of the camp kids were.
On Sunday morning, first service was one with a lot of technical difficulties and other frustrations. Most of my camp children were there for second service. At the end of worship we sang a slow song and invited children up to the altar to pray. Many kids came up which was awesome enough, but the coolest thing was that my camper kids came up and started praying for the others. What a sweet spirit was in the room!
On Sunday evening, I received a note from one of the moms, saying that she already noticed a change in her son and that they had had some excellent conversations about God, His plan, and the Holy Spirit. I received a similar note about a young lady who went to camp also.
Some of the experiences at camp were wonderful for the counselors too. Wednesday afternoon, the camp staff asked some counselors to take turns praying in the chapel. I went in about 3:45. I had a great prayer time (some tears) and about 20 minutes later headed out the door to meet my campers and trade places with one of the counselors. All of a sudden I was convinced that I was not supposed to leave yet. So I turned around and went back to the altar and spent another 30 minutes filled with tears and meeting with God. I later let one of the camp staff know that “camp isn’t only for the campers. Had a great time in prayer.” I really needed that time. God knew that.
During the service on Thursday morning, the altar call was life changing for our church. (and yes, I do mean our entire church). The children were called up to the altar for prayer. Many children came up for prayer. We worshiped and prayed for quite awhile. Lunch was to start at 12:00. At 12:25, I look up from praying and worshiping and realized that most of the children had gone to lunch. There were two kids from other churches still there. About ten of our children had remained to pray and to pray for others.
We gathered together before we went to lunch and I encouraged them to take this spirit home. It looks like they did. I am so very proud of them...