The trees at camp have always amazed me. They first captured my attention because the are so tall. They are also strong, standing firm through all types of weather. And every branch is different. This summer, each time I passed an oak tree I was reminded of this verse:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of His splendor.
Oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.
Take a moment to pray for the children, teens and adult who participated in summer camp this year.
I tried several times this summer to capture how majestic those oak trees are. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it cannot be done. Just as we cannot fully grasp the Lord's work. Praise Him for being beyond what we can imagine!
It amazes me how God can use me, along with the children, to witness to their friends. I had Crestview Baptist Church as my church one week and this was their first year at South Mountain Baptist Camp. They were a small group but they were great! One night I had the opportunity to get to know the girls and to see where they were on their spiritual journey. Two of the girls said they had been saved but the other girl said she had not. So I began to speak to them about my life and share part of my testimony. The oldest of the three began to talk to the girl who hadn’t been saved yet and was saying everything the Lord was leading me to say. When I told them good night and headed to the cabin, I began thinking that even though these kids are still young; God can still use them in amazing ways.
On a children’s week, I started to take responsibility for teaching about missions in Uganda. All of my first three groups were late that day and I tried not to have a bad attitude, and considering I am a control freak, this was a major undertaking. The longer I taught the easier it became. I expected the adults to have a lot of questions but the kids had more!
One kid asked me, “Did it feel like home while you were there?”
It warmed my heart to know how curious they were about places in the world. I didn’t even care that they were still asking me questions while I was cleaning up things. I pray that God would call a few of them one day to go to Uganda to experience the beautiful country themselves.
One week in my Bible study, we had this guy named Valley. On the first day, I told him he had a great name, and I asked him if he knew where he got it from. He told me he was adopted from Russia, along with three other boys and girls, when he was eight years old. I told him his story was awesome.
From then on, he always spoke to me when he saw me, and we spent a lot of time together. At the start of the week, he didn’t sing or do the motions during chapel. But I picked at him about it, and then he started doing the motions. I would look at him from the stage while singing and he would smile and squint his eyes, letting me know he was doing the motions. On the last day, someone asked him if he would be back next year. “I will if he comes back,” he said as he pointed to me. I might’ve made his week, but he gave me my favorite moment of the summer.
The moment everyone has been waiting for: 2014 summer camp numbers have been calculated. We are excited to share them with you so we can rejoice together.
This summer's camps were attended by 1599 campers,
213 of whom came to Christ. Praise the Lord!
Jesus instructed His disciples in Luke 17:10: "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’" That is all we can say. It is the Lord who brings the increase and we are humbled to be a part of His work.
Mattie was one of those 213 souls who made a profession of faith this summer. Her mom was so sweet to share this picture with us, and we want to pass it on to you. Let it be a reminder that each of the numbers listed above represents a child. Al tells the campers every Friday: "This is not the end, it is the beginning." Certainly we should praise the Lord for the things He has done. Let's also pray for each of these 213 souls to continue to hunger for the Lord and grow in Him. Pray for their churches to be ready to help them in this lifetime journey of faith.