Saturday, May 12, 2018

Summer is Here

Our summer staff arrive tomorrow.

For those of us in camp ministry, that means that a "normal" life for the next three month is virtually impossible. Our world speeds up and we struggle to breathe. But it's so, so good.

On this night before the chaos ensues, I find myself researching vacation spots for my husband and I post-summer (open to any recommendations you may have!), jamming out to some old school Shane & Shane, and letting my mind go down memory lane to the first day I arrived at camp as a summer staffer.

I'm going into my 15th summer of camp...but I'll never forget the first day I arrived at Camp Eagle in 2003. Everything was new and I didn't know a soul. But, it was the first place I remember going that I could be fully me. It was the first place that I went that no one else I knew had gone before me. I was on my own, embarking on a new adventure. In most ways, it felt like the most radical thing I had done in my just-turned-19 years on earth.

It makes me think a lot about the staff that are coming in tomorrow and how they must be feeling and what they must be thinking. They may not ever forget tomorrow for the rest of their lives. They may look up 15 years later and be working full-time at a camp with several of the people they worked with that first summer. Crazier things have happened.

I probably don't even know all the ways that first summer changed me, but I know that I was different afterward. I know that I continue to learn and grow and, hopefully, become a better version of myself. Not just because I work at a camp. Mostly because God is good and gracious and patiently waits for me to realize how much I need Him (over and over again).

I want to be like I was that first summer again.
Open, willing, ready, eager, excited, nervous.
Willing to dive deep into relationships with others, excited to see what the Lord was going to do, eager to learn and grow in my relationship with God and my study of Scripture so I could teach it to campers. Open to whatever the Lord had for me. Ready to work hard and learn all the new things required of me.

Join us in praying for our staff as they arrive. Pray for safety. Pray for their hearts to be prepared for a summer of intense ministry... a summer of investing in eternity. Pray for their lives to be malleable and ready for God to change them, as He works through them and in them--even in the most exhausting, selfish moments.

Pray for our full-time staff, as they go from a busy season of serving and preparing into an even busier summer of leading our summer staff and serving thousands and thousands of guests (literally).

We have incredible opportunities around us. Pray that we would be bold with the Gospel, that we would live out of the Spirit, and that we would be diligent about investing in our relationship with the Lord and those around us.

I'm pretty pumped for whatever this summer entails.
Let's do this.

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