Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Recap: Summertime at Camp and the Beginning of the End

So bloggers. Since I didn't take my computer to camp with me and I didn't get the opportunity to come home very much, you're probably wondering, what happened at camp? Well I'll tell you. Camp was indescribable. It was great, awesome, wonderful, physically hard and exhausting, emotionally hard and exhausting. This summer I led mainly middle school and high school girls. This is a completely different age group from the group the I led last summer. Leading them, loving them and being loved by them looks so different than with little girls. God showed me so much of how I don't know how to lead people, and it's not up to me to know. Because the work that is done in the hearts of these girls is not me, it's God. I just take every advantage to share the love of Christ with them and talk to them about my own experiences learning that Jesus is the only thing that is satisfying. Faithfulness is what God has commanded of me. God has not commanded me to fulfill my ideas of success, because my ideas of success are not His. They stem from pride, from sin, from making myself greater and Him less.

A big thing I learned this summer is that God is not set in my ideas of Him. The way that God chooses to show himself to his children is specific to them and there are countless ways in which he does this. When my girls are laughing and having fun with each other and me in the swimming pool, this is God. When they are successful at a new activity such as archery and riflery, this is God. When they are mad at me because they only have 3 minutes in the shower or because they didn't rest during rest time and so they have to get out of the pool early, this is God. God is allowing them to have fun at camp, to feel love from their cabin mates and from me, giving them just a small glimpse of His love for them and what He desires for them. Just as God reveals himself differently, each of his children are different in countless ways. We relate to each other differently, we interpret our experiences differently, we view God differently, we relate to God differently and we worship Him differently. How amazing is it that God could create such a diverse population and that He is worshiped in so many different ways by His children? God developed a passion in my heart for seeing high school girls be called to Him and for them to see and treasure that being a Christian is not culture defined. I want them to see just how broken the world is that we have taken something so beautiful as the life that Christ has called us to and made it something that revolves around us, something that is not good and something that does not push us to know more of Jesus but to know more of what the world has to offer to us.

Last Christmas I thought about doing missions after graduation during our Campus Outreach Christmas conference. I had no idea what this would look like and I hadn't heard of anything that had really grabbed my attention or that I felt a desire to pursue. But God put that on my heart again this summer as I saw Him work in the lives of my campers. I want to do missions after graduation and not go straight into the workforce. I am praying about opportunities but one big one I am praying about is The World Race. It is eleven months in eleven countries serving people, being used by God, being challenged by God and sharing the gospel! Check out this blog from a girl currently on The World Race!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Beautiful Things" - juhst another summer

My friend Linda has some awesome things to say about how the staff are growing in their relationship with God this summer so go read about it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Smyth 312

It is so funny how God uses the craziest things to do work and to teach me so much! So many of you may know that God called me to be an RA this past school year on the 3rd floor of Smyth. I built relationships and shared Jesus with so many of my freshmen girls and it was a hard, challenging, frustrating, and joyful experience. God shattered so many of my prideful expectations that this job would be easy and that sharing Jesus with these girls would be easy. He is so good to break down my pride and remind me that sharing the gospel is NOT about me; it's about the one who chose to be my ransom, who chose to give his life on the cross for my sake. I know that God worked past my pride to move in some of these girls hearts just as he moved in my heart almost 3 years ago with my RA on the 3rd floor of Smyth.

The girls that take the position of RA on 3rd floor Smyth live in room 312. My roommate and I so much enjoyed living in this room this year despite some of the not to so great aspects of it. The ladies that have held this position and lived in this room for about the past 4-5 years have all been such great women that love the Lord and have shared the gospel of Jesus with so many of these girls. I cannot count how many of us girls that love Jesus, are Christ followers today because we lived on the 3rd floor of Smyth and our RA loved Jesus enough to share Him with us! It is so awesome to think that for the past 5 years I can be attributed with these other great women of the Lord that have discipled freshmen girls on the 3rd floor and invited girls into their lives. We have used the Smyth 312 to usher girls in, wiping tears and sharing Jesus' love, addressing frustrations and reminding that God is faithful and sovereign and the command that we have to follow Jesus. It is so awesome to see how much God has done work on this floor, through this room and through these women!

I pray for the girl that will be the RA next year on this floor. I pray that God might give me the opportunity to share Jesus with her or that God would place someone in her life to share Jesus with her. I pray that he would build up a laborer for this floor next year and that his gospel would be made known among these women!

Camp Update

Hey bloggers/friends!
Some of you may know that my friend Linda and I have been praying a lot of things for camp this summer. I have been praying that as a staff team we would recognize our need for community and create an environment between the staff this summer of pushing each other to know more of Christ as that should be the most important thing to each of us in our relationships with each other. I am praying that we would reflect Acts 2:42-48 which says:
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and... many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds toall, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with  all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." 
Also, the numbers for hired staff and registered campers have been down over the last several years. Last year we had 27 staff and about 1300 campers. A full camp would be 38 staff and about 2400 campers. So Linda and I, knowing that God is sovereign and he can do big things, prayed that God would provide 30 staff this summer and 1500 campers. This prayer has reminded me so much about God's faithfulness because I think that God is only faithful when he says yes to my prayers. But God is always faithful, no matter what, and his faithfulness does not change because of me, my unfaithfulness, or if he says no to a prayer. God has been so gracious to provide us with 31 staff and over 1000 campers registered for this summer! This is so awesome and reminds me so much that no matter what God is worthy to be praised!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Camp Prayers

Praise the Lord!! My friend Linda and I have been praying for a few months now that God would provide 30 staff and 1500 campers for this summer to grow in a relationship with him and have tons of fun while doing it. A friend of mine reminded me that even if God says no to this prayer He is still faithful. But already God has provided us with our goal of 30 staff and also 650 campers! That's almost half of our camper goal for the whole summer!! Praise Him for his providence!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Camp is Calling Me Home!

I am so excited that God is calling me to spend another summer at Camp La Vida! Check out this awesome promotional video!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Idols: False Worship

Hey bloggers! So I know it's been a little while since my last blog post but I'm back again to write to you about a revelation the Lord put on my heart today!
Today I was studying God's word in Hebrews 11:7-12 and spending time admiring God's beautiful creation outside! In Hebrews, God lays out several testaments of faith through believers such as Abel, Enoch and Noah. The description of God's command to Noah can also be found in Genesis 6 as well which provides an interestingly different perspective. In comparing today's passage in Hebrews to yesterdays in Genesis, I realized the the passage of Genesis allows us to see the magnitude of God's command to Noah and the magnitude of his faith. God was very specific in every detail of how the ark should be built, who should go in it as well as exactly what was to come on the earth and the fate of everything on it. This is powerful knowledge that Noah held and yet his fear of the Lord compelled him to build this ark down to the last detail and probably endure many scorns from those around him who did not believe. Where the passage in Hebrews allows us to really understand the blessings Noah found through obedience and faith. Noah's family was spared and blessed by God, Noah received salvation and grace through God and was a testament to the faith that God calls all believers to.
I realized that true obedience such as this is compelled by a deep worship, admiration and fear of God, who he his and his power. And I asked myself the question, if I found myself in the same situation, would I have had the same faith that Noah did? Probably not. I have a huge idol of man, I fear man and I desire acceptance and love from others around me to satisfy me. This idol also serves an idol of ministry and a desire to be perceived by others as holy and having a deep spiritual maturity in my relationship with God.
Through praying through this, I realized that idols are stirred in my heart through a lack of worshiping God. It's so simple, yet this has just now come to resonate in my heart. When I am slacking on my responsibility to worship God and spend time with him, it leaves me feeling needy, unloved and unworthy. I then begin to try to find this in others. I want them to fill my heart the way God is supposed to and man is not created to do that, nor can we even begin to possibly do that. When I am truly in deep worship and recognition of God and his place in my heart and life, I am filled with the Lord and idols are not stirred in my heart. I am compelled my God's love to be obedient and faithful in his calling!
Such a revelation and changes my view of idols and my relationship with Jesus!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big Things: CONATCON

This week, God definitely gave me the desires of my heart. At the Campus Outreach National Conference, my prayer was that God would teach me big things but that these big things would not be connected to an emotional affection for Christ. I love when the Lord stirs my affections for him, however I realized that I believe the huge lie that if I don't feel and emotional stirring in my heart than what God teaches me isn't important or big. This is definitely a lie and God was faithful to this!

At conference we had many talks, one that really taught me a lot was a great talk by a former staff girl for the women. Based on the story of Esther we were challenged to consider where we find our contentment and where we find discontentment. Am I content with everything the Lord has blessed me with and content that this is the life he has chosen for me right now? And secondly claiming that purpose fuels contentment. I may not be content with where the Lord has me or where he may be calling me but my purpose in being a part of the will of God fuels contentment. When Esther realized that God was giving her a purpose in being crowned queen, that she might help give deliverance to her people, the Israelites, this purpose fueled her contentment. Only when she realized this purpose did she have a peace about going before her husband and a peace about the sacrificing possibly her life for God's purpose. In this moment, Esther was truly living sacrificially. So, what would it look like for me to live sacrificially?

Sacrifice: God is definitely not calling me to give up my life or even put it on the line, as he had Esther. However, that doesn't mean that there is not a picture of sacrifice He has called me to live out as a student. I think God is calling me to give up a few good things that I want because He has other plans for me. As much as  I wish that God was calling me to go back to LP, he's not. He's calling me back to camp. While part of me is so excited that he is calling me back to camp, part of me really thought I'd be going back to LP. But God continues to remind me that Campus Outreach is not meant to have a ladder of success nor is it the only place He can grow me spiritually. He has called me to go back to camp, pour my life into girls week after week, be physically exhausted week after week, deal with the drama of co-ed week, but rejoice in the privilege of showing girls Jesus, my savior and theirs, week after week, and to push my co-workers more towards Jesus, week after week, and have fun while doing it.

Also, as much as I wish God were calling me to live in my same room next year, I don't think He is. God is calling me away from that vision to a new vision: another dorm altogether. I believe he is calling me to RA on a freshmen hall next year in a position that would allow me to live by myself in a larger room with a kitchen. How is that sacrifice? I enjoy having a roommate, I love it actually. I love having someone there to talk to, to laugh with, to watch our favorite tv shows with, etc. I am afraid that I will feel lonely in a room by myself. And I had hoped to live in my same room again next year, with all of my many memories over that past 4 years the room has so much sentimental significance. But God is good and I know He will use me where ever I am and so in this case I am praying that his purpose for me on another hall will fuel my contentment.

In addition, at conference and since I began reading Katie Davis' new book, I was convicted of how I spend my money and I realized that as a college student, I don't need a lot of money. I live on campus (no rent), I have a meal plan (no groceries), I pretty much need money for gas and the few times a month I go out somewhere. The rest of it sits in my account. This is not a bad thing, however I could be sharing my money and supporting efforts for His kingdom. As a student,  I don't have the opportunity to go share the gospel elsewhere other than on campus but I could send others. I decided to allot $30 from my paycheck a month towards AMAZIMA ministries and support a child in Uganda, allowing them to have their basic necessities of clothes, food, medical care, free education and they would be hearing the gospel - about a savior who loves them. This small donation and efforts won't change the state of poverty right now in Uganda but the fact that I can help provide a child with so many things I take for granted and allow him/her to hear about their Savior and possibly come to know him is a gift that is priceless.

So thankful that the Lord is faithful when I am not!

2011 National Conference Recap from Campus Outreach on Vimeo.