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LAKEFORESTRANCH.COM

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FOR ETERNAL IMPACT

LFR SUMMER

REFLECTIONS

SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS STAFF TESTIMONIES

2017

MISSION CAMP MACON 2018 CAMP SCHEDULE


CONTENTS

LFR GIVING

Your gift will make a difference at LFR! We hope you will use the enclosed envelope to help with some important needs here. If you would like to give, here are a few options to consider… Capital Improvements Thanks to gifts from friends like you, during the past year we made some much needed improvements to several of our buildings and facilities. There are more improvements needed and future plans are in the works for a multipurpose building that will include, among other things, an infirmary and a new laundry facility. Your gift to this important area of need will help keep LFR moving forward and always looking great. Unrestricted Gifts A gift that is marked “unrestricted” helps us to keep the cost of summer camp as low as possible. About 8% of our annual operating budget must come from these greatly needed contributions. We will work to keep our spending down so that we can also keep our costs to campers and retreat participants down. Please do pray about supporting LFR in this way. It really is a big need and every gift, no matter the amount, helps.

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ADULT LEADER REFLECTIONS

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MCM REFLECTIONS

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SUMMER 2018 CAMP SCHEDULE

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GIVING TO LFR

Camperships Requests continue to roll in and increase each year for camperships. Kids whose families can’t afford the full cost to send their kids to camp

LFR 2017

and families with multiple kids wanting to come to camp but who don’t have the financial resources to do that are the recipients of many of these gifts. Some campers who come with full camperships provided are from group homes or other child-care or orphan-care types of facilities. Lives are impacted every summer through these gifts. The need is real and the opportunity to bless a child immensely and eternally makes it a fabulous investment.

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NICK’S REFLECTION

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STAFF REFLECTIONS

Mission Camp Macon We just completed our 14th year of Camp Macon and many are saying that it was our best year so far. Over 30 kids and youth from Noxubee County were spiritually reborn through this year’s event. Lives in Noxubee County are being transformed each summer through this weeklong July outreach to the children, youth and families in our county. It is in a context of awesome fun too! Our 2018 Camp Macon Intern, Hunter Sherouse, is already planning several fund raising events and strategies to cover the cost for next summer (about $30,000). Any gifts to this vital outreach to one of the poorest counties in Mississippi will translate into changed lives. MCM is “Macon a Difference!” Join us in doing that!

LAKE FOREST RANCH STAFF

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RICH’S REFLECTION

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICH MALONE rich@lakeforestranch.com

ASSISTANT FACILITIES MANAGER CHAD CHAPMAN chad@lakeforestranch.com

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR NICK HALL nick@lakeforestranch.com

HOUSEKEEPING DIRECTOR TINA HARMON bettyharmon@gmail.com

OFFICE MANAGER SANDY MALONE sandy@lakeforestranch.com

FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR GRAY BARNES gray@lakeforestranch.com

BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN STEVE MORRIS

VICE CHAIRMAN RANDY MORRIS

SECRETARY BECKY COWAN RICHARD BARGE JONATHAN CASE HALEY COWAN DAWKINS LAURA COWAN LEONE J.L. MORRIS JESSE MORRIS RICK SHURTZ JENNIFER THOMPSON

SUMMER REFLECTIONS STAFF 2017 BOOKEEPER FACILITIES MANAGER JEFF TROYER Photographer Graphic Design AMY GAUNTT Administrative Assistants CONTACT US jeff@lakeforestranch.com Lizzy Tate Tonya Downeyjaginc@hotmail.com Ashton Ray, Kaitlin Shelton CAMP LINE - 662.726.5052 Mid South Fine Printers & Casey Ranalli FAX LINE - 662.726.4388 LAKEFORESTRANCH.COM

RICH MALONE - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR “Christ IN You IN Christ” Our summer 2017 theme was a mind -renewing and life-transforming message. It was a perfect foreshadowing of what the Father was going to do in many lives at LFR! The staff was continually being filled up and overflowing with the powerful message of the gospel as they further understood the beautiful result of salvation – you are in Christ and Christ is in you! As 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.” Every man who has ever lived, or who will live, falls into one of those two conditions – either in Adam or in Christ. Kids and students really heard this message this summer and lives were transformed. Just wait until you read more!! The teaching the counselors gave away in Bible study all summer came from the illustrations of that wonderful truth. During the kids camps the campers learned about three boats that helped the message come alive – the Titanic (if you’re in that boat you are sunk), Noah’s Ark (if you’re in that boat you are saved) and the little Galilean Fishing Boat (it was the presence of Christ in that boat that calmed the storm and made everything ok). Also, from the student camp Bible studies on the tabernacle in the wilderness, the message rang out that Jesus came and fulfilled all of the parts in the tabernacle. He fullfilled the message of the Outer Court, the Inner Court and the message of the Holy of Holies. The gospel brings good news to the Old Testament message for the children of Israel that said, “stay out of the most holy place which is in the presence of God.” The message of the Gospel? The veil that separates us from God has been torn from top to bottom and the Father says, “Come on in – Jesus has made a way for you to be alive forever and always in my presence through His blood sacrifice for you.” Awesome! When we believe INTO Jesus’ name we become the children of God (John 1:12).

we are now required to have two staff members in every camper cabin to meet child safety standards. We are grateful that we are having a growing number of those staff members who are willing to work as volunteers. The increase of staff mostly came with our Workstaff with a position we call “Workstaff Counselors.” These college students are trained as both Counselors and as Workstaffers and they would fill in as Counselors as needed throughout the summer. We had 12 Workstaff Counselors for summer 2017 (six each half) and all of them served as Counselors for at least 2 camps for the summer. Why? We had a lot of sickness, tiredness and several Counselors had to be out for a number of expected as well as unexpected reasons throughout the summer. The cabins were wonderfully staffed with strong spiritual leadership so none of that had a negative effect on our summer. Each Counselor had a mature Ministry Partner as a roommate with whom to minister to campers. This kept our summer staff fresh, and our child safety measures strong. God blessed it all so much. Keep reading. You will see …

A Good Summer … A Hard Summer for the Director Doesn’t it usually go without saying, the best works of God come through the hardest times for us. It was a hard summer for the Malones. Sandy’s sister died early in the summer; our daughter, Sarah Tucker, had a baby in mid-July, so Sandy was with her and not able to be here at the camp in her normal strong leadership role for part of the summer; our beloved camp dog, Max, died suddenly during the summer. He was about 10 years old. The summer wrapped up with our Labor Day Weekend Family Escape with me getting sick and later finding out that I had a light case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There was definitely a strain during the summer for us, but I can truly say that God showed His grace and strength so powerfully during summer 2017 and that it was my favorite summer of all RICH AND SANDY MALONE Going into the summer I had a really great feelour years at LFR. God worked mightily in spite ing about the summer staff that the Father had brought us. They were amazing of and even through our weaknesses. It was a good summer because He is a young men and women. Looking back now, I am so proud of them and all of you good good Father! We praise Him for His mighty works. Oh and by the way, I can be too. They really showed up at LFR and gave 100%. Their lives continuhave photos of our granddaughter in case you’d like to see how beautiful she is! ally poured out the love of Christ and that meant that lives would be eternally impacted. So many lives were transformed at LFR this summer. New Creation Report I love getting to tell you about the number of transformed lives during the summer. We had about 1950 campers in attendance this sumI am delighted to be able to share with you in this magazine our “Summer Remer (not including Camp Macon day camp attendees) plus about 320 adult flections” for summer 2017. These are the stories about how your prayers were leaders (children’s ministry and youth ministry leadership). Out of that group answered. Read them with joy over the goodness of God. there were 241 salvation decisions followed up. That’s almost 100 more than our normal number of conversions in a summer. You will get to read about some This is our unabridged version of Summer Reflections. We are printing a few of those sweet stories of salvation in the pages to follow. It was glorious! Oh my! copies of an abridged version. That one is being mailed to a small number and There were weeks that I could not stop smiling even through the night. God was to any others wanting it by request. Thanks for praying and thank you for reading doing grand things in young lives. Eternal impact was happening through all these testimonies. I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as you read those relationships that were being built. and realize what God our Father has done. He is doing big things and we get to be a part of it as His hands, feet and voice in this world. Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good! Summer 2018 theme has been decided. These words are taken from Psalm 34:8. The verse goes on to say, A Big Summer Staff Many of you looked at the size of our summer staff that “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” This will be an exciting year delving into appeared on the cover of our Prayer Calendar back in May and you might have and preparing for a summer proclaiming the goodness of God. It is our prayer thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of people!” True - it was our largest summer staff that all of our senses will become more highly aware of His beautiful attribute of ever. In our beginning-of-the-summer staff photo there are some good reasons goodness. There is none good but Him and He is good good good. Not only will for that large group. First, for the first time ever we required nearly all summer we taste that He is good; not only will we see that He is good, but let us pray that staff to attend all of staff training so we would not have to repeat long vital parts we will also feel, hear and smell the sweet aroma of His awesome goodness. of it during our very short mid-summer break for second half. And we didn’t want Pray with us as we prepare for summer 2018 that it will be a summer of expeto do an abbreviated training for child safety for second half staff. So all of our riencing God’s perfect goodness with all of our senses and with all that we are. first and second half staff members were present for the photo at the beginning of the summer. The second reason our summer staff has grown is that

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CampNICK Macon HALL 2017 / Student Missionary Testimonies - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The question was asked, “What did God do in or Lord through your life this year at Camp Macon?” uses His Word and its absolute truth to speak to all of us regard-

What an amazing summer! In fact, it might have been the Neal summer Smith - Marianna, FL - Student Missionary best we’ve experienced in our time at LFR. I say that about He taught me to look at the things as blessings. We pretty only every summer, so I’m notlittle exactly sure how that works. All much I know is had five kids our kids camp location, at first seemed to be be an that it was anatincredible summer, and I which can’t imagine how it could issue, but after some time I saw this as a gift. It’s because of the small topped! amount ofSomething kids we hadnew that we spend one-on-one each for got metothis summer was time the with privilege of our kids. It was during that time that God worked through us and three of leading our kids got saved and one rededicated his life. adult leaders in

This of year He has reinforcing the idea that not only me, but less where webeen are. Our circumstances andHe needs mayloves change, that truth He isfor INus love withdoes. me. He is constantly pursuing relationships with His never His children nevereach stopssummer loving us.isThis the priviMyand prayer thatweek whatmyweteam arehad doing here lege to pray with fivedifference. people as they accepted Jesus into their hearts and makes an eternal “Building Relationships for Eternal Imlives. I also got to talk to several people on my team who were already pact” is our mission statement after all. I rejoice in the over 200 campChristians and it was super encouraging to me. I’m so grateful all the ers whofortrusted awesome people who invested their time and money into making Camp Jesus for the first Macon happen. Bible study each time this sumKaley Dunn - Marianna, FL - Student Missionary camp. One of mer! However, God did amazing things in my life this week. First off, I grew closer to Lauren Herrington - Brasstown, NC - Student Missionary the things I love I also rejoice in Christ than ever before through worship and trusting in Him. He really This week was hard, both physically and emotionally. I often felt exhaustmost about Lake knowing showed me that if I put my faith in Him, He will do great things. Also, the ed and discouraged. But for one of the first times, I truly felt excitedthat to Forest Ranch we didn’t send Lord taught me aislot about being bold and unashamed of the gospel. He share the gospel and my testimony. God gave me a deeper understandour commitment those campers showed me that keeping the good news all to myself is not only against ing of my own salvation and a deeper desire to see others experience the to care for the back home to no His will, but also very selfish of me. same power of Christ healing their hearts, the same new life springing up adults who bring within them. I also learned to trust that God uses me toone. plantThe seedsadult but kids to camp. - Gulf Shores, AL - Student Missionary leaders who exErin Stringfellow ultimately it is Him who brings the growth. They are chilperienced camp The first thing that comes to mind is obedience and patience. I had to dren’s ministers, with them, pray whole-heartedly trust in the Lord to provide me with the words to say and Savannah Holland - Gulf Shores, AL - Student Missionary provide me with the patience to love the kids no matter the hardships, I think of how God has illustrated His unconditional love reyouth pastors, forthrough them,theand unwillingness, lationships developed throughout the week. In addition, thethem practice of parents and orlaydifficulties they may have caused. God overflowed me lead weekwith so much building a godly community was something that I learned this there week leaders who love are for people I have never met and that proves how big ly from will be and powerful and I plan on building these communities as I head to college. invested in Hetheis. to help them lives of the kids grow in their Molly bring, Ory - Covington, LA - Student Missionary Beth Carter - Brandon, MS - Student Missionary new found faith they and AVA, STEFANIE, EMMA, ItNICK ELIOTgreat HALL Godfeel taught so much this week. One thing that he really taught me was&really to see how He revealed Himself to meinin new ways we thatme if we Jesus. Asthisa was how to be a servant. I totally surrendered myself to Him and asked year and not necessarily ways I expected. This year He showed me that can encourage them that we multiply our ministry to their children. result, family trees will be changed forever. I’m humbled to know that Him put me out of my comfort zone, and He did. It was so amazing to it doesn’t matter how messed up I am, but how great He is. I also feel like p_LayoutEach 1 to 11/7/16 3:34 PM Page 1 camp, we’d explore Luke 7:36-50 and discuss the story of the Lake Forest Ranch is a part of something so huge and everlasting! see God work through me and just have Him use me for his glory. I’ve I got a renewed sense of His presence, whether it be during worship or woman washing Jesus’ feet. We’d discuss what the story tells us It is no small thing that we are a place where people respond to the been feeling God pushing me to be a leader for the past four months. It just hanging out with kids and sharing the gospel. about the Gospel and how we should respond to such grace. It was Gospel of Jesus for the first time and then are immediately embraced was like He was preparing me for this, because I felt out of my comfort azone, joy for me to hear from these adults! Each group was unique and by older brothers and sisters in the faith to walk with them. What could but at the same time I felt prepared. I was blessed with the opportuAnnaleigh Benoit - Dayton, TN - Student Missionary brought a different perspective. This was a great reminder that the be than nity to have one-on-one time with five of the kids in my group. I just really Themore Lord important broke down mythis? walls of fear and self-consciousness. After our got to know them. I learned so much by just talking to them. God filled me with so much love for the kids this week. It was unreal; I honestly can’t put it into words. Four kids in my group were saved, I saw Jesus working through them and working through me. He’s just really shown me that He is in charge of every situation and He knows everyone’s hearts.

Becca Avent - Brasstown, NC - Student Missionary This week has been awesome! I loved getting to know everyone. The student missionaries were super cool and fun to serve alongside. God has been showing me more of His character each time I come to LFR.

326 Lake Forest Rd. Macon, MS 39341

P (662) 726.5052

worship service Friday night, the Lord gave me the word “forgiven.” I feel that not only did I come to feed hungry souls, but Christ knew I needed to be fed as well. I have not only been stretched this week, but the Lord showed me new things about myself I have been questioning. I am so thankful for LFR and the counselors and directors that have spoken encouragement into my life. Emma McHenry - Kansas City, MO - Student Missionary I haven’t really been comfortable sharing my faith in the past, not because I didn’t want to, but because I thought I had to say the magic

F (662) 726.4388

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“Buildi ding Relatitionship ips fo for Etern rnal Impact” est. 1950

Mission Camp Macon 2017 Student Missionaries and Staff 2 42

STAFF REFLECTIONS my team. The seeds have been planted in the hearts of the people in

words or something. Camp Macon showed me that all you have to do is let God speak through you and share the good news—no stress about what words you use. It’s not my job to lead them to Christ anyway, it’s ABIGAIL RUCKER God’s job. I don’t have that power. Sharing the gospel with kids this week was so amazing… to see God working firsthand that way is something to starting thisthat summer as a of counselor, I had pretty I’m soPrior grateful for. Now I havejourney a real taste sharing my faith this muchI can made mystuff mind thatwith thisme was be apeople summer of me way takeupthis home andgoing keeptotelling about the simplylove pouring myself into kids over and over, not really spiritually gaincrazy of God.

ing or learning anything for myself. Man, I could not have been more

wrong. Herrington Before the camps even began, I was starting Jenna - Brasstown, NC - Former Staff to feel genuinely God hasabout used how Mission morepour thaninto anything else to would teach worried I wasCamp goingMacon to properly the kids that me how to love others, year was exception. This be coming, whenand I feltserve like my faith and had this the depth of a no teacup. I began to week is an incredible opportunity to grow as a servant leader. I am leavpray for depth, and asked God to show me how to not have a surfaceing a restored perspective on what God values more than anything levelwith faith. else and that staff is relationship—with Him and with others. During training, Steve Miller was

Olivia - Cullman, AL - Student Missionary walkingHolbrook us through the God has shown me that it is okay to not always succeed or be “perfect.” student camp Bible He will work through you no matter what your situation is. I realized that study on the Old Testhere is no way I can do anything without God. God is all you need. He tament Tabernacle. will fill you with His word and the Holy Spirit will guide you the rest of the There are 3 parts to way. The main thing I learned was to rely on the Holy Spirit.

use me as His instrument to encourage others and share the word with

Noxubee County. - COUNSELOR CABIN 11

Chris Tuttle - Dayton, TN - Adult Group Leader When I looktoback, week sticks like aand sore thumb: Student The opportunity reachone young men and out women build relationships Campthem 3. I made had a this totaltrip of for ten me. girls,It and Godgets hand-picked one of with always me out ofeach my comfort them and placed in my strengthens, cabin. He knew I needed them. Prior zone, which thenthem stretches, andthat grows my faith beyond to that camp, there were of my life that I was well words. I love watching myareas student missionaries stepashamed out and of, stepasup to as areas I was afraid to kids talk here about, becauseGod they were not glorifying share the gospel to these in Macon. is SO GOOD!! He has truly graced us with eachofand dayI this week. to God. Those wereHis thepresence flesh-areas myevery life that didn’t know how

to emotionally or spiritually digest. However, during all ten of my one-

Carley Wells Brooksville, Mississippi - Studentwith Missionary on-ones, each-girl had experienced and struggled something that Years ago, I felt empty. Being surrounded by people drowning I had who also are experienced in the love of Christ, people who want to build you up and grow and struggled with with.youI teaches you how to become full. I didn’t feel anything years ago but last began to pour my heart year was the year I started to feel again! This out year,toIthose was placed with girls, sharTeam Camp and it was definitely a challenge. Learning commuing tips,how waysto out, and nicate using Christ is an amazing emotion for me. This team member comforting scriptures of mine taught me something and I’ll never forget what he told me. He that really helped dursaid, “In order to become a teacher you have to be a student first.” He’s ing those times of hardso right. We cannot teach these kids the Gospel on our own. We need ship. I got to experiChrist to move in us and we need His Holy Spirit to lead us. I learned this ence the Father year, more than ever, that we have an amazing opportunity—we haveturn the what I considered the chance to change someone’s life and lead them to the narrow path of life.

the tabernacle: the Outer Court, the Holy LaJerrius Haralson - Olive Branch, MS - Student Missionary Place, and the Holy things of I think of all the great that He has done in my life. Just these past Holies. To briefly sumdark and broken parts two weeks, as I’ve been at the student camp and Camp Macon, God has marize, the Outer Court my life into somemoved all through me. Both of these camps have made my walk with Kelsey Quillin - Huntsville, Alabama - StudentofMissionary showed that there Christ so us much better and God has placed me where He wanted me and As cliché as it sounds, Camp Macon opened mything eyesbeautiful. to a newAnd formfor of was only one point of camps have helped change my life. the first istime, I began is living through me. These sharing the gospel. Spreading God’s Word to children nothing new entry to the tabernacle, to heal. God to me, but I’ve always done it in a Christian community. Mostbeautifully kids I’ve and everything mygethurt Jonathon Hostetlerhad - Dayton, TN - Student Missionary previously ministered to hear the gospel all the crafted time. They boredinto of This God really spoke to me at camp and also spoke through me. Jesus; He’s old news to them. Coming to Camp advice Macon and kids to goyear through the althat leading would help The Lordsacrifice). showed me who don’t get to hear about Jesus very often was inspiring and hearttar (the TheHis awesome power and love through Pow-Wow or even prevent these and devotions. As a Christian, we often become burdened by our sin, wrenching. Seeing so many young souls as thirsty and yearning for the Holy Place showed us ladies in my cabin from but the Lord showed me this week that I am free from all of it. When Word of God as the little blessings at Calvary were, was a “breath of that the great secret of Christian service is not about what we do, but learning the hard way. My pain and suffering was finally given a purGod looks at me He sees Christ’s blood, not my sin. I also saw the Lord fresh air” kind of experience. about who He is! He is the never-ending source of supply for all who pose. seek Him. And the Holy of Holies was where the presence of God actuThe healing continued as I began getting letters from them. Letally dwelt. The part of this Bible study that impacted me the most was ters telling me they were actively applying everything I had encouraged when we were discussing the Outer Court. them to do, which in return, encouraged me. Not only did that mean Summer 2018 Steve mentioned that most Christians spend the majority of their Camp they had Schedule been listening, but it also meant the Holy Spirit gripped their livesCAMP stuck in the Outer Court; constantly coming hearts (Days) and carried it out once camp. Speaker DATESto God with “I’m sorry, CAMPER AGESthey left Cost completed) I did it again,” and never allowing themselves to advance any further But(grades the healing didn’t even stop there either. Four of the ten girls *Kids Camp A Mayrepeat, 25-29and (Fri-Tue) 7-12 6th) back to Camp $370Macon, Keith Coast into the tabernacle. It was simply wash, rinse, that’s what surprised me (1byst thru coming which was easily one st B 30-June 3 (Wed-Sun) 7-12 (1 camps, thru 6thphysically ) $370 Keith Coast was *Kids true forCamp me. Although I have been in May the Christian setting the maof the toughest and spiritually, I experienced all sumst (mini 3-night 4-7 (Mon-Thu) 7-12of (1 thruwere 6th) in my cabin, $335 Keith Coast jority*Kids of my Camp life, the C reason I was#1)feelingJune so superficial was because mer. None them but every single day, they would Camp 1 it was in reference Juneto9-14 (Sat-Thu) (5th thru 12thfinding ) Steve any Student time I spoke to God, sin. And very clearly be very11-18 intentional about me,$370 loving me, andMiller encouraging me. th th Student 2(mini 4-night) June 15-19 (Fri-Tue) 11-18 thru 12sweet ) in Hebrews 9, itCamp says, “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of Whether it was(5through notes,$330 hugs, orGary evenPermenter just a smile, these th Kids Camp (preteen) June 21-25a(Thu-Mon) 9-12sure (3rd that thru I6was ) okay. And$370 Winger grateful for many. To those whoDeagerly wait for Him He will appear second time, girls made I am so Steve unbelievably th Camp 3 (miniThe 4-night) (Thu-Mon) $330 Jason Curry apartStudent from sin, for salvation.” key part June of that 28-July is where it2says “apart them. 11-18 (5 thru 12th) th th July 3-8 (Tue-Sun) 9-12 (5Student thru 12Camp ) Jason Curry fromStudent sin”; otherCamp versions4have “without reference to sin.” In other words, Through 3 and $370 Camp Macon, God’s faithfulness th July $330needed Reif/Humston QUIT^Mission BRINGINGCamp IT UP! Macon Jesus dealt with the sin8-15 issue(Sun-Sun) completely, and was so14-21 visible. (8 He thru knewcollege) that those girls me, but even more so, *Kids inCamp E I also need to understand July 17-21 7-12 (1st thru 6th) The 2nd half$370 Scott Humston of the summer, I got to experience if I believe Him fully, that I(Tue-Sat) am no longer He knew I needed them. not only7-12 how beautiful speaks through different bound by my sin. Instead of living “I’m not(Sun-Wed) really a good *Kids Camp F(mini 3-night #2)in a state Julyof22-25 (1st thru 6itth)is when the Holy $335SpiritJesse Joyner st th members of the body6 of) Christ, but $370 also howDennis necessary Christian because the state of pure grace- “The *Kids CampI still G mess up,” living in July 27-31 (Fri-Tue) 7-12 (1 thru Lee it is. With all one reminder beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.” LDW Family Escape Aug. 31- Sept. 3 (Fri-Mon) that being Thesaid, Whole Family that God TBDhas consistently Dan Haydengiven me this summer is that there is always more; more to Jesus, more to life, more n n n n Note: Student Camp 2 & 3 (mini 4-night) will be one night shorter than Student Camps 1 & 4; those camps will end after lunch on the last day. to people. I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned during this time and in I honestly cannot believe that at this very moment, I am reflecting ^ MCM student missionaries arrive on Sunday night with registration at 7:30 pm this community and apply it to my life in the “real world”. There is more. back*on the second half of the summer, meaning that my time here as Special program track for ages 7 & 8 included for these camps with extra staff members on hand a counselor is coming to an end.

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LIZZY TAYLOR MILLIGAN ABBYBAILEY THOMPSON - COUNSELOR CABIN 1 ASSISTANT WORKSTAFF SECOND HALF WORKSTAFF Being a counselor has been such a journey for me. I was boat for our one-on-one time, I picked a rose and gave it to her. MANAGER on support staff for two summers, and I always thought and told We talked about her life, family, things doing, and Beforeshe thisenjoyed summer, I hadn’t people that I could never be a counselor. I thought I wasn’t I’ve been at LFR a longgood time. enough… I wouldn’t be able to do it… it would be too At I was a camper for eighthard. summers the end of summer 2016, God put it on my heart to be a counand I have just completed my fifth selor. He opened my eyes and on staff. Looking back, it continues helped me see that all He wanted to amaze me how the Father has me to do was be willing to love used this place and its people to and listen to girls who need to be fashion the course of my life. Like loved and listened to. It has been summers before, this was a seahard times, growth. but SO rewarding! son ofatintense The Father loved, asking heard,that the Father show me what it is I entered this summer and cared for so many girls my to know what that meant as a to walk with Him in the spirit. Iinwanted cabin this It has He been moment by summer. moment process. has answered that prayer in all the SO amazing! He has moved little things. I saw it answered dayinby day in the community here, in mighty ways! I tell them they staff loving on campers andhow each other, in all the instances I watched have a loving, kind, good Father people sacrifice time and energy to serve, in hard conversations with who willI never themthrough or for- exhaustion, and frustrations and friends. saw it leave answered sake them. He is gently continufailures and through the grace that always followed, in being called ing me how is IN me out, toin show the teaching weHe received as staff, and always in the everyday giving mesetthe example bystrength my fellowand stafffilling members. I saw Jesus through them me loveinnumerable to be able things to care and with I learned from that. for the precious girls who come I can’t wrap this summer up in a pretty paragraph and put a bow to cabin. it There girl and messy. Everything I learned on my it because was bigwas and one beautiful this summer that I had to lovingly is connected to the much larger and ongoing narrative of my life. But correct on a certain issue, and I easy to leave, but all that hapthat’s important to remember. It is not was she would resentsummer that before it is not ending with this penedafraid this summer and every and not want to talk to me. I season at LFR. prayed for her and asked others C. S. Lewis makes a point about events and remembering, exto pray while alsoexperience fighting against plaining that any is not summed up or completed in the the doubts of feeling moment of time within inadequate. which it occurred. That is only the half of the In one-on-one opened realour thing. Rather, the she memory of that event and what it makes of us up and shared about her all our lives, what it will be in family, us months or years from now, even until past struggles, the day we die, and that relationships. is the true experience. All that I learned here, The Holy Spirit gave to the relationships that I me built,words the memories that I leave with, both the share with her and it was incredbeautiful and the hard, these are all things that the Father will continue ible! about being a counselor one to useShe in myalso life.expressed And for that,interest I am hopeful. day, but that she did not think she could. I smiled and looked at her and shared my story. She looked at me in disbelief and asked, “Why would you think that?” She then said, “You are an amazing counselor; my favorite in the 4 summers I have been here.” It brought tears to my eyes as I realized how faithful the Father is. He is doing amazing things, and I am learning how to be a messenger of hope. n n n n Journal entry from 7/21/17: “Help me have courage. Help me have great faith. Help me believe without doubting. Help me to do the impossible so that people can know it was You.” The very next camp, after I wrote that prayer in my journal, the Father sent me a girl to see how much I meant those words. As soon as she walked into my cabin, I knew she was going to be a challenge. I knew I would have to choose to love her because she was not going to make it easy. As the camp went on, the Spirit kept guiding me in how to treat her kindly and show her love. When we were heading to the lake to paddle

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her relationship with God. She said she had gone to another been to Lake Forest Ranch since I camp before coming to Lake Forest Ranch. did so notI didn’t like it was in the fourthShe grade, because the people there wereknow not nice. then started what We to expect. In my talking head, about on what we do here being workstaff, I wason justearth goingis important, and that we will what have to serve campers and observe rewards heaven. at God wasindoing fromShe a looked distance. me and “Youofare to be While thesaid, majority my going job is servrewarded.” stopped ing, I did notI see God pedaling. from a dis-I at her andmany asked her tance at all. The Father moved inlooked me andback taught me so things why she said that. She immedithis summer. ately responded, “Because you One of the major things God taught me was what grace really areheard nice.”it aI thousand sat in amazement means. Growing up in church, I’ve times saidand as at the of the Father. “grace is not getting what you dowonder deserve.” Thatlove phrase didn’t really my flesh, I had thought of click until I missed one of my jobs onInworkstaff. child assodisrespectful, hard to It was my first camp of thethis summer, I was really worried handle, even a little annoyabout doing my job perfectly. I didn’t wantand to do anything wrong, so Because the Spirit of supGod when I messed up, I was super ing. upset and embarrassed. I was dwells ininside me,but I was to posed to be working one of the breaks the recofhall, I gotable really love her of just howforgot she caught up in something I was already doingregardless that I flat out behaved. be to go. I was so mad at myself but, since the She breakwas I hadchosen missedtowas lovedthe notrest for of what did but for over, I decided to go back to where the she workstaff was. she is. I could havethe so break easily When I got back and reluctantly who told them I forgot to work frustrated bymanager, her, but by the I was taken aback by what our been workstaff assistant Lizzy, of the Father I was able to said. She reassured me and toldgrace me it was okay and that there was reach outsame and time loveit His daughter. grace for me. It was so simple, but at the wasn’t simple Sometimes who up at all. I had never fully understood what grace the wasones up until thatact point. difficult the some ones kind who I finally grasped that it was whenand we are should haveare gotten the most love. Right After that of punishment for something weneed did wrong, but didn’t. then it left, theusSpirit hit me that the amount of grace camper the Father gives by hisreminded sacrifice me of what I had written to the on the cross is INSANE. Father a few days before. “Help me to do the impossible so that people can know it was You.” I did not love that girl of my own will. Her Papa did. Christ in me loved her, and He loved her well. This summer has been a summer of growth and learning about the faithfulness of my heavenly Father. He has revealed Himself to me and to so many of my girls this summer. I am so excited to go home and share what God has done in and through the people at LFR in 2017! I want to CELEBRATE who He is and the purpose He gives to each of our lives! We have a good Father. In my soul His Spirit has made me [Settled]. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love Your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:43-48

Testimonies -BREVARD Kids Camps and Student Camps Leaders WARD - COUNSELOR CABINAdult 6 KIDS CAMPS Aimee Bradley LFR is a special place and a unique camp experience! The personal and individual attention that both campers and adult leaders receive makes LFR stand tall above all other camps that we have attended. The location and setting help create an environment that allows kids to be kids while they learn more about God’s love for them. The adult leaders are challenged, encouraged and allowed time to just simply love the kids that are in their care. Thank you LFR staff for being the highlight of the summer! Halah Cox One blessing was that our kids felt comfortable enough to share with your counselors. They felt like this was a safe place to be open and share with others. Ashli Bixer The Lord really spoke to me about some things that I’d been struggling with through Rich’s Bible study. It’s also a lot harder to ignore the Lord here so He honestly convicted me about a lot of things this week. Nathan Sims This week I was able pray for a girl in one of my friends’ cabins who had struggles with her identity. I was able to see God work in her and transform her heart this week. She is going home with a better view on who she is in Christ. Erin Ledbetter I love how well everyone is cared for at LFR. As an adult leader, I always leave having been able to rest and am near to the Lord. You can tell that the staff are being discipled and are growing in faith together. I have never seen anything C, I had Sunshine Club (7 and year olds). quite For like it.Kids Our Camp kids experienced so much love! I have seen8 some girls onThe this first night, one of my little campers was dying to have a one-on-one, trip totally change their disposition, because they were being so well cared for. so after the rest of the girls were in bed, we went out to the porch Thank you!!!

and sat on the swing. She told me about her family, school, and

Felicia Walker what life is like for her. On the other side of the porch, EmJack, the Icounselor enjoyed watching the kids make lastingafriendships with other from different next door, was having one-on-one with kids a camper from churches. The counselors andheard encouraging to the kids.As she was a children’s home thatwere hadgreat never the Gospel.

explaining it, another camper from her cabin came outside, who Eric Mackey had also never heard the Gospel. As Emjack was sharing this with I have twin sons Blaze and Stone, they love LFR and talk about it all year long. them,leave my here camper began notice. She turned to doing me, in and asked They refreshed andtoexcited about what they are Christ and what Emjack was doing. I told her that she was telling them about what Christ is doing in them. Thank you!!!! Jesus, and then she looked at me and said, “Am I going to get new sisters tonight?” Ellie Lynch I lovedShe how showed the staffersme spent onethe on one time with my kids followed upThis with that Gospel is truly forandeveryone. me at the endold of girl, the week! confirmed some I had been in my eight year who This definitely acted likethings an eight year seeing old, would kids opened my eyes to therevealed things I may notdepth have noticed. loved seeing the haveand these moments that the of her Iunderstanding staff engaged during every aspect of camp, even after a long day. Theirofenergy the Gospel and what it means to be a part of the Kingdom God. never seemed to dwindle. No matter age or the background we come from, the Spirit allows us to understand the Gospel and go deeper into our relationship Emily Walker with Christ. What meant a lot to me was the definite acceptance of Christ and many seeds n nin the n days n to come due to the one to one that were sown to be explored further There was a lot of excitement for camp 3.already With Jason and small group settings. Also, I loved seeing student children who were saved Curry as the speaker, there’s an thatthe theLord. truthI saw he shares verbally acknowledge a deepening faithexpectation experience with children ministering to one through and will be used by another the Father to prayer, impactcompanionship, the campers.encouragement I was so ready genuine lovecabin of theand Lord.connect with my girls. However, when they got to get my there, that is not how I felt. The first twenty four hours, the enemy Dawn Hovas me lies that I wasn’t connecting with the campers, and kept telling The reminder that we are saints… it’s hard to grasp that when the Devil beats they weren’t connecting with one another. My spirit was so uneasy us down. Thanks for giving us a much needed break so we can be fed spiritually about the what cabin community during adultthe leader upper room time.was going to look like throughout the week. The Father, being the faithful Father that He is, completely wrecked my unsure thoughts and built a family in Cabin 6. The

Kelsey Huggins One of our girls had been struggling with understanding the gospel, but while at the campfire time she shared with everyone that Jesus saved her. It has been fun watching her grow in confidence. STUDENT CAMPS Melissa Owens A spiritual blessing this week was that a camper in our group opened up to forgiveness, as well as another receiving salvation. We also had another camper find his identity in Christ! God opened my mind and heart to the teachings of Jesus through the Pow Wow speaker Steve and the Asst. Director Nick. There was also reassurance given that God is working in the lives of our students even when we don’t see it. Cindy Holbrook God has made Himself known is a saving way through Jesus to two of our campers this week. Both were able to listen to God and respond because of the time that the counselors took with them individually to listen and prayerfully ask questions and encourage them with the truths of the gospel. I appreciate that there was no pressure or manipulation, but simply the faithfulness as instruments to be used by God in His work and the faith to wait, pray and then rejoice with us as He alone changes lives. They were well prepared and looking with spiritual eyes at the lives of each camper. Each student who was already in Christ was strengthened and challenged to grow, walk, and live in Him. The impact of the young people who love Jesus so much is immeasurable and inspiring. One girl said, “I’ve never known someone so young who loves Jesus so much. I want to be just like her when I am 20; how can I do that?” Another camper said, “My counselor was awesome. He really liked us and spent a lot of time hanging out with us and second of camp, stayed up until sharing spent all ofnight his time with us. we In my one-on-one timeone he listened andfunny helpedstories me so and laughing until our tummies hurt. The next night, we hadhold a girl’s much. He encouraged me to give all of me, everything to Jesus and not back nightthatwith all the girls at God camp. There a panel of girl staff and is what I have done. knew exactlywas the counselor thatfour I needed.” On and on the same story, faithful vessels,about well equipped and walking with God. and God members to answer questions relationships, self-worth, does workatogodly His glory. guys, who you what it all whathis being girl Love looksyoulike. When we are gotand back to you the do, cabin, matters and it is all worth it. all the girls moved their beds on the floor. They started asking more

questions that pertained to everything from specific scenarios go-

Jack Holbrook ing on in their lives to asking for clarification on what was said at The Lord was gracious and two of our campers got saved. Also the love and girl’s night. In that moment, I knew that the Father had created a admiration that the staff showed for all of us was amazing. Thank you! We will secure to environment continue pray for you! within the cabin that allowed the girls to feel

safe enough to ask questions and seek wisdom in front of everyone

withoutCarney fear of judgment or being made fun of. Brandy The lastreceived night aofsense camp, a few ofand thepeace girls from asked share The campers of calmness our to busy lives. their They seem to enjoy and the activities so much and other.I As a leader are always testimonies their struggles. Ofeach course said yes! we There were trying comewho together as one and mattresses work togetheron andthe thisfloor weekand whilethe at camp threetogirls still had their rest we were able to experience working together. were still in their beds. Two girls shared their stories and the girls were super attentive. Then one of the girls on the floor began to

Nathan Sims share hers, she opened up about feeling shamed and problems at I was able to watch the staff pour out love to my students and see my students home. She began totosob. moment, all the girls gotpraying out offor their respond with the desire loveAt in that submission to God. I have been my beds and RAN to her. They sat down on the floor and held her as students and it was a huge answer to prayer.

she cried. They each began to open up about their stories and their heartaches. They stayed in that circle hugging each other, crying Amber Stricklin This week at camp has been life changing for my kids as well camp together, and encouraging one another. There wasasamyself. lot ofThis brokenis so different from any other camp that I have ever been to. It is small and personal. ness and hurt in the lives of those fourteen year old girls, but I saw Iwhat have hope knowntruly all tenlooks of my youth that I brought for several and Iheart. have learned like when you have Jesusyears in your I saw so much about them in the past few days. There is so much going on a few of what it looks like to be the church: to cry together, laughwith together, them, I had no idea how to feel. It has been such a blessing. I thought we had come encourage and speak truth into one another, and walk through hard to this camp by default, because we were not able to attend another camp we had things with a community that loves you. It was so beautiful because planned to. I now see it as all a part of God’s plan for us. We needed to be here and I had absolutely to do with these moments. Holywith Spirit experience this placenothing and the coming together of our group. We The will leave two had sisters knit the heartsand ofwe these girls together and was revealing new in Christ are already looking forward to next summer!Himself We feel to each of them each other.summer home. that we have found athrough loving and supportive

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CLAIRE DAN BAILEY CHRIS SUBAT GUILLOTTE - COUNSELOR CABIN 20 FULL SUMMER WORKSTAFF negative mood I was in, but all thingsFULL SUMMER WORKSTAFF Going into this summer, I had never worked at a camp or organization are possible with God!

anything like LFR. When Papa Rich called and told methe I was hired as a Coming into summer I recounselor, I was ecstatic. However, ally nerves and fear began to mess with wanted to get baptized at Lake my mind and I spent much of the beginning the summer my Forestofbecause thisquestioning was the place ability to be a counselor. I was racked with insecurities first couple I drew near to thetheFather back ofin weeks, but I knew God placed me at2014. Lake Forest for a reason, soon No more than a and week afJesus began to teach me about truly abiding in Him. John 15:4 says, ter coming, I had doubts and boy, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch bearones. fruit by itself, unless werecannot they big I doubted that it abides in the vine, neither can you, being unless baptized you abide in me.”something God reallyI was began to hammer into me that I wouldn’t be wanted able to acreally to do; I doubted that complish anything without Him, and His but it’s what I bethis is something God wanted meI began to do. to It’ssee crazy, handiwork through me after. get baptized because I was dealing lieved. I believed thatsoon I couldn’t It was Kids Camp B, our camp of the summer, with all of this stuff from my2nd past; I believed that I needed to get my and I had been having a really hard week. My about camp- baptism. But, God life together before I even attempted to talk ers were 11-13 years old.heart Mostwhile of them were always continued to pull at my mending it at the same time, and hyper and someI had hard time listening to directions. I still believed wasanot worthy of touching that water. About half way On top ofthe all that, it hadI been raining and I felt horrible. through summer completely forgot about being baptized. I had Ipushed was exhausted thesowhole week main goal that desire far out my and mindmy because I did not believe that I for it was tofor justit;get throughthat the camp in one wasmost goodofenough I believed I wasn’t good enough for God. piece.Throughout As I had one-on-ones withthe my Lord campers, manythis summer would my time here, revealed of weren’t and pretty straightforward. bethem the start of avery longdeep healing process. During this process, He took On second day,ofI had one-on-one with things one were I believed me the down to thefullcore whata all the incorrect of my campers. This camper in my withme because I don’t about myself. I realized I didn’twas want Godcabin to love his uncle,it who alsoway, happened to be agrace). year younger deserve (by the that’s called I also didn’t want to walk than him. They were itbest and much of understand why in freedom because wasfriends foreign to spent me and I didn’t their together week, so didn’t I didn’twant havetomuch I wastime allowed to bethat free. I really embrace anything God opportunity for an actual conversation before we (If didyou ever think that has called me to believe about him or myself. our youone-on-one. are not supposed to walk in freedom and love fearlessly, that is started to this camper aboutyou himself fleshI and nottalking what the Lord has called to). and his home, what he liked Back to do,towhat his church like,ofetc. asked him, baptism, in thewas midst all Then theseIdoubts and “Have wrongyou beever any ofspoke the stuff talked aboutsome at camp, the Gospel?” liefs,heard the Father sowe’ve sweetly through wiselikefriends here at He replied, I wasthat floored heard whatalready Jesus camp. He “No.” revealed I amthat to this walkkidinhad thebarely freedom Heofhas did for him, and I really didn’t know where to take the conversation after paid the price for; He calls us to love without fear, and to walk humbly that. Then God took over. I started talking to him about Genesis and alongside Him. The Father created new beliefs in me the lasthow few Adam I explained what me sin was and how Him, God doesn’t want usand be weekssinned. of camp and allowed to embrace His freedom, condemned because of it, so Heofsent Jesus die in pulled our place. askedof His love. The last two weeks camp thetoFather that Iidea him whobaptized loved himback most,onand said his of mom andI getting theheoutskirts mydid. brainI picked and letupit asitrock there. said, “Thistold rockHim represents of love youryou mom hasme for to you.” basically that, “Ifevery this isbitsomething want do, Then even Ithough droppedI am the scared rock in aout giant about long, left over of puddle, my mind, you20 areyards going to have to from makeallit the rain. “This puddle, all this water, represents God’s love for you.” His happen.” Not surprisingly, He made it happen. jaw hitThe thesecond ground. toHelast hadday never loved him that much and he of heard camp God I was putting up dishes in the had never seenPapa an illustration like up thisbehind before.me While eyes lit upsome after kitchen when Rich walked andhis said, “I hear hearing howyou much God treasures him, I was myself, talk about wanting to get baptized.” Sothinking right offtothe bat I “This knewillusthat tration is insane! How the world with this?” this was God and notinPapa Rich,didsoI come I very up hesitantly saidThat’s yes. when I realized come at all.ofItcamp was all(the fromday theIHoly usingI FastI hadn’t forward to up thewith lastitday got Spirit, baptized), me my lowest, both of us at the same wasatsitting with aamazing good friend talking about howtime. I don’t feel adequate that illustration God and watchto doThose this. Iwords faced and to many lies withinwere the directly span offrom 5 minutes I had NO ing them wasout awesome! They obviously a mark so on Imy camp-to clueHim if I use would back or do it for all the wrongleft reasons, began er, because theGod nexttonight he decided to follow Jesus! uncle followed pray. I asked remove all distractions in this His precious moment him to invitation wasthe crying afterdoing. his nephew accepted of me declaringand what He with has joy been Instantly I was Christ. in this We hadstate our testimony andwere the camper’s shared all weird of knowingbonfire aboutthat 80 night people watchinguncle me, but feeling that God was doing in his endingI walked with “God saved so much peace from thelife, Father. down tomy thenephew water intonight tears and I got to be there when I’lllong neverand forget the joy on both of theirto because I had wanted do He thisdid.” for so I finally allowed myself faces, nor will I forget that it was all done by Christ and not by my own follow his guide. Through this experience I learned to trust the father power. I could never off anything especially in the wholly and walkhave in his lovepulled and freedom. He like is sothis, faithful!

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n n n I nfirmly believe that God of the summer, hadLFR a camper who During the 2 student camp brings people I to for two came from a very rough background. He wasThe from afirst shelter home and I reasons. is obviously could tell he was carrying a lot of baggage to LFR. I was helpso thatcoming they can pour As into others; ing him bring his luggage into the cabin, I asked him if he was excited for but the second is so that He can camp. He said he didn’t want to bepour hereinto because it was a church camp them. To some degree, and he hated church. I asked him why he hated church, and hismember response each applies to every was, “Because I hate God and I know hates on God staff, butme.” each is also more He began to tell metohow he thought just applicable some in oneGod case sat on a cloud watched suffer enandand others in people another. Andfor for tertainment me and Ipersonally, knew that all he had heard about I most certainly God had come in the of lies from the enemy. fit into theform latter. At the cabin, he constantly askedmany questions like God shows Himself in a plethora of ways, absurd “Why A does Godexample let peoplewould suffer?beWhy did God and entirely unexpected. prime a dream I murder son? Why do perhaps? I have to be had, though dream ismake not people quite the righthisword. Vision washed in thesimilar blood oftoChrist? They Regardless, it was something both. That’s One gross!” night after questions student his age, but deep clean, as I lay inwere bed,allI deep entered a sortfor of apre-somnia limbo, I couldIntellthis he time, was asking confrontationally, neither awake nor asleep. I stoodthem in the lines where trying toI challenge what about who God is. we serve food to campers. had before meI know a container partially I had my one-on-one him the day, filled with old, dry, crusty, grated cheese. Itwith coated thenext edges and he toldthe metop, howleaving he had moved from hollow. home to and formed a thin film across the inside homebeginning and seen many things youngI needed man his age However, campers were to line up,a and to should never to see. Hedairy told me that he’d serve them. So, armed with the have world’s worst product, I betrayed and“Ihurt by others, howthem. he feltLet like tried to enter servingbeen lines, saying, need to serve and soBut much more. This camper me serve them. Thisheiswasn’t goodloved, enough.” someone held me was carrying so much baggage that came from back. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and a voice told me, “Wait, the things thatBut had happened to him. “I need to serve them. This is wait, wait.” still I insisted. to Papa for are advice and heAnd stressed to me that“Wait, all this goodI went enough. The Rich people hungry.” still the voice, camper had ever heard was a reply, bunch the of lies. The behind enemy was wait, wait.” Before I could person me trying tippedto keep wrapped tight around him byqueso feedingover him lies God a vathisofhands hot, fresh, steaming, perfect my about cheese. and his love. He had never truly heard of Jesus’ love and theand Gospel, so It filled the container perfectly, completely covering filling Papa Rich just told me to let God work. We talked about how Christ has what was in there. And I awoke. already through his death resurrection, already have vicMywon initial thought was, and “That was weird,soitwe probably doesn’t tory in Jesus. All theThen devil God can do is lie down and make think“Bro, we don’t, mean anything.” came andus said, howwhich can isyou exactly doingAnd to my camper. As I left the itoffice and went denywhat me he likewas that?” I knew. I knew what meant, this throughout my day, God kept reminding He had already won and gift. I wanted to pour myself out atme thethatstart of this summer. I all the power of sinright and in, death nailedittoclear the cross, rendering wanted to jump butwas Godleftmade I wasn’t ready.it absolutely It wasn’t powerless. that I had nothing, only that what I had was broken That night our camp to followdoJesus. and not from the Spirit.speaker That’s offered not to an sayinvitation God couldn’t good I wasn’t my imagine cabin to respond since it was onlygreatthe 2nd thingsexpecting with whatanyone I had.inBut the magnitude of His night camp,manifest but that camper I was of so pouring worried about came walking up nessofmade if instead out what I fill myto mewith, after the He saidofhewhat felt like needed to talk self I fillinvitation others was withmade. the beauty Hehefills me with. to me,great so we issatour down, went through the demonstrate Gospel, and heHis accepted How God, that he can will forChrist us that night!serving I was expecting Godqueso. to do something big, but I was so shocked through lines and He did it so soon; it didn’t fully register to me that the camper was saved until the next morning. Throughout the rest of camp, his demeanor totally changed. He was engaged in activities, he began to ask genuine questions in an effort to learn, and he even asked “How do I pray?” when he volunteered to open the Bible study for us. If that’s not enough, two more of my campers got saved that week! I thought they were already saved, but it turned out that they had never actually responded to the Jesus’ offer of salvation. What I thought would be one of my most stressful weeks ended up being my most fruitful. All thanks and all glory to God! nd

DAVID KJELLIN - COUNSELOR CABIN 22 EMILY RAYBURN GABBI ADAMS HALF WORKSTAFF SECOND HALF WORKSTAFF good and loving Father. The main theme that has been FIRST underlining

n n into n nthis summer, I my entire experience at Lake Forest Ranch thethis has been a sumFor isme, Coming During the week Mission Maperson and position of the Father. An unexpected mer of not just knowing truth, but wasn’t entirelyof sure whatCamp my purcon, I was stationed a Kid’s Camp Direcevent caused me to return home right before a deep in my heart. believing truth pose would as look like here. Aside tor at St. from Marksthe Church of Holiness. This miswas camp, and when I arrived at my house, my own One night I laid on the dock lookobvious yet important my first Camp Macon and I did not know how father was waiting for me outside. ing It was little at at the stars, and a friend said, sion of loving campers and pointing anything them really to worked or Ihow flexible the time, but seeing little things that“Even he did ifforthe meclouds cover up the Christ, didn’t knowit was. why I was given a set of instructions and so showed me what God is like in our stars, own lives. the stars are still there. The the Father had placed me rules, at LFR. I followed them as best as I could, clinging to The next camp, one of my campers was same is true of truth. Truth is truth Within my first couple of weeks of the familiarity they weekand it seemed having an identity crisis about God.independent He had toldof whether we believe camp, a offered. spirit of All doubt bitterthat one adult leader and I butted heads conme about he has never knownbelieving his fa- this summer is that it orbefore not.” One of how the major truths I began ness began to overwhelm me—doubt that I wasn’t actually meant stantly. I was rigid, wanting to know where ther, and has had a rough family life. While I was I am a daughter. I have known for a while now that I am a daughter to be on staff this summer, and bitterness because I felt like I wasn’t everything wasasand skeptical of doing things encouraging himI did understand of God, but, him untiland thishelping summer, not beginthe believing it to be apart as submerged in the LFR community I wanted to be. I didn’t feel outside of the norm, and the adult leader Father, he told that he saw me as a father. I unof my identity. accepted. I didn’t feel wanted. I just felt… there. So I began towas do just ministering the kids. one that pointwere the derstood then that our Father onedoc, whoI found a note in my A few weeks afterperfect that night onisthe what I do best—build walls. I built wallstoaround theAtwalls relationship strained it was not only provides, he to comforts andbycares for on it, and at the botmailbox with songbut lyrics “Starlight” Bethel already a fortress around my heart,seemed and for so some time, that I didn’t let almost hindering the unity of the group and us in of ways do not“Ifully real- and felt like I had tom thethat notewe it said, wasunderstand listening toor ‘Starlight’ anyone or anything shake them. ourI felt sanity. Sohow Papa to me me ize until wesomething, see it missing. to create so I made this… and then God told me to give I knew that the way wasn’t theRich Holy suggested Spirit wanted that I humble myself and (even though I may The next kid’s camp, I got the opportunity to it to you, a daughter of the Star Breather.” Wow! The Father used a to feel. I knew that my experience at LFR was meant to be more have understood all or agreed withletallme of talk withphrase, a camper about seeing real father forto transform my heart simple daughter of the his Star Breather, than this. So I prayed. not I prayed that the Holyit Spirit would not the things that went on) suggest a break and the first time this summer. I was able to comfort to believe truth. dwell on these emotions, but instead focus on the mission at hand. for unity kid in a and encourage through God had shown Each camphim after that, what the counselor and I would take every opI prayed that He would celebration soften my heart, andand thatministry each offor myainteracsituation.would In thebeend it fully healed my relationship with the me about tohistake being perfect outside, Father for others for and myself. God portunity theacampers look at theand stars, share the very tionsrough this summer divine. and on, left He the continued week feeling like a huge work of Godmy thatpurwe had the right in the right order of what was teachtruthplaced with them that campers they too are beloved daughters of he God. It was my adult leader From then speaking to me, revealing all got the chance to love on kids and each other. ing me this summer about His comfort and provision. God is truly a favorite thing to see their faces light up whenever they truly believed pose, healing. He allowed me to open up and practice vulnerability, they were daughters and that if they were daughters then they were even when my flesh wanted to believe that those around me didn’t loved, treasured, brave, redeemed, free, heard, beautiful, and on and desire it. In Him I connected with some amazing, planet shaking on. people whose very existence boasts of God’s glory. Day after day One of my favorite moments of this entire summer was at a bonHe healed parts of my heart and soul that I never even realized were fire testimony night, I was sitting by the counselor in my cabin, listenbroken. Isn’t CABIN it amazing MATT COLEMAN - COUNSELOR 16that He can do that for us? That He can be ing to the children share their stories of what they learned from the that for us—a healer? Father heard the voice of one of our campers, and she said, One night towards the end of camp, all of the workstaffers and That camp Myat camp. first Icamp “Thistheweek at Lake some support staff gathered at the Malone’s house ourof, lastif teswasforone not, was hardest campForest Ranch I learned that I am God’s chosen I am a daughter of the Star Breather!” timony time together. After the last testimony wasthe shared, spent mostwe fruitful Idaughter. had all summer. At I amofsure of this:Itruth is meant to be shared. This summer a lot of some time in worship together. It was so free andcamp so spontaneous, I have ever the end training truth was shared with me and I am so thankful that the Father allowed and so powerful. You could, almost tangibly, just feel the power of counseled. Sevhad the symptoms me to be apart of sharing it further than what I will ever know. His presence. And just like that, every truth the Father had whiseral kids accepted of a sinus infection. pered to me through the healing all pieced together whenand HeIspoke Christ could When campers came these few words into my spirit: “I am tearing downtell the walls the around others to camp the first day, it your heart, and growing up a garden.” was getting worse. By were very encourOur Father, the one who created time andaged space, caresfaith. so in their the middle of the camp deeply for us. There are no words that could even attempt to acAnd I can honmy nose and sinuses curately sum it up. He is our healer. He is ourestly shepherd. He is were in agony, and the say it wasn’t our comforter. He is our savior. He is life. You’d be amazed at me. I wasn’tthea infection spread to my wonderful, beautiful, work He can do on your heart, if you’d only let “better” counselor eye, causing extreme Him in. or more spiritual. discomfort. I knew that What I can say is at any moment I could tell the director and that Christ worked through me. He get someone to take sustained me my place. But I heard the call from God to that week, spoke through me and loved through me. Even when my body was weak, stay. To leave would mean to abandon the amazing relationship I had the Holy Spirit was strong. It was humbling to see God work in my built with my cabin, and someone else coming in would struggle to physical brokenness and to bring glory to himself even in my weakrelate to them. I knew this would be costly, but that God would sustain ness. me.

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LUCAS STOCKS EMILY JACKLIN - COUNSELOR CABIN 5 After the first camp of the summer, I wasSECOND exhaustedHALF in every way. selves best friends, but left as sisters. In the same day I had my I did not know how I was going to do this again with campers the very one-on-one with each of these girls. They were all upcoming freshWORKSTAFF COUNSELOR next day —much less do this for the entire summer. I realized early in as a the Workstaff/ on I could NOT do anything on my own.Jumping I knew I NEEDED Lord’s Counselor second all halfof was strength to get through the summer, and morefor importantly, life. hard for a couple of reasons, but I prayed and cried out to the Lord to give me His strength and for the at the same time I got to experiSpirit to lead in every situation. I talked with Mama Sandy the morning ence so much more thantoldmost. of the second camp when I was feeling exhausted and she me I was to love that the Spirit doesn’t always provide us able with what we and needinvest before-in many amazing campers, and to hand—but He will experience community and fun of being on workstaff. There give it as wethe need were it. Fordays Campthat B were He harder for sure, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. did exactly that. As a counselor, My campers the Father completely rocked my world. I got the opportunity to show campers the Father’s love. I was always brought so much amazed my one-on-one time with the campers by how much pain andduring baggage the words from their I spoke pasts. were never my own. I remember almost everything that campers told me, but most of the words that I said There wasthe a reocback aretheme a mystery. curring of Whenever a camper told me that something I said impacted them dad issues, physi- in any way, I always thought to myself, “That that’sabuse, Jesus notand me.” That’s all I really needed to know. cal Beingthoughts on workstaff was slightly harder for me. I loved the time negative thatnotI got to spend of being want- with my campers, so making the transition was difficult. to find ways to brighten the camper’s days ed, loved,I did or manage chowhile As being workstaff. I tried to make everything I did fun for mysen. a on whole, self camp and for thedark people I was serving. Taking time during my breaks this was to spend time with and heavy. At thesunshine club campers helped as well. This is not saying that of I enjoyed beginning that workstaff any less, but that my heart is leaned more toward camp, one ofpouring the into others. I did get to make amazing connections with other adult leaders told incredible people on workstaff, and I did have wonderful with campers during this time as well. me my experiences one-onOne of cooler stories of my summer was during the preteen one with a the certain camp 2nd half be when I was a counselor. People were always telling camper would me stories about the best one, so my campers, and how I needed to go talk to them this “Great, or that. They always seemed to be up to something. I Iabout was like, didn’t It kind of reminded me of myself when I was younger. I’ll domind. it tomorDuringForthat camp, timeevery seemed flow tovery because row!” some reason time to I went finddifferent her I never could,I somehow have multipleit to one-on-ones of and I knowhad nowthe thattime the to Lord intended be that way.with Shesome ended them, which awesome. I ofeven up having one-onup being my was last one-on-one the ended camp and it was three so refreshing onesawith oneweek. of my campers. after heavy He seemed to believe the gospel he old. had She was incredibly mature in her and faith knew as aneverything eleven year to. Little know he theI was one talking to surprise me theDuring most. We got todid digI deeper andwould it wasbelike to a friend. Duringafter theDark” invitation, I didn’t expect anyexperience), of my kids towe walk “LFR (our third night worship gottotoback, lead but hecamper did. Weupwalked a bit. methey that each to the outside cross toand praytalked with for them. At He thattold time, he didgiven believe gospel, but he realized they that he’s confessed were the the chance to write something werenever thankful for that that out asked to be in his So inheChrist. wanted to Christ hadloud doneorfor themJesus or a truth about whoheart. they are This know if he could do that. When we started going through that, he particular camper wrote “satisfied.” An eleven year old truly gets what said thatinhe didn’t he could. told him He thatisI ithesitated, means to he be satisfied Christ. Hethink is enough. He isI all I need. couldn’t force to, but he believed all theJesus thingsreminded he saidme he my strength. Hehim fills me and ifmakes me complete. didthat thatsweet theretruth is nothrough reason this to becamper. ashamed afraid to. He in waited of I amorfully satisfied Christa few throughout seconds and something thatallowed almostme brought me satisfied to tears, and thesaid summer Jesus has to remain “Jesus I wantyou, to ask you if you would accept me into your heart in Him. Thank Jesus. because I know now without n andoubt n that n you are in mine.” It went so well with our theme this year of Christ you in Christ, andofit the is a Student Camp 1 was one of the mostinmemorable weeks memory for thatme. willI be a very time.themsummer hadengraved three girlsininmy myheart cabinforthat camelong calling

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men in high school and they were craving Jesus and authentic community. After I met with each of them, the Holy Spirit put it on my heart to have a three-on-one with them to talk about friendship and how to love one another better as sisters. Late that night, we met on the porch for about two hours. It was the sweetest time of community. They spoke about how all they did was laugh and hangout, but never really talked about Jesus or the real things going on in each of their lives. They went around and said what they personally needed from each other as friends. They shared hurts, praises, and how they It is known that couldat camp, love TRIPP WARREN there’s an abundance of fun activieach other SECOND HALF ties for campers tobetter. participateWe in. With activities like tubing, horsetalked about WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR back riding, high and whatlowit ropes, looks and many other fun things, it is easy to see how much likefuntothat be chilthe dren and teenagers can have at LFR. What makes the recreational body of Christ activities at Lake Forest unique is the way that even simplest andthea sister in games and activities can point campers towards Christ. Christ. I loved One day while I was a counselor, I challenged one boys that of Ithedidn’t in my cabin to a round of disc-golf. While we were have havingtoa faciligreat time playing, I began to ask him about the Gospel. Throughout our tate the conconversation, I discovered that the young man was versation, knowledgeable beabout God, though he had not asked God to forgive cause him forthe hisHoly sins and toled have a personal relationship Him.party and acted goofy. Spirit it. We even randomly had with a dance our round of disc-golf, continued our conEveryAfter timewe wefinished acted silly, they brought the we conversation back to versation and the about young these boy got saved. was trulyback astonishing Christ. Everything sweet girlsIt pointed to Jesus.to see We the talked Lord use a game funcould and simple as disc-golf to lead about how as they start meeting at least oncea child towards Himself. This story shows an example of how the activia week to do a Bible study and take time to talk about their lives ties what at camp tools can be used by they God could to make an and the are Lordministry is doing. Wethat talked about how grow eternaltoimpact somebody’s closer Jesusontogether whilelife. holding each other accountable. I challenged them to meet at least 2-3 times before they came back for Camp Macon a month later and they said, “No, four times!” They were so excited about Jesus and community and that is what we were created for. About a month passes and all three girls are in my cabin again. The sweet bond we formed a month earlier had picked up right where it left off. It was a rewarding thing to see these girls grow deeper in their faith together and reminisce on the real community they shared with one another while they were away from LFR. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

ABBY JACKS EMMA CONNER - COUNSELOR CABIN 4 SECOND HALF Then, just as clear as it was before, he said, “Dear Emma, I took you away to show you that I WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR

“Five years,” He said. Five years? I knew not to question it. I heard Him clearer than I ever had before. He told me five “Eternity will not be long years and I was mad. enough to learn all He is, or to Lord, please? Lake Forest is my stability, praise Him for all He has done, my safe place, my sanctuary. Please don’t butask then, that matters not; for me to step away from this. we shall be always with Him, I didn’t want to leave Lake Forest for evenwe desire nothing more.” and a day, much less five years. I was happiest andTozer. -AW I felt safest while I was there. I had been there We know all too well that this past summer is impossible for for six summers in a row, as atry camper and and let the Spirit interwords to capture, but(four I will anyways two on staff) but before I was even to step cede for me with words too deep to foot utter. on theEvery. property,Single. Lake Forest Ranchwas was insomyfull of the Father’s Heart. Moment. blood. Mymy parents worked and metwas there,one andI wasn’t even looking for. One of favorite moments IRather, wanted to be at LFR it found me.and follow in their footsteps Imore than I wanted was walking oneto breathe. of my campers to the nurse one night. I During school small year, my whole and dreamed was trying the to make talk withbeing her, thought, but hertalked, love was far too about camp. If I had a bad day, I could talk to one of my camp friends about it fearless to settle for that. “What’s your testimony?” she asked later. If school was hard, I could daydream about the peace at camp. me. The cool thing is, a huge part of my testimony happenedCamp. earCamp. Camp. lier just that morning. I got to tell her what I was learning about And He to waitdoesn’t five years? No way. Noto how. possible.that Not healing, andasked howme Jesus bring things theNot surface going to happen. He doesn’t want to heal. That’s why He died in the first place: for Summer 2013healing. was in sight. I was stubborn, I didn’t listen, and I pretended redemption and like I didn’t hear Him. next possible chancesexually and applied to work She then toldI jumped me herat the testimony of being abused, at LFR the upcoming summer. I didn’t get the job. Ouch. and how she blamed God for what happened to her. She didn’t Jesus? AreShe you listening me? I NEED this place. Emmawere withunderstand. was sotoangry. Her words andI am hernoteyes out it. filled with hurt. By this time, we had found ourselves lying on The following summers I didn’t apply for up health reasons. the dock with thetworest of Cabin 1 looking at the stars, at Him. Summer wasHe in sight. I was wasI want good, and ready. “I want that 2016 healing wants tohealthy, give tolifeus. HimI was to make As soon as I submitted the application, I knew it wasn’t my time. I couldn’t me new. Can you show me how to give my life to God?” I saw explain it toinmy my family;with I justhope. knew Ithat not-so-great news the was the hurt herfriends eyesorreplaced cannot remember coming. I was right and it wasn’t pretty. The place that I loved more than life, and words that I said back to her which is simply proof that they the dream that I had had since birth was once again delayed from my sight. weren’t my words at all. He led me as I led her to eternal life. Summer 2017 was in sight. healthy, life was and I was terriI showed her scripture thatI was I didn’t even knowgood, I remembered. fied. I wasback in theand habitwatched of letting fear over me. be my last sumI stood therule Father pickThis herwould up and wash her mer in college and most likely the last summer I would be able to work there. and make her new, pure, holy, alive. IIncan’t it. I want tomy staymind homewent whereback it’s safe. I like mywhen job. I like being thatdomoment, to 2009, I stood close to family. I like the people around me. What if I mess up? What if I let on that very dock and heard Jesus call me name and take them me down? if I fail Jesus? can’t step do it. into eternal, abundant life. by theWhat hand as You, I took my Ifirst that not application wasstanding not an option. asked me AbbaI knew looked at submitting 8-year-oldtheAbbey Jacks onHe that dock to do my part and let Him do His. So, I did it, and even though I was terrified that night and knew she would one day be in the exact same beyond comprehension, in anand everlead so gentle way, Hetoscooped held me place eight years later someone Christme forup, the first close, and whispered, “My child. Remember? It’s been five years.” Papa Rich time. He orchestrates everything so beautifully and intricately called me a week later. and graciously and purposefully. He about me those five years exceptthemywhole name. Mychanged word foreverything the summer wasin“free.” I had spent But boy, did He take me on an incredible and unforgettable journey. My persummer learning just how free I was in the Spirit, but God used sonality changed. My demeanor changed. My heart changed. My passions that night to show me how free He is. I didn’t even have to ask changed. thoughts andwith opinions life walking changed. her Heck,toI even for that My conversation thatand girl.outlooks I wason just the changed schoolswhen three times. Thethink Emmatothat would served Him in that 2013 nurse. Even I didn’t ask, thehave Father placed ismoment not the same Emma served in 2017, and for thatHe I amdirects so thankful. at my feet who freely andHim without hesitation. our I remember driving down that dirt road on May 11, 2017. My brainHis was steps with such care, as a Father does when He is teaching pondering the unknown. child how to walk. He knows exactly what we need before we you take medelights away? Why was I goneHis for so long? This place was evenWhy saydid a word and in lavishing reckless love upon my home. This was my safe place. us. He is so kind.

am your safe place.” And suddenly, it all made sense. All the pain. All the tears. All the fears. All the hurt. All the uncertainty. I was putting so much emphasis on the place itself that I overlooked Who the place was really about. I was so busy making it about me, when in reality, it was never about me at all. n n n n She walked into my cabin on the first day, looked me in the eyes, and told me she did not want to be there. She was already ready to go home. Her face was hard and I could tell that her life was full of hurt. The way that she carried herself showed that she had seen more in her short 15 years of life than I could even fathom. I didn’t want her in my cabin. I didn’t want to be the one who had to love on her. I knew that the week was going toDuring be hardthe andsummer emotionally drainingI of 2015, BEN JENKINS already, and I thought that adding this lost soul into the mix was going to be too was a counselor in cabin 21 (a.k.a. much for me. I prayed for compassion. I prayed that He would show me how WORKSTAFF MANAGER Twenty-fun!). It was an incredible to love her like He does. I knew that only He could her heart and my summer, andchange I learned invaluable attitude,about and I prayed that both of us would see Him clearly. things community, building relationships, and of course, the SheDuring came out see meofduring invitationI had one night. We sat down, I Father. thetocourse that the summer, one camper—out asked her what was on her mind, and she lost it. She sobbed and sobbed and of roughly 120 that came through my cabin—begin his relationship sobbed some more. I just held her and asked Jesus to give me words say, with Jesus, and I was honored and humbled to be present for to such because I surely had none. a momentous event in a person’s life. Little did I know, though, that about than beingIborn into a Isn’t roughthat family, but then adopted Abba She wastold up me to more thought. always thewas case? into aFast goodforward family. She toldsummer. me about losing her adopted mom, the one who to this lovedIt’sherthe so next well, and hownight the pain was stilland so agonizing. didn’t to last of camp LFR AfterShe Dark hasthink justit was fair that she had to live here on earth without her. She told me about being ended. Campers who have to take nightly meds before bed are passed around place.toShe hurt so times by so straggling into from the place Diningto Hall findhad thebeen nurse, andmany in walks one many people, and all of the hurtful memories were all coming back up right of my campers from 2015! As he’s waiting, I pull him aside to catch then andhelp there.him pass the time. We had made passing remarks of up and I gotand to share Jesusupwith her. I gotalltothroughout tell her how people on thisbut earththis will “Hello!” “What’s dude?!” this camp, hurt the us and us, but Jesus never will. He sat will never us oraforsake us. I was firstfailmoment we had actually downleave to have real congot to tell her that no matter how hard and terrible and disastrous our circumversation. stances, God me: can use them for For word maybetothedescribe first time my in herstate life, she Believe “Struck” is good. not the of was getting truth poured into her, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world that disbelief as this camper recounted his last two years and all that GodSpirit wanted me done to be the do that. knew she needed but his she the had in one his tolife. ThisShe camper knew the Jesus, Father; was too overwhelmed to make that decision right then. vocabulary when it came to spiritual things and even the manner Shehe broke downofagain theSpirit last night during our campfire service. took in which spoke the on Holy were telling a person who Ihad her aside, heldwith her tight, andfor shared the while. GospelIwith told her how been walking Jesus a good hadher to again. know!I “When did easyyou it was ask Jesus into her life,thing and I asked her to(or sit quietly and justalong listen this andto Jesus relationship happen?” something to him.lines) The suddenly, stoodHeup,responded, looked me in the with a face full of joy those I askedshehim. “In eyes my one-on-one with and freedom, and said, “Let’s go get some watermelon!!” you!” He then recounted nearly every detail of our conversation: joy inwhat my heart! Her whole persona changed. I justboat staredweat whereOh wethewere, we spoke about, evenwas what color the her, in awe of the one who made her. were riding in was. I didn’t have the faintest idea in 2015! He didn’t “Did justupask Jesus into your heart?!”Jesus without so much as a tell me! Heyou just and decided to follow “I sure word of it todid!” his counselor. You never know what the Father is up to, Mytruth friendiswas I told her thatthe following and the thatfree. youFinally. may never see fruit ofJesus your doesn’t labor inmean the that bad things or hard things won’t happen to us. Following Jesus that Kingdom. Through a conversation with me, Abba brought means this dead we can call on Him when those hard times hit and we can know that He is with camper to resurrection life, and I didn’t find out until almost exactly us every of the way. two yearsstep later!

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HANNAH WILSON GAVIN GRANT - COUNSELOR CABIN 21 ELIZABETH MENDOZA I had a little dude come into my cabin during theFIRST very firstHALF camp of the sumwas a totally different feel than normal. Through all the fun and intentional times, I mer. This ten-year-old boy was talking myWORKSTAFF head off from theCOUNSELOR moment he came lost track of time and on the last day, I still had five one-on-ones to do. However, FIRST leftHALF into my cabin, going on and on about how many animals he’s killed and all kinds each one of these one-on-ones were some of the deepest times I had with campof other things. In our one-on-one, he told me that he wanted to get he ers I had all summer. WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR Student Camp 2 saved was but probwasn’t ready yet. He had a few questions, so I read some verses about the Gospel ably one of the heaviest and most to him and he seemed to be very intrigued. However, he still told me he wasn’t camps wasoura one-onpart of ready to receive Jesus, but I felt that he challenging was very close. Either Iway, first half. The first day you one lasted for about an hour to an hour and a half. I didn’t even realize how could much just feel weight of the campers’ time I was spending with him, but it meant a lot to the the little camper because after our one-on-one, he seemed to gravitate towards me more before. He group would lives. Many hadthan come from follow me,foster sit by homes, me, and talk me a just lot more he had previously. Heprejust homes, andtomany bad than households. I was not seemed more comfortable with me. pared for this camp in any way, shape, or form, but the cool thing with In staff meeting the next day, Papa Rich asked if he should do an invitation God that youservice don’t that havenight. to beI shot prepared because control andI at theiscampfire my hand up andHe’s said,in“Yes please! already has His divine plan laid out. I learned that week that when have a camper who wants to be saved but he said he isn’t ready yet.” During theI am leastkids prepared is when should allow Him(Iftoyou do don’t his thing, campfire, were passing theI microphone around know take what the the campfire service is, campers pass around a microphone backseat and watch Him work. and give of whatone God of hasmy done in their lives Onea testimony night of camp, campers and I had a one-on-one during camp). Drew received the microphone and said, and I could tell she had a lot on her heart to talk about, but I had no “This week, God made me a better person.” I immediately idea about theasking baggage I was to on behis hitheart with. She told me about began praying, the Holy Spiritabout to work her friends betraying her, her struggle with depression, the lack of and reveal to him the difference between being a better trustworthy people in her life, herhenightmare of a home life, and to top person and accepting Jesus. I knew hadn’t accepted Christ yet, she so I was begging Holy Spirit to revealfor a long time about it all off, did basically not know the Lord. We spoke Jesus to him. A few moments later, Papa Rich did in- going on in her life. her struggles, and her self-harm, and all shethehad vitation. I was sitting near Drew and saw his hand go up I’ve never felt so much pain and heartache come from another person about wanting to accept Jesus. Again, I began praying. before I met I asked herwewhy thispicway and why she felt Drew cameher. to the back and wentshe to a felt nearby the need to self-harm. All she could say back was, nic table where we sat across from each other. When we “No one listens to me,down, no one wants me, and no He one So why should I care?” sat I asked him what was up. toldloves me heme. wanted to getwords saved.broke I reminded him what it means to receive JeHer my heart. sus. I Ialso reminded him that told metoinher. our one-on-one then explained thehegospel We spoke about God’s goodthat he wasn’t ready to receive Jesus yet. Then I asked ness and grace, the way He loves each of us and has made us all for if he felt like this was the time; he began to cry. I moved a purpose, thatofHis is hurting forsitting her and much to the other side the heart table where he was and that beganHe to cares comfortsohim and for her.theShe honestly a word I said at thereceive time.Jesus All she explain Gospel to him didn’t again. believe Then I told him that he could in hadmoment knownifwas people andanout herAfter constant that he was ready coming and I gaveinhim ideaofof her whatlife, to pray. a few seconds went still in wanted tears, Drew pain, and notby,being or looked caredup for.at me and said, “I just did it.” He told me that told Goduphetalking loved Him that he1am wanted to come Weheended untiland around thatHim night. Let into me his tellheart. you, I said, “That’s it!” As I began to explain his identity in Christ now that he is a new God is so good. She accepted Christ that night. For the first time I creation, he said, “I’m so happy I got saved.” Later on, he told me, in a very proud saw the of before pure joy face and the first said to me tone, “I gotlook saved youon did.”her Then I remembered thatthing in ourshe one-on-one, he after being was, I feel(Idifferent! Butguyit’swas likebragging a goodabout difasked me howsaved old I was when“Wow I got saved was 12). This ferent.” That showsthan Gods and being saved younger me. grace I thought thatgoodness was pretty right funny.there. God works Through I learned moresweet of howgirl faithful Father to work miracles andthis Heexperience, is just so good. That whothe has beenis broken through me inisbringing new little and girls intoinHis family. all her life now whole withguys Christ Jesus her life. He doesn’t need me to do it. None of my words made Drew get saved. None of my time spent with him brought him to Christ. It was the Holy Spirit who was working faithfully in Drew’s heart to bring this little dude into the kingdom. That moment with Drew set the tone for my entire summer, as I realized and truly believed that I couldn’t do this job on my own. None of us can! Our strength and power is found in Jesus Christ. God is good.

nnnn

Student Camp 3 was fantastic! It was my first week with 16-18 year old campers. Coming in, I was intimidated because I was not that much older than them and so I was afraid that my guys would not respect me. Also, a lot of my guys came in with hard things. In that, I saw the activity of the Holy Spirit in each thing that happened during the week: cabin time, Bible study, an emotional LFR after Dark, and each of the one-on-ones. Heck, we even performed an original song that a guy in the cabin wrote during the week in LFR’s Got Talent (It was not a serious song, but a funny one). At the beginning of the week, I felt God wanted me to make it clear to my guys that I wasn’t better than any of them and that I just wanted to be a brother to them. Boy, did He use that. Each one-on-one was deep and open and I was able to watch the Father love each and every one my guys. In the cabin, it

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One of my guys was dealing with a home life in which both of his parents were alcoholics. I knew this going into our one-on-one. The adult leaders had My absolute favorite made me aware of it and earlier in the week he auditioned for LFR’s Got Talent by of was thisalready summer was singing a song about his dad, which left himmemory in tears. He a believer, and I knew that, but I also knew there was some deep hurt that heafter had and there the night of LFR dark of was a lot of truth he needed to hear. I found him the basketball andcamps asked KidsonCamp D, onecourt of the him if heI was wanted to hang out. After He said, I don’t really talk where a counselor. we“Well, got finished, wehave wentanything back toto our about.” I said, “Let’s just go talk.” cabinWe andsatmy ministry partner, Emily, walks in and made a comment down and started out with some surface level conversation. Eventuabout the stars. We questions both immediately at each otherhisand she ally, after asking some about home,looked he opened up about parents. ran to get a tarp. While she was doing that, I told our girls to put While he was talking I was just praying, “God, I have absolutely no idea whaton to say toshoes this guy. I don’t about walking this. Please speak to their and trustknow me.anything Naturally, little girls through are curious and so there he wasand donethe sharing, I opened my mouth and was a lot of chatter him.” and When questions atmosphere of the room the Father just began to speak truth to him through me. immediately went from being tired and “bedtime” to “adventure” and As I was talking, I looked up at him and saw tears in his there was so much eyes energy. When my ministry partner got back with and a smile on his face. Honestly, it startled me and the tarp, we turned off all the a train of Father holding hands I began to lights stutter and a littlemade bit. Even so, the continued to take them to the field next to our cabin where the tarp was laid out. to speak all of this truth that He knew His child needed to After we ended prayer, gave Eventually, we hear. got everyone on our theone-on-one tarp and with it was likehewhen me what a hug was and with tears eyes, so they finally understood going oninit his was likesaid, their“Thank breathyouwas much.” I was still startled at all the truth because each thing taken from them by the beauty of our Father. I began to tell them what the Father spoke through me was truth that I needed to the Father has beenhear teaching me through the stars this summer. I and believe myself. It was also crazy to me because told them that our Father in Heaven so anything much more captivated it went from, “I don’tishave to talksoabout,” before by us than we were the by one-on-one the stars. to He“Wow. lovesThank us more than we love the you so much,” afterwards. thathow day,inI Genesis, sat down with my stars. I began telling themLater about Godanother made one the of stars guys. We talked for a while. He had had a rough life, so and explained the difference of things being spoken into existence we talked through that and all the things he had been dealand things being created so thoroughly. I told them how the Father ing with. Towards the end of our one-on-one, he said he knit them together inwanted their mother’s womb and they aren’t a mistake. to share his testimony with the whole cabin that Everything about them is exactly how the Father wanted to be, night (the last night). He said, “I don’t care about skin color, thosethem guys are my even if they it about themselves. them how much he brothers, and don’t you’re like my big brother.” That really hitI told me because I remembered saying that I wanted to be proud their brother, the their FatherAbba used daddy. that. Emily then adores them and how He isand to be got towhat the cabin nightwas after teaching cleaning theher recand hall (we cabin cleanspokeWeabout the that Father shelost shared what up) and we all sat down and listened to him as he shared. When he finished, all it meant to be a daughter. She used the phrase that the girls were the guys encouraged him with truth and then began to share about their own lives. captivated by. She said, “I am a daughter of a Star-Breathing King.” It was crazy, because they were opening up about deep hurts that they had been Right after that, the coolest thing happened. dealing with. she That said isn’t normal for guys, especially at that age. I We knewwere Jesusstarwas ing at something the starsspecial and we sawcabin. an outline a the heart. The parents girls saw it first doing in the The guyof with alcoholic spoke up. He said over the yearit he hadwe been parents going to and thenthatEmily andpast I saw and justdealing lost it.with Thehisgirls wereandlaughing othersuch thingsalooking girls, partying, and pornography. with pure for joyfulfillment, and theythings werelikeholding our hands and it wasHea then said, with tears in his eyes again, “But now I know that none of those things contagious joy. can fill me up. Only Jesus can.” I was amazed. Jesus did that in him! He hadn’t When they finally settled back down, I told them to be still and suopened up about those things in our one-on-one or anything, and then I was told per quiet. It took a while but weanything. finally got that point and vulnerwhen that he’d never opened up about The them Fathertobrought so much we didand it was something thatduring they the will week. neverHe forget. were ability comfort to His child knew As thatthey Jesus wasbeing all he needed. was a work that the Lord did night in him sky, duringI began the week.toThe Spirit still andThat admiring the beauty of the tellHoly them to led present. all of theseTo things that the of guys opening up andwhat sharing. of my guys be be aware allwere of their senses; theEach air smelt like, walked awayofwith donenight something special in their livesFather and I was just the feeling theGod tarphaving and the air, the beauty of our being able to watch. shownThat in creation, and what they were hearing. This is a moment that would be the theme of not just Student Camp 3, but my entire summer. IDuring will never forget, thisable wastoawatch moment thatSpirit the form Father giftedbrotherhood me and it that camp, I was the Holy a special was withinsomyprecious. cabin. I literally just got the opportunity to watch. It was that way all summer, me watching God work. Each camper, each one-on-one, each salvation, each chain broken, the Father just gave me the opportunity to watch. Sometimes He would use me, and that was still Him, but a lot of times it was just Him doing it and me watching it all unfold. I love this job because I know I am incapable of doing a good job or a bad job. I have the freedom to lean into Christ and allow Him to live, love, minister, work, and do all kinds of other things through me. No strings attached, it is all Him.

Spirit was at work. I asked JAREDMCKNIGHT BISSELL - SENIOR GRIFFIN COUNSELOR CABINhim,13“If you were to die today and God asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say to him?” His answer astounded me,later he that said day, “I would tell God that My reflection actually starts before SECOND HALF meeting this camper’s adultI shouldn’t step foot into heaven, I’m not good enough, I am a sincamp, during my second semesterWORKSTAFF of leaders told me that he was really excited for COUNSELOR sophomore year, the semester that ended First off let me give a little right before camp began. I had walked backstory. I was what’s called through a really hard season where the a workstaff counselor this sumLord had begun working in me to remove mer, which means that I am nora struggle that I had long held on to and mally not surrendered to Him. This process was on workstaff unless a full summer counselor is out sick or long and hard and brought back memories of my past and shook my faith andneeds confi- a break. Generally, that meant that I would be a counselor for like two or three camps durdence in the Lord and His character. Howing the second half. The story that I have to tell takes place during ever, the one thing that I was confident the second to last camp of the summer, in was that I was supposed to be back at and it just so happens that all the camps leading up to this one I was needed as a counselor. Lake Forest Ranch. So IIalready had the fourFather campsbegan as a counselor arrived and a time under my belt and only a day or two on workstaff. This really wasn’t a big issue to me, but of healing and restoration in my life during Istaff was ready for a break and wanted to get know night, my workstaff training. The last night of staff training, the to worship as I was family so I was excited to be on workstaff for kids camp at one of the stations I began to remember all of my pastE.and how story really starts during We were having a certainThe things could be standing in theskit waynight. of my relationship with God good time, doing the transition to the last skit of the night and one and began to fall back into a spirit of legalism, thinking that I have to of the counselors acting crazy, runninga work andguy sacrifice to earnjumps God’son lovethe andstage forgiveness. This brought around likeanxiety, a chicken its head off.not (Literally, he was ton of fear, andwith confusion thatcutI did know what to dowearwith ing a costume that made him look like a chicken and everything.) other than pray and seek answers. Naturally, another staffbegan member tackled to the and ground to make I walked over and to talk to an him old friend mentor, Darthe kids laugh, but it didn’t go the way they planned, and the counren Miley, and he began to speak truth and remind me that the Father selor me ended his ankle.my sin and wants that relationship loves and up thatbreaking He has removed As we were assessing damage and getting take with me. He reminded me tothe trust the Father and thatready He istogood. him toallthe hospital, thatthere I waswas going in Iasbelieved a counselWhile those wordsI was weretold good, stillback this lie that or in the place theme, counselor. thetoflesh, reallylove. frustrated the Father didn’toflove but that IInhad workthis for that So the me because I was having good time withRoom my workstaff family next morning we walked in toa our first Upper time before the and first enjoying the break. But I reluctantly pulled my stuff together and camp. I was still praying and just wrestling with this lie and confusion got anxiety the counselor to tellup methe thestairs rundown on Upper his campers. Healltold and as I walked into the Room. As of me a bit about each camper and the conversations that had these thoughts and feelings are running around in my mind,hesomealready had with them. As who we were lingered on onehad of one announced that Ashton, is onetalking, of the he Admin Assistants, his kids;usthis camper really hisheart heart.forIteach was of clear painted words that she felt seemed God hadtoputhave on her us. that the counselor wanted this to be a place of healing for him. They began to pass out these words and I begin to think to myself,So“I after night was to over, I rushed thekind cabin to get to know my bet myskit word is going be loved. No,tothat of stuff never happens new campers. to me, there is no way.” Then sure enough Mama Sandy comes over Themefollowing wasword riding my down. bike around camp looking to hand my wordday withIthe facing for my campers so I could do one on ones. saw the camper I turn it over and I read the word, “Loved”.I Immediately there that is a the counselor had dwelt on hanging out on the basketball court reminder and calmness in my spirit reminding me that I am lovedand by I rolled up that to him askI cannot if he wanted to hang His facethe lit first up. the Father, it isand a love earn. After that,out. throughout He of said, we go boating?” agree went me over to half the “Can summer, thepaddle Lord continued to Ishow meand andwe remind how the paddleboats. We made our way to the middle of the lake when deep His love for us is, and how He wants us to grow to be like Him and that he has finally warmed up toI cannot me. Hework started asking toI can havetell that relationship with Him, but that or sacrifice questions about being in Christ verses being in Adam (a concept anything to earn that, the relationship is a free gift. that is focused on in our Bible study). I explained the Gospel mesn n n n sageDuring to himthe andfirst I could tell camp that He wasagetting it. 16-18 year olds. student I had cabin of After presenting the Gospel him, I asked what wasexcited keeping As they came into my cabin, I couldtotell they were all really for him from accepting the gift of salvation and he replied, “I want camp. We all hung out at the cabin because they were all excited to to become a Christian myfellow parents say I need to wait till I’m walks older build relationships withbut their cabin mates. Then, a camper andwho I’mwas a better person.” explained that andand a relationship up obviously very Idifferent from thefaith others, I could imwith God isn’t about being “good enough” for Christ, but ChristI mediately tell that he had something going on just below thethat surface. will meet you wherever you are and loves you no matter what you tried to engage him in some conversation, but he just wasn’t interested havevery done. Something clicked himalone. and I During could tell theleader Holy and much just wanted to beinleft thethat adult

ner and am not worthy.” camp, We talked more he andhad he expressed thathard he however, an incredibly wanted to give his life to life Christ and be sanctified of his sins. After and had been asking questions about we got done on the paddleboat, walkedand to aallpicnic table sin, otherwe religions, kinds of stuff.and I had him go through what he believes about what Jesus has Later that night I saw him sitting bydone, himand he presented the Gospel perfectly. I told “Now and all you have self on the porch of him, my cabin another to do is accept the gift Christ you and came pray to receive Jesus one ofoffers my campers and told me that into your heart.” He then he leds himselfreally in prayer, asking clean seemed sad. So I wentGod out to there to him from sin and telling God he believes everything that Jesus did talk to him and he began to tell me that he on the earth and in heaven. After having the prayer, I looked at him and had been troubles with other campasked, “Now, if you wereerstoand die we andbegan God asked you why should to talk about that. DurI let you into my heaveningwhat say?” He replied this would talk heyou began to open up. He with told something that I am going remember forofthe rest of that my life. He metoabout all kinds hardships he had said, “I would say because I’m and clean. Jesus did faced howI believed he didn’t what understand howona the cross and is now in heaven waiting for me, I cancould go inallow because God that we claim is good bad Ithings am forgiven.” to happen to people. I began praying and asking that God would works in crazy ways. in think the physical paingood of some, or give God me wisdom because I reallyEven did not I had a very answer inand theknew reluctance of others He still works. I learned that week that no that, if that was his starting question, that I would be getting matter the hardship or the pain, planGod always much harder questions later. SureGod’s enough gaveprevails. me wisdom and answers to this guy’s questions. We talked for a long time about how he is worth loving and how our past events do not define us, nor do people define us. However, at this point it was almost TURNER one in the mornKRISTON ing, so we decided to talk more the next night. HALF about That next night we hung out, and againSECOND he asked questions his life’s worth, why Christians are so WORKSTAFF hateful, and he told me about how COUNSELOR he had grown up with this message of God not loving him from both his ThisFather was my first year at LFR home life and other believers. Again, the worked through me hadquestions only onebut expectation: to and gave me wisdom and answersand for Ihis we talked for see God move in, and through me. a while, and again, we decided to wait till the next night to keep talking. As Inight began to cover expectaThis was the night before the last of camp andthat we were talktion with prayer, I had no idea what ing again. This time he continued to ask questions about his life worth, opened.and but this time he also asked if God opportunities can take awaywould thesebethoughts I was a counselor first his sin and his past. I told him yes, that God can take away allthe of those week of second half, my first things if he would just trust God with them. This allowed me to share at accept camp Jesus, and the the Gospel with him. However, heweek did not but biggest instead camp we’ve ever had. I was about overexpressed that he did not want his life anymore. We talked more whelmed and felt under qualified. self-worth and how I cared about his life, as well as how much God Before I knewhis it, Ilife, hadbut ten he pairs of starting beautifultotwelve year old cared about was shut down. Soeyes we starwent ing back at me. I was in complete amazement as to how Abba placed inside and that next day we had the bonfire service. such Before wondrous in my cabin.I had As soon theyPapa entered the girls bonfire service, talkedaswith Richthe andcabin, MamaI connected with them so easily. However, there was one camper that Sandy and they had advised me to tell his adult leaders about what wanted to dothe withnight me.before. All week I tried spend time with we had nothing talked about They alsotoadvised me to tellher, the but there was a gap between us that I couldn’t bridge. camper that I was telling the adults so he’d know he had people to go It quickly turned the lastservice, night ofI told camp I was to. So that night at thetobonfire himand what I wasbecoming going to worried that I would have to force a conversation that she didn’t want. tell his adult leaders and he was really chill about it. Then he asked me Ihow told he hercould that we would talk the next morning before breakfast. I was give Jesus a second try. I shared with him the ABC’s of expecting a tenwhen minute wouldhim feelif one-sided. salvation and we conversation got to believe,that I asked he believedI had that completely that was and a daughter of the At 2am this Jesus couldforgotten take away hisI sins forgive him, andKing. he said, “a little.” same camper woke me up and she told me she was ready to talk. I had never heard this before so I asked him to just sit and listen to the For the and nextthat twoif hours we sat in rocking as she in testimonies he wanted to talk about itchairs later after the was bonfire tears pouring out her heart. I was shaken to my bones by the way then we would. Later that night he said that he wanted to talk and he our timing is perfect, to testimonies say the least. As she next toldFather’s me that as he listened to the of what Godleft hadthat done in morning, we hugged and I said goodbye to my sister in Christ. The all those other campers’ lives that he believed God could change full his weight of what had praying collided withhis Abba’s life as well, andI at thebeen bonfire service he gave life tograce. Christ.

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a camper, I remember telling Bible study leaders that I was going to be on ABBY CHAPPELL JONATHAN GATEWOOD - COUNSELOR CABINmy12 staff one day. I remember them laughingly telling me that I had a long ways to FIRST HALF go. dayoffering has never left myand mind. A couple years ago, Iso downloaded the Over six camps into the first half, God has taught me one major myThat small of effort turn it in toofsomething much more. application and began filling it out. However, I could not finish the application. thing: Seeds can grow in any heartWORKSTAFF and out of any situation. The n n n n COUNSELOR background to that phrase comes from a camper I had in my third My experience Forest camp. I had just come off of a rough one-on-one whereatit Lake seemed as has been one of exploring what if the kid had no care to hear about Jesus at all. I had been out onthe a in as store for me. I came paddleboat doing the one-on-one Father and ashas soon I made it back to to camp anyagain. expectations the dock, another camper was waiting on mewithout to go out I admit having why Ithe that, at the time, I really did not wantand to go back no outidea because wasLord reled me to LFR. soonthe came ally discouraged from the previoushad conversation and I Iknew nextto why the Lord me to LFR, camper already had a really good realize relationship with theled Lord. Needas it was a season of healing and less to say, I went, and it was while we were talking about a science peace. Healing from all the turmoil experiment his teacher had done in class that I heard this phrase: “It of theinpast and peace in knowing is really amazing how seeds can sprout just about any conditions.” IHis don’t phrase have to worry again or think bitterly about the past. The Lord knew I needed jumped out a season of peace and LFR gave me that. He gave me brothers and and grabbedsisters and He opportunity to serve alongside them. He gavemind me the my andopportunity to show the love he had shown me. I had after that,theIopportunity to be a workstaff counselor, which was challenging but couldn’t get also it rewarding because I got to see two sides of camp life. Being a off my mind.counselor gave me a view of the work and love each deserves. The campers gave me a wind of energy that I desItcamper was then I perately needed realized that at times. Being there for them to love and grow in every moment this was the I spend with them was one of my favorite experiences from camp. The friendships I made with my campers remind me of Spirit tellhaving little sisters. ing me that, despite Being me on workstaff, however, was a whole different world. The community being dis- and love shown to me by the staff has forever impacted me andand in what I look for in fellowship. One of the last nights of first couraged half workstaff, thinking less we all met together and had community time. This was onethe of my nights of camp because the Lord chose to reveal of jobfavorite I himself to me. On that night, the Lord appeared to me in the midst of was doing, a worshipful bonfire. He showed himself to me by walking out of the God could woods, cloaked in white, walking to the center of our gathering and use it and then sat down on one of the benches. He just sat and watched as his make somesons grow. and daughters worshiped Him. It left me in awe. The presence thing of theI was King reenjoying His children.

minded of this phrase again ASHLEY BLAKENEY in Kids Camp D at LFR after Dark. I felt extremely horrible about this SECOND HALFthe kids LFR after Dark. This service is supposed to be a time where can see an illustration of what we have been studying in a different WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR way, it is also a time where God shows up in a huge way. I had been Coming this right, summer, discouraged because it seemed that nothing wasinto going andI knew I was supposed to be here no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get my boys to tune in and takebut it not know I knewfeel I was seriously. I could see God moving alldidaround mewhy. but All I didn’t it suppose be here. Trusting the in my campers. We were the first to leave andtoI remember being so Father was my the kids one of the out hardest mad at both myself and the enemy for making miss on things do this summer. Not just saying I trust Him, trusting such aI learned pivotal totime. But, I had one of my boys want to but do fully a one-onHim every singleand situation. one inafterwards it turned out to be the best one-on-one I had Throughout the summer, it was hard not knowing whyDark I wastoat inspire camp. I during the camp. God had moved through LFR after am the type of person that likes to know every single detail about every single a life change in that camper. He had realized that he had joined a thing. But the Father showed me exactly why I was here, and it was definitely group of friends that was in turn dragging him down. He was shown more rewarding would have been and to know from those the beginning. that he neededthattoItmake changes alsoeverything shown that same Ifriends would not change thing about thisshowed summer.me again that despite were nowa single his mission. God knew to work at Lake was whatI Ialways think of the that job I wanted have done, that He isForest over itRanch. all andWhen can Itake

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I cannot explain not having passion to fillinitorder out then, I know why. I have to tell a lot ofthe background for but thisnow story to make At that point in my life, I was not where I needed to be spiritually, physically, or sense, so bear with me for a little bit. For one of the last kids camps of emotionally. From then on, I kind of forgot out Lake Forest Ranch and how much the summer, it was originally planned that I have a normal cabin and this meansClub. to me.Sunshine Club is a specially designed program notplace Sunshine I do not know how the Lake Forest Ranch up there but I knew specifically targeting 7-8topic yearofolds. However, thiscame camp werethis a summer do something likewant this. Itodownloaded the application after lot of 7-8I wanted year oldtokids that did not be in Sunshine Club. WantChristmas andthe toldsame myselfages I would start to work it and fill it outinbefore schoolI ing to keep together, theyon were placed my cabin. started. I never got around to it and the deadline was right around the corner. spent the whole week kind of bouncing back and forth between Sun-I filled it out in somewhat of aactivities hurry not thinking twice about answers. I applied shine Club scheduled and normal campmyscheduled activitoties. be either on workstaff or counselor. I cannot really explain why to apply We wanted these guys to experience the most outI chose of camp that for bothcould but I just did. I overwhelming turned it in and kind of forgot it. have been really they without them. Thisabout would From the time I turned in my application until I received thegood call from if I Papa had Rich, I was praying, “Father, if this is where I am suppose to be then it happen. notlet had one 9 If it is your will, I will accept the job and not think twice about giving myold confirmayear who, tion.” On the day Papa Rich called me, I received a letter sayingbeing I was not older going to be accepted into the nursing program at my school starting inand the fall. I didmanot more know why I did not get in because all of my qualifications to getture in where great than the but I did not get in, and that was very confusing. Later that day, I received the rest, noticed call and when Papa Rich asked if I wanted to be on staff. It wassaonombrainer e t h i nbeg cause I fully trusted the Lord and His plan for me. Papa offeredwas me the position different. of workstaff/counselor for second half of the summer and I accepted He the hadposition. been When I started in second half, I did not know anything. AsintimeSunshine went on, I doubted that I was suppose to be here and my reason for even being staff. At Club on before the same time, several things were happening at home and I much rather would so he knew have been there with my family. However, I knew without a doubthethatwas I wassupsupposed to be here but I did not know why yet. posed to be During the last mini camp, I was a counselor and I was out not allofhere beit this cause of things that were happening at home. I tried not to let myyear, campers sense and he that. This camp was definitely one of my favorites and it was definitely most was theupset impactful. that he was Three girls in my cabin stood out the most. The first oneplaced was very with hard to get along with. We always butted heads and she pushed my thebuttons “little every kids” chance she got. I felt like I could not get anything across to her.again. I was having a one-on-one with another camper and she walked up and said, “HopeIyours was really better than mine. Mine was boring.” When she said that, I just sat there. I didn’t had a heart know what to say. I do not want to say I gave up hope on her andforbutthis I didkid a little. beThe final day campers were there, she came up to me and said, “Next summer cause he was an Angel Tree recipient, he came from a really rough when back, can be myand counselor?” I almost cried I thought homeI come life, wasn’t in you church, camp was really thebecause only exposure Itohad impacted her atThen all. we came to the night of “LFR after Dark,” thenotBible he had. I was having thewe second and teaching she askedinmea what which is our waymy of one-on-one presentingwith what havegirl been new my story was, what my favorite Bible verse(s) were, and what was going on in and more hands on worship experience. I had originally planned not my life. I got one-on-oned by a nine year old. I was supposed to be doing that to to participate in LFR after Dark, as it doesn’t really translate well to her, the other wayespecially around. However, I did not all. I got share my the not younger kids, after a long andmind tiringat day. So to I collected story and my life with her! I got to share the love to Jesus and everything He has my kids and I made my way back to our cabin. On the way however, done in mymy life. 9 year old was kind of upset he had to miss LFR after I noticed got saved this camp. I got toleadership, lead her to Christ Dark.The In third whatgirlwas most during definitely the Spirit’s I hadand theit was the best my him life. She gospel andsowhat ideaone to oftake himexperiences back and input withunderstood another the counselor he Jesus has done for her. She was truly a blessing. could experience it. I know this was definitely the Spirit’s leadership Coming to camp not knowing whywhere I was suppose be here andthe then the because it was at LFR after Dark he wastopresented GosFather showing me Himself was one of the best things that has happened to me pel and he accepted Christ as his Savior! I am so grateful that God this I learnedappointments to trust the Father everyofsituation that it isthat okayhe to hassummer. made divine for ineach us andand thankful not everytodetail everything. This summer was a blessing it changed hasknow chosen useofLFR and me, even if in small ways, toand meet them. my life tremendously.

he had been growing a ton 2at Lake Forest. I asked him if he had any KEELEAMULLINS WOOD - SENIOR COUNSELOR CABIN CHUCK questions about being a man of God and he said, “Well there’s this girl at my school…” Right off the bat I’m thinking, “Oh shoot, here we FIRST “I consider my life worth nothing to me, that I mayHALF finish the race enable me to disciple Your kids? From an overflow? May we drink go: 13 year old boy that’s girl crazy.” I couldn’t have been further off. and complete the task marked out forWORKSTAFF me – the taskCOUNSELOR of testifying to deeply Yourdoesn’t Word and Yourinlife..” was my He from said,Your “SheSpirit told and me she believe God.That I wanted to

the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). Testifying: bearing witness to One ofamy favorite memothe good news of God’s amazing grace. This was verse God placed ries from this summer took on my heart in 2013 before I had ever place on the last night of the heard of Lake Forest Ranch and the Lord first kid’s camp. I was sitting brought it back to mind this summer. next En- to one of my campers durtering into my second summer as a couning the bonfire and talking to selor,about I acknowledged that was ahenew him stuff in his life andit what had learned over the previous week. summer with new staff and new campers wereand talking, brought up how last summer he prayed and aWhile new we theme new he Bible studies, that Jesus would enter into his heart, but etc. Even returning staff and campers andhe thought that he said it too quietly, so Jesus didn’t hear him. After my heart melted a little, I reasadults the werecamper going to beJesus different sured that hadbecause heard him and that He knows our of growth and life and Jesus. I wassay thankthoughts and knows what we will before we say it. ful and expectant and eager to learn withdidn’t say much, and then he He soaked that in for a minute and asked me a question. asked meatif Ithe wanted to know who his favormy campers and staffHe family. And ite counselor was. I asked who it was and he responded that Jesus same time, I was praying, “God, if you was his favorite counselor. I was then able to share with him that what don’t show up, I can’t do this again.” he said was really cool because the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is Now, no cabin feels the same, but our counselor. He then said, “Wait, I don’t get it… I know that Jesus the second of camp, my cabin feltmakes different. My campers weren’t lives in yourweek heart… Oh, wait… That sense.” misbehaving or out of line at all, but I guess what I was feeling was that We sat there a little bit longer and then there was an invitation. the majority of my campers were lost. I watched Jesus awaken their The camper said he wanted to talk so we moved over to a picnic table. While we were talking, he went back to when he was saved last sumhearts. On one of the nights of camp, we have an interactive worship mer and talked about how he Dark,” thoughtand it didn’t work because experience called “LFR after right before that timewhen one he of prayed his head wasn’t bowed, his eyes weren’t closed, and his hands my campers came in from the nurse’s station in utter pieces. Her toe weren’t clasped. myshe melted heart once had gotten hurt byGathering a cleat and was in pain,together and tears feelagain, good,I told him that prayer is a conversation with God, and even though he and I just held her andthe let Lord her cry a minute while LFR after Dark didn’t do those things, stillfor heard his prayer. was beginning. She was so upset, and there was elsebut I felt for I believe the Father used me a lot to pour intonothing campers, more this girl but compassion. She quietly cried for the first part of the night so, He used the campers to pour into me as well. Thank you so much for prayers and support thisAscamp and the staff.to the second withyour some ice pressed to herfortoe. we transitioned part of LFR after Dark and we gathered around a table in the Dining CLARK KILGORE Hall, I heard her sniffles and saw her little sad shoulders hunched over, and I walked over to her chair and crouched down. “Hug FIRST HALF her.” That’s all I heard, and that’s all I wanted to do. And I experienced one WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR moment falling into the next with the Lord leading her sweet heart into His own. While we were sitting at the table, shesummer looked upwas and an sawinThis the pieces of paper with words and phrases on them arefor crediblewritten season for methat and true about us when we’re “in Christ.” She “forgiven,” her eyes so grabbed many others at Lake Forest Ranch. to see lit up, and she popped up out of her seat. We Getting talked about whythesheFaworkconfessed, so clearly“Because every day chose that word and she fell into tearsther as she is something I can’t describe. I am forgiven.” She gave her life to Christ right there. Compassion. I could try to summarize what I “Hug her.” Our Shepherd goes after His sheep. He loves us, and He saw and felt happen this summer but there was so much that I’m at a wants know to that andSo to instead, know Him. ThatI’m wasjust one of many sweet loss asustotowhere start. I think going to share one stories that week, this of whole of kids andthrough studentscampers. meetof the many crazyand stories whensummer, God spoke to me ing Jesus. invites uscamps into Histhat loveI was to know Him. DuringHeone of the a counselor, there was a really hot joy filled daytoatpray, camp. I had justyou finished working at athe Thatbut week, I began “God thank for letting me be ropes andhere” set out find one Iofcouldn’t my campers to spend some part of course your work andtoI stopped. even take that much one on one time with him. Then, one of my guys spotted me and came credit. My prayer shifted to, “God, thank you for letting me witness running up. I said “Man lets go fishing.” He grinned, and off we went. you Bearing witness the gospel grace. Thischange camper,lives likehere.” most Mississippi boys,to loved fishing.ofHeGod’s always had a He shows up.face, He has power.when He transforms. sweet smile on his especially there was aWhat fishing polelove. in hisWhat hand. sweet mercy. freedom we easygoing have in knowing God through He was just aWhat laid back, happy, 13-year-old guy. Christ. I like I’d Him. I’m really thankful that He is WhotoHe says He is. with this kid and been looking forward getting to fish hear about his life. We talkedn about good bit about his faith, his family n na n and,“..God, of course, was how strong will fishing. You stir What us up?stood Will out Youmost, blesshowever, these student missionnot only this guy’s faith was but his eager desire to share it. He told aries? Will You build them up? May You disciple me. And will Youme

prayerher onthat training Camp Macon. for about CampGod, Mashow He isday true,ofso I would talk toI couldn’t her everywait week con.she I’d been looking believe forwardintoHim. it all summer it was and still doesn’t I told myand mom howhere! hard Iitsmile was for me because I want herremembering to know Him it,butbecause she doesn’t me. my listen churchto was My mom told me I should coming. probablyNot justmy give up and that itupisin, okbut to just church I grew my not worry about her. Do you thinkof it’s ok for me up?”with I thought family believers thattoI’dgive grown in the for a minute and answered saying, “What do you think, man?” I was Lord during the 14 days of Student Camp 3 expecting a simple yes or no. But what this kid said next will stick with Camp in 2016. TheyJesus werenever comme forever. “I don’t think I and should giveMacon up on her because ing back, going meet gave up on me!” Those words wereand theJesus truth was I think not to only thiswith kid and wewith didn’t know they whatwill He push had, and I needed to hear, but us all again, who struggle whether on in sharing the Gospel. but Jesus gave upgoing on growing us,up. caring we never knew He was to show And for us, or loving on us. Inthus turn,began this summer, God taught mebelievers to push our meetings: 15 or so to do the same toward those aroundof me: to be intentional, apresent, consisting student missionaries, couple and persistent. of staff, and me. We met in the afternoons, in the Upper Room, with coffee and cookies. We all had our DAVID journals andDAMON Bibles out, with no agenda except to gather together and HALF meet in the presenceFIRST of Jesus. We learned. We rested. We drank deeply from sweet teaching and truth in the WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR Word. And we shared from an overflow of what the Spirit had taught Thisin summer Lake us recently. To rely on the Spirit for leadership a setting at such as Forthat est Ranch has been one of the was risky. And it was beautiful. We were obedient to meet. And we enmost impactful experiences tered worship. We experienced discipleship, community, and church. of my entire life. It has been a In Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer said, “A spiritual kingdom lies all journey of God lovingly teachabout us, enclosing us, embracing us,ingaltogether our me who within I am reach in Him,of and inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here awaithow I can be a part of bringing ing our response Presence. Thisiseternal world willincome alive His Kingdom heretoonHis earth. But there one experience particular to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.” I’m thankful for that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Jesus. I’m thankful for that truthofthat setsa us free. And and I’m thankful that It was my second week being counselor, I had some pretty great men in myand cabin. gotI to and encourage these the Lord says, “O taste see Ithat amknow Good,”. campers, while thanMacon, not, they doing the for had me. On the finalmore day often of Camp allwere “my plans” for same that day On our last night of camp while I was getting ready for bed, a few dissolved the moment I had slept in, and slept THROUGH the timeofI my broke By thethe onetime rulethe I had in wascampers, planning without to meet meaning with one any of myharm campers. afterplace, which was respect for one another and for my ministry partner. noon hit, I was stressed and almost in a panic with all I was trying to I let them know this rule the first day of camp and I told them that there do. In the my sweet 14 year old camper/sister/ would be amidst priceoftothat, pay Iifpassed it was broken. friendSothat I had connected with the day and of camp I pulled the select campers first outside I let (and themwe’d knowbeen that hard to separate since then). I said coldly, “Not now. I’m stressed and they broke this rule and the price needed to be paid. I asked them I don’tthey have time to talk.” And of course would she questioned was what thought a suitable punishment be. (Beingwhat the awewrong.guys All angry and tantrum-like, unloaded myactions, responsibilities anda some they were, and feeling Iguilt for their they gave pretty of push-ups.) thenBefore told them I didn’tmythink stress hefty to her,punishment and just guess what sheI did. I finished rant,it was I doubled it. mouth, looked me in the eye, and said she enough put her so hand over my As they were getting down ready to them, I told themOh I was gofirmly, “Keelea, stop. You’re listening todo lies. Trust Jesus.” I was ing to do this for them. So I began an unreasonable amount of pushso mad at her (not really). She was so right, but stress and distrust ups, begin sweat, grow weak, and gasp for air before Iand eventruth got in theand Lord wastostill radiating off of me, until the simplicity half way. The whole time I was doing the push-ups, I was explaining of what she said hit my heart. She told me she’d talk to me later and the grace and sacrifice the Jesus paid on the cross for them. At the walked off as joyfully as she Withinbut seconds, a friend tookthem one of end, I was tired, winded, andis.hurting, I was able to look in my responsibilities so I could be free that afternoon, and there the eyes and tell them that I love them, and that’s why I could doI was that shouting out Jesus my 14loves year them old friend’s name to tell her she was right. for them, but so much more. She That ran back measwith much joy to andallsaid, “See? That’s ways, what next today we so were about go our separate we’ve guys beenIlearning for our me.cabin How deep the those was ablealltoweek!” shareAnd that she withprayed gathered together, and my entire cabin just humbling began to His praylove for and eachtruth other as brothers. Father’s love for us. How is. And how coolI doubt I’ll forget that camp where Holy Spirit so powerfully that grace and peace and rest andthe freedom will always belong todidus,a work on my heart, we butbelong I am sure because of Whom to. that many campers experienced a hint of the love Christ has for them that week.

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KRISTIN WALZ - COUNSELOR CABIN 10 SETH JONES RAEGAN BARBER FOOD SERVICE ASSISTANT say WORSHIP TEAM me, just

It’s easy to that Lake Forest Ranch has truly been one of the greatest opportunities God has ever presented to me. Earlier this year, I spent twenty one days in prayer, asking the Father what He would desire of me to do this summer for the Kingdom. On the very last day I found myself sitting with Mama Sandy and Papa Rich, having never met them before, talking about LFR and all ofHaving the the incredible opportunity to be on the Worship Team at Lake Forthings Jesus done has been an absolute dream. I got to see Abba est Ranch thishas summer and will continue to do at camp I knewonright then and work in so many beautiful ways every and I summer. got to embark an incredible there that He was directing me to apply. It was a perfect example of spiritual journey that has impacted my life in huge ways. The many how God’s promises to us are true and He gives us the desires of deep relationships I have made with fellow staff members drove me our hearts!every Thereday have moments summer to rejoice andbeen lean countless on the Holy Spirit inthis every action,where word, Jesus has displayed his immeasurable love and unrelenting grace to and thought. theseAbbey campers and staff, and I’ve been so grateful to be a vessel for Jacks, a Workstaffer, and I bonded early on in the summer Him whenhere! we found out that we both have a love for rain. During one of One experience thatwere I’ve sitting had willatremain with me longthe after camp the Student Camps, we lunch talking about Father’s ends. During a kid’s camp, the little girls in my cabin made a lasting goodness when it started raining heavily. We looked at each other, impact heartsharing by their display of love their sister the in smiled, on andmy started what the Father hadtowards shown us through Christ. Oneis night the speaker at Pow Wowsee invited rain. Rain a beautiful thing, and you can it andthe thecampers effects oftoit talk to their counselors if they had any questions or wanted to know without actually stepping outside and experiencing it fully. When you more about the grace Jesus has offered us. A girl in my cabin who actually do step into it, though, you are engulfed in the feeling of water has been Itinisfoster for almost and wind. such care a freeing thing toher justentire be in life thewalked rain. out to see me. She opened up to me about her struggles with loss ofpeoples’ family Abbey and I realized that rain can be used tothe explain members, loneliness, bullying and rejection. She felt so much anxiety relationship or lack of relationship with God. Unbelievers are like the and what broke the most that thecreation words people that weremy in heart the dining hall was at thewhen time.I noticed They can see “I love you” were foreign for her to hear and say. During her week at and the miracles God has done and is doing, but they do not fully camp, Jesus revealed to her that she is deeply loved and that He experience his presence or feel his loving embrace. We believers, on will neverhand, abandon her or forsakes her,rain. and We, that in there everlasting the other completely run into the faith,is trust that no hope in God. That night, she made the decision to follow Jesus and matter what storm forms, our God is powerful, beautiful, and freeing. invited Him to be the Lord and Savior of her life! Later in the camp, Abbey and I then proceeded to sprint outside, run to the dock, and she fewlake. girls As in our about hersaw troubles with bullying, jumptold intoa the I feltcabin the rain and it creating ripples inand the the started speaking into her of and, spending lake,girls I was in awe of the life goodness ourthrough Heavenly Father.time I dowith not her, reminding her of how valuedbut sheHeis.relentlessly They evenpursues asked me deserve to experience His grace, mehow and we could all celebrate her decision to follow Jesus during our cabin carries me through my everyday life. What a Father! What a Savior! time. I found myself left in awe of Jesus’ provision and care for us as I witnessed the body of Christ in these little nine and ten year olds offer love and support to each other. Not only is God doing incredible things in the hearts of campers here at Lake Forest, but He is also molding and revealing new things to my heart. The power of prayer and the confidence we can approach His throne with, knowing there will be fulfillment, are growing my life this summer. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know

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as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay my life down for the sheep.” John 10:14-14 n n n n Coming to Lake Forest has easily been one of the greatest opportunities the Father has ever given me. There have been countless times where Jesus has offered divine strength and energy to me when I was convinced that I had none left to give. Before I began the Kingdom work at LFR this summer, I was given the word “constant” by God to focus on and learn about during this season of my life. Being a counselor of numerous campers overtothe coursehow of truly an entire summer requires First off, I just want express thankful I am that God great constancy reliance upon theForest Lord. Ranch. The amazing revelation has allowed me toand serve here at Lake I also would like depending wholly completely the Rich, Lord for my Sandy, energy Nick and tooftake a moment andand say thank you toon Papa Mama ministry all timesChad and Chapman, in every situation brought a place of Hall, GrayatBarnes, Jeff Troyer, andme thetoLake Forest peace Board and confidence thatforI have experience in my life. here Ranch of Directors givingyetmetothe opportunity to serve God constant. He is our rock and firm foundation in the midst at LFR foristhe third consecutive summer. This opportunity to serve rd fears. Being of the storms and chaos, as well as in our worries and here at LFR was so special. Though this was my 3 summer as a able to say, “Jesus, thistoapart fill me and member on staff, thisI simply was thecan’t firstdo time servefrom as ayou, Food Service allow me to be anhas empty vessel was the most powerful prayer Assistant, which allowed mefor to you” give back to everyone here at LFR I have made to Himcamp this summer. I haveI been to pour outawhat who made summer for me when was aable camper such fun, was constantly given to me from Jesus without losing heart. enjoyable, and spiritually challenging experience, which in return has I am honored have been serve God this summer helped me so become thetoChristian manable whotoI am today. and Heading to share into the Gospel with His children. The boldness and persethe beginning of staff training, I was honestly wonverance in sharing Jesus’ love that I have discovered will certainly dering why God had called me back to LFR and I was really questionremain mewhether for the rest my where life. I have God have Almighty thank for ing Godwith about LFRofwas I should beentothis sumthat However, as well asbythe men and women of Lake mer. thewonderful end of theGod-fearing summer, God revealed the purpose of Forest Ranch. loveToand sacrifice of Jesus can’t be held me serving hereThe at LFR: surround myself with asimply community of Godin or restrained; it reaches from followers east to west. For this, I amsomething eternally fearing, loving, and encouraging of Jesus Christ, grateful. that I did not have much where I attend college, and something that I eagerly wanted to find but was not able to! To further emphasize this point, there is a lot that I like about Lake Forest Ranch but as the summer has passed on by in the blink of an eye, the one thing that I like and cherish the most about LFR is the emphasis to build relationships with each other that will not only last while here at LFR for 12 weeks, but will last for the rest of all of our lives—Building Relationships for Eternal Impact, the Mission Statement for LFR. Looking back throughout the entire summer, the first thing that comes to mind, especially since I was serving in a behind-the-scenes position this summer as a Food Service Assistant, when reflecting upon this Summer, was the book The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. One of the quotes in this book that really applied to me this Summer, as I didn’t have much interaction with campers, was the quote in which Brother Lawrence states, “We ought not to be

weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the- SENIOR He also guides. I must often be MAKAYLA LIPPERT COUNSELOR CABIN 7 reminded that my most prominent greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” There identity isn’t only in being a 19 year old named Isaac, but includes wereIttimes this summer in which I saw great things happening bethis: we are one with Christ. When I wait on thebrought Lord, I me receive seems low tween athough Counselor and camper, such as a camper getting saved, and strength; my strength is walking with Christ. as and built walls there were also times in which I would get told by fellow staff memThis summer, the fruit of walking with Christ and of Him workanytime I end around my bers, “Man, I wish I had your job, it seems so easy.” I would say to ing through us was so evident. It’s comforting to know fruitI will conup here, it’s heart, needed myself, I “Ifhave only others could truly see what we do back here in the tinue, whether we are willing to obey or not, but goodness, it’s so when “fresh bread” kitchen” and would from time-to-time think to myself, “Maybe my job much better and it’s such an honor getting to work with, being reached the as Steve Millera isn’t of as myself. important as other jobs on staff?” After reflecting upon The work of, and being a tool for God. Working with Christ end put this it summer during the Presence of God and how it applied to me this summer, brought so much healing and growth. Camp changed life, and IPractice alwaysof look staff my training. I have realized I have come out with more faith, hope, and love.Over I rejoice in this forward to the that every single job here at Lake Forest Ranch (seen the course and unseen, upfront and behind-the-scenes) is important and conalso! The Body of Christ, those with whom we are one, is so time spent at of the day,much my tributes to the ministry that is happening here at Lake Forest Ranch. larger than camp staff could ever be. You see, the theme of camp LFR because urgency to thatinin everything that we do, not just here this summer at this summer was Christ in me in Christ. II realized know that meet with my LFR, continual but everything in life in general, “We ought not to be weary of This summer I learned to lean into the body ofDad Jesuscontinued Christ of the doing little Nazareth more than ever. I got to see His body in action as aingroup pouring outthings of for the love of God, who regards not the greatness to build my of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” In conclusion, I of young adults were called to congregate and minster. see myself, I will heart.I gotI tocan’t am so grateful God work through us, and how He gives us gifts tell andyou talents eventually befor the opportunity that God has given me and all of the whatand we Executive Staff has given me to be able to serve here at LFR and I miracles to equip us for our tasks, and how we all have a place. filled by Christ. sang that night, will take that I have learned from Lake Forest Ranch and I Sometimes He called us to a place outside of ourbutcomfort Oneeverything thing I canzone, tell hope to share it with everyone that I may encounter. which, for whatever reason, tended to involve greater responsibility that Father you that I found and authority. (Insert sarcastic tone). I’ve NEVER heard anyone has been sweet offreedom ISAAC JACKSON becoming uncomfortable by God calling us to an inidentity we presweetly showthe presence viously didn’t believe about ourselves! *cough* Moses.. *cough* ing me this WORSHIP TEAM DRUMMER of our savior. Me... (End sarcastic tone). summer is Often when I didn’tI find feelmyself equipped or gooditenough to doWhile what how to find sacredness in the little moments of routine. In my mind, I hearSometimes from the Father visualizing in my mind. He asked, and on my own the feeling was true I wasn’t equipped camp is all big moments, but in reality, it is filled with the sweetI was worshipping, I came to some realizations that became picor good However, the father the called, and in callness of daily routine. I get to wake up 10 girls every morning and tures in enough. my mind. The picture was equips of a little girl, struggling to ing Heand also guides. I must often be reminded that most promisee their messy bed heads. I brush my teeth, make my bed, eat walk, crying in frustration under the weight shemywas carrying. nentFather identitywas isn’twatching only in this, beingready a 19toyear named Isaac, but food, and work hard. It is in these everyday moments that seem so Her stepold in and help, but she includes let this: weclose are one with to Christ. When I wait the Lord, I simple, that I get to see the reality of Christ in me and me in Christ. wouldn’t Him enough help her. She wason embarrassed receive strength; mydidn’t strength walking withwhat Christ. Because this is something that the Lord has been teaching and ashamed. She wantisHim to see she had so careThis summer, the fruit of walking with Christ and of known Him workme, I have been asking all of my campers during our one-on-one fully locked away. He reminded her that He had always her ing through us was so evident. It’s comforting to know fruit contime what it looks like for them to follow Jesus in their everyday and loved her. Before she could lie to herself, convincingwill herself tinue, whether we are willing to obey or not, but goodness, it’s so lives. When they are away from the Spirit-soaked atmosphere of that she was self-reliant, He told her that He had seen her nakedmuchand better such anorhonor getting toofwork with, being camp, what does it look like to have Christ in them? I have gotten a ness wasand notit’s ashamed embarrassed her. These wordsa work of, being a tool this summer wide range of responses. A lot of them said that their faith in Christ finally gotand to the little girl,for andGod. sheWorking realizedwith that Christ she didn’t have to brought so much healing and growth. Camp changed my life, influenced their daily decisions; they listen to their parents more carry the weight any longer. With a voice sure and pleading,and He I have“letcome out with faith, She hope,gave and itlove. I rejoice in and this or don’t pick on their siblings. The best part of those responses is said, me carry thatmore please.” to Him, crying also! The Body of Christ, those with whom we are one, is so much that I can see the Spirit at work in their hearts, even in those small laughing. larger than campseem staff like coulda ever be. You see, the theme of camp daily decisions to obey and love. I was really touched by the way This might ridiculous picture or something that summer Christlong in me in Christ. one girl in my cabin put it, right before the end of the first half of the Ithis should havewas learned ago, but as I saw this play out in my summer. She said, “It’s like I can feel my heart beating. My spirit mind’s eye, I felt a physical weight lifted off of my shoulders. I was heart is working.” What a beautiful reality. so surprised by the reality of the Father’s faithfulness that I started This summer I learned to lean into the body of Jesus Christ of nnnn laughing out loud. I couldn’t stop! I was done running, and was Nazareth more than ever. I got to see His body in action as a group Freedom. caught in the arms of my Father. of young adults were called to congregate and minster. I got to see Be still and know. At the beginning of the summer everyone was given a word, God work through us, and how He gives us gifts and talents and Be still and know freedom. mine was the phrase “be still and know.” When I received this miracles to equip us for our tasks, and how we all have a place. Coming off of midsummer break I was at a crossroads in my word, I interpreted it in the context of the scripture, be still and Sometimes He called us to a place outside of our comfort zone, relationship with the Father. I had spent the break quietly in reflecknow that I am God. I think that it is the overarching theme of what which, for whatever reason, tended to involve greater responsibility tion about what direction my life needs to go at the end of the sumI am learning this summer. During the worship night however, I and authority. (Insert sarcastic tone). I’ve NEVER heard of anyone mer. What was next? Honestly I still don’t know the answer to this was able to deeply know what it means to be still and know asbecoming uncomfortable by God calling us to an identity we previquestion, but I feel more at peace in my uncertainty than I have pects of the Father’s character. That night I was still before Him ously didn’t believe about ourselves! *cough* Moses.. *cough* Me... ever felt before. As we were preparing to come back to camp, I and learned what it looked like to truly believe that “There is there(End sarcastic tone). could feel in my spirit that I was going to meet with the Father in a fore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I Sometimes I didn’t feel equipped or good enough to do what He big way during the night of worship that was planned to take place hope that I will continue to learn what it means to be still and know. asked, and on my own the feeling was true - I wasn’t equipped or the night of our return. I was ready. After enduring a year that had good enough. However, the father equips the called, and in calling

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KAYLEA EDISON LEAH BENTLEY MASON COSBY - COUNSELOR CABIN 17 WORSHIP LEADER At the beginning of theWRANGLER summer, every staff member received knew I had to.

a word. These words came from a previous staff member praying over the names on the staff list, and the Holy Spirit put these words in her heart. The word I received was “satisfied.” I knew that this summer as a counselor would bring a lot of satisfaction, but I was unsure if I would be truly and fully satisfied. Some of the stand-out moments were when campers were saved or made an incredible breakthrough in their faith. The joy from the moments never lasted long, and I soon was bogged down by the lies placed in my head. One week, when I had the pleasure of being on Workstaff, I got to sit behind the Rec Hall counter. This job allowed for some time to journal. I had not really considered what “satisfied” meant to me, so I started writWhenthoughts. this summer started, didn’t think I was supposed to be ing some I realized thatI for somewhere Lake Forest Ranch. many years like I had been content with I was supposed to be babysitting three that me. I loveI knew dearly.I Then, out of the blue one day, where Godlittle hadgirls placed their mom said, “Kaylea, if you was supposed to be there, butneed thereany time off this summer, one of the cheerany coaches offered to keep them for as long as she wasgirls’ not really feelinghas associated needs to.”divine At firstappointments. I was kind of upset; with the Satis- I didn’t understand why I would need them forjoyfully longercontent. than a couple days, but God had better factiontotoleave me means plans for my life that could not have imagined. The Lord showed meI that satisfaction Thatcomes next day a Wednesday in Him fromwas joyfully meeting night and at church we talked about giving everything to God andintrusting Him fully. That night at adversity and continuing to grow dinner I talked to my boyfriend about joy until the trial has ended. If I con-things we would start changing. One things I feltdespite that God had Iput on my wasinto to help tinueoftothe grow in joy trials, must be heart leaning Him.kids He at a Christian kids camp. morning, I checked my Facebook showed me tastes of whatThursday my life could resemble by many stand out to find thatSo, someone had shared a post LFRononmoving my wall. the moments. this summer, the Lord hasfrom worked meInfrom post, theincamp expressing unexpected and urgent needfear, for a place whichwas I meet each trialtheir without any emotion, or a little atowrangler. After I saw the post I called the camp, and Rich asked a place where can joyfully meet anything thrown my way becauseif Imy could come down the are nextfound day for an interview. So, I did and it felt joy and satisfaction in Him and Him alone. perfect. I was certain that it n wasnwhat n God n had in store for me. That next we finished up mywe stuff moving camp it into During theday second half of packing the summer, hadand a student afullstorage unit. That night I packed everything I thought I might need of young Christians who were hungry for the Word and hungry to for camp my campers car. We who wentwere to the picked my serve. Weand alsoput hadit ainfew notbarn, followers of up Jesus horse, Miss Kitty,questioning hit highwaythe25,Gospel. and headed Macon. Fromwas the and were really One oftothese campers time I opened my car door at camp, I felt so wanted, valued, and loved a really cool, emotionally distant football player. I knew I needed to by theindividually community.with They me feel if theysure had that known my meet thismade camper, but as I wasn’t theme nerdy whole life.in me was going to be able to have much of a conversation band kid think that is one of the reasons my Heavenly Father brought me with Ihim. to camp summer, to grow my faith and tothegocabin, to Himthis when times Onethis morning, when we in were cleaning camper get of stressing out. He also wanted to learnhow to love toldhard, me I instead had been reciting scripture in my sleep.meI asked he myself, there will be anyone elselike likesomething me. Last year knew it because was scripture; He never said that it sounded that was year in college and him I lived allhe of always my friends wouldmybefirst in the Bible and it gave thealone samewhile feeling got went to different schools. If I wasn’t busy with school or work, I was when he heard scripture. I have personally not memorized much sleeping. struggled withspeaking feeling alone a lot, in butmy thissleep summer scripture, Iso to just be scripture wasthe anLord unhas me thatThen I amthe never alone.verse I learned thatday no was matter what, usualshown occurrence. memory for that a Psalm Ithat will talked alwaysabout have how Him God to cling andinnotouronly that,I but that He cantowork sleep. hadalso planned on wants meindividually to cling to Him. meeting with this camper that day, but at this point I

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Coming LakestrugForWhen we did meet, he told me about how he wastoreally ever Ranch took a huge gling to know what was real and what are just lies. Then, this emoleap offootball faith. I had no startidea tionally distant player what or what to ed to bawl. HeI was saiddoing he really loved expect. Psalm says, science and asked that if37:5 Christianyour to that the ity is true,“Commit then does thatway mean Lord;istrust in He Him,wanted and He all of science false. to act.”but I lived this verse believe inwillGod, he was afraid minute of every of lettingout go every of what seems to be day. As I surrendered my accepted as truth by society. God to the Father, I saw used mywillexperience of walking Himvery move in powerful andI though this similar dilemma. wonderful ways. Countless got to explain to him that science times throughout sumand Christianity can go the hand in mer, I had the pleasure of hand on many topics. We must look earth at sciencewatching throughheaven the veiland of scripbecome one through song ture instead of at scripture though andscience. praise. IAs gotChristians, to see the the veil of Godis true, grow but in we knowchildren that the of Word their confidence before the Father. timeswhat of worship, saw we Through don’t know is trueI from fear leave and love invade. I amthe beyond grateful for the perspective scientific community. I also exGod shared with me throughout the six weeks I served as the plained that he can spendworship his life leader. looking for answers outside of the Campers would arrive to Lake Forest mixed Bible, neverRanch findingfilled truewith fulfillment, emotions and expectations. At theorfirst he Pow couldWow, lookcampers at God’swere Wordusufor ally timid and hesitant to participate in worship, curiously the answers Godbut hasalso provided on seeking more. Each time we met worship thistogether side of to eternity andthe relyFather, on HimI watched as campers became more more free to worship Himthe in for and fulfillment. I said I had tried Spirit and in truth. first option and the second option There was one camper, fromwas Student stood out to muchCamp more3, that enjoyable. That me. the front rowhisduring first Pow andtime. remained dayHe he was eitheronrededicated life orthe believed for Wow the first Either there camp. As with we began to brother sing praises, he understanding watched with curiosway, all I celebrated a fellow his new of our ity. Though he did not know the songs, he would read the words on Father. the screen. As the week progressed, he began singing with us. By the end of the week he was lifting his hand in praise. He encountered the love of Jesus through our times of worship and was set free in love. To see his growth during camp was the most exciting and rewarding thing. God worked it out for this camper to return to Mission Camp Macon. And there he was again on the front row, starting right were he left off. Each Pow Wow he would perk up when we started singing a song he knew. He would sing and lift his hands. During dinner times, he would find me and request songs and express how grateful he was for the worship times everyone shared. There is always a worship night during Mission Camp Macon. I was extremely expectant for this special time of worship with everyone. As we worshiped together in Spirit and truth, the same guy who I had watched transform over the past two camps was front row and fully engaged as he sang, lifted his hands, and loudly sang praises to the great I AM. He confidently and boldly entered into the throne room with thanksgiving and praise. It was beautiful. After the worship night, he came up to me and expressed how grateful he was for the worship team. He went onto say, “ I always looked forward to Pow Wow, because of the worship times. I knew it would be good and it always

was. You will never know how much you guys MATT impacted my life.” Then- COUNSELOR the summer was that I18 would see Christ in others. I can’t tell you how many CAREY CABIN I got to thank him and also encourage him to continue pursuing the times I did. Leaving this community will be so hard, facing everyday life Lord.Camp I got to truth toadventure him about his identity in Christ as a son again as well. But I go back a new person; I ammore in Christ. I now is speak an ongoing GodI know is so who much powerful of God. This at interaction was such a blessing from the Father. In that have a vision for reaching the lostthan that I we did not coming here! I for the staff Lake Forest Ranch, are.have Hisbefore power is evident moment, showed I was at Lake Forest Ranch. Father can’t praise God enough for directing me creation, here and placing these people in with veryGod little time me in why between in His the impact He has brought me to Lake Forest Ranch to teach His children how to sing, to my life! They had an eternal impact on me! camps, and for counselors, very on our lives, and in this case, in lead them in how to comeAsto amazing Him without shame. I cannot believe that little time to ourselves. our weakness. I was a counselor in He itwould live through me inallthis way. as is to see God’s work around Sunshine Club (our camp program MEGAN Lake Forest I felt unequipped and incaus asWhen eachI came camptounfolds with Ranch all for 7SHOAF & 8 Year olds) and I had just pable to lead. I and brought these fears to the Lord and He said, “You are its challenges victories, somecome away from my lowest point of HEAD LIFEGUARD right. You are not thefocus most equipped times counselors on what person to lead.” Obviously, this the summer. I was broken down and is notcan’t what see, I wanted hearwhat fromImy they muchto like didFather. I asked him, “Why would felt alone; however, the other male th to lead if I have no idea what I am doing?” He you bring me here by the time the 6 and final camp Sunshine Club counselor was my replied, “Thehalf lesscame equipped youI are of the first around. hadthe more dependent you will be best friend here on staff, but he was on Me.”a I counselor realized in this been for moment four of how the great it was that I could not do at his lowest point as well. My friend this job in my own strength. had toyetcompletely depend on Holy Spirit five previous camps, and I had and I were sharing our burdens, forhave everyany decision, every every moment. It took the pressure to camper frombreath, my cabin which was both bringing us down off of me. I could just be with Him as He led me. It is a sweet sweet accept Christ into their life. I had seen kids from intense backand uplifting us as we knew we had each other no matter what. surrender.come in and open up, and incredible victory stories of grounds To this point we had each only had 1 camp all summer where a kids overcoming extremely difficult things in their lives, but the camper had accepted Christ. As the week went on, the night of our LIZZY TATE fact that none of my campers had accepted Christ held me down. invitation came, and three out of my five campers stepped forward PHOTOGRAPHER Then comes the 6th camp; Kids Camp D. to accept Christ. That alone was enough to show me that even in Coming off of back-to-back cabins of 17-19 year olds into my lowest point, God was working. However, what amazed me the my first full cabin of 10 campers, all between the ages of 8 and most was this one eight year old boy and his answer to the ques11. On top of it being full, this cabin of campers was my rowdition “Why do you want to accept Jesus into your heart?” When I est, most energetic, and least inclined to respond to something asked him that question, he gave me an answer with faith only a I asked them to do. As the camp progressed, I was completely child could have. He answered “ I don’t want to wait, that way I get BeingHim a part Support Staff at LFR provides a unique perspecoverwhelmed by having a full cabin and tried to keep them under to know for of longer.” tive ofThe camp. considerably and ofinvolve a fair amount control. As I went through my one-on-ones throughout the week, faithOur of a jobs new vary Christian in the midst a broken counselor ofshowed behind-the-scenes have isbeen I had one with a specific camper who seemed to lead a pretty me how muchwork. moreAlthough powerfulI God thanon me.Support Even inStaff my previously, thisHis summer wasdone especially humbling. normal life, but admitted that he had never accepted Christ, yet, brokenness work was through me, butThe notFather of my showed flesh. me ways I am selfish and prideful, yet He also used those times when as I asked, he seemed to know the Gospel as head knowledge I was living in my flesh to bless me and show me grace despite my but maintained that he didn’t have a relationship with Christ. As I failures. One instance in which the Father showed me His grace this finished the one-on-one, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I summer involved the fact that I was a ministry partner. didn’t ask him if he would like to have that relationship with Christ Having been on Support Staff in the past, I had experienced the (nerves of Holy Spirit). freedom of being able to stay out at night and hang out with other Later that night, during LFR after Dark, the gospel was prestaffers. This made it hard at times to follow the rules and go to my sented and the kids were seeing verses about what is true about cabin every night to support the Counselor and stay up late spending them if they are in Christ. The boy I had a one-on-one with earlier time with the girls in our cabin. There was one week during the secthat day was the first to come to me with a verse that stuck out ond half of the summer, when I came really close to asking for time off to him. When I looked at the paper he had in his hands, he was from being a Ministry Partner. I remember sitting in the laundry hut late holding one that said “I am forgiven of sins - Eph. 1:7.” From this one night waiting for my clothes to dry and the Spirit clearly telling me point I went on to tell him that forgiveness of sins is a gift offered that I needed to press on and be a Ministry Partner for that next camp. by Christ and that people with a relationship with Christ have that After skit night during that camp, I was lingering in Lakeview, in Christ. As he nodded in understanding, I asked him if he would down thehe long dirt that road he to Lake Forest Ranch, I was filled when Casey, the Ministry Partner in the cabin connected to mine, delike As thatI drove as well, and said would. I asked him to pray with of what the summer hold. that I might not cided to bust out some dance moves after all the campers had gone andunspoken gave himfears guidelines through themight ABC’s of Fears becoming a Chrisbe what they that I would not fit in. I him was to listening to these to their cabins. I ended up walking with her back to our cabin, and we tian, and hewanted, said hisor prayer and just I welcomed the family of lies and believing them. been struggling a lot inare theasked past few threw a spontaneous dance party with all the girls in cabins 5 and 6, believers. I led him to Iahad chalk board wherewith campers to months; I hadwhat a lot is of true unanswered questions and burdens that I brought which turned out to be one of the most joyful moments I experienced write down about them in Christ, and without knowwith me to he camp. the next months all summer. Once I finally laid down in bed that night, the Spirit gently ing what wasWhat goingtook to place write,over he wrote “Inthree God’s heart”changed which my life up forever! reminded me that had I chosen to disobey and take that week off from sums the entirety of the lessons of the week and I knew that he Mama Sandy my eyes to truths about my truewhere identity, Papa being a Ministry Partner, I would have missed out on one of my faunderstood. So inopened my most chaotic camp; a camp I could Rich opened Christ, Chapman showed us vorite memories from the summer. Listening to and obeying the Spirit barely keepmy up eyes with on mywho kidsI am andinfelt likeChad I couldn’t invest in them all serve together and me trust.through Nick taught wehe arecan all can be hard, but I was reminded that night that the Father sees and or how pourtointo them, God well showed that us boyhow what needy and in need Jesus! staffonly became one God big family do, whether I wasofthere or All not.theI am the tool used.serving rewards our obedience to Him, even if we may not fully experience as the Body of Christ. Prayingnandnencouraging n n each other; my prayer for that reward here on earth.

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glory and my CABIN good. I would NOAH MATHIS - COUNSELOR 19 be thankful IN all circumstances and FOR DOUG SHERRILL all circumstances, even if they appear unfavorable (1 Thessalonians GROUNDSKEEPER The semester leading into my summer at LFR was the hardest of there Philippians had been so4:6). little.Our ThisFather has been a long me process/season, God 5:18, comforted this summer but through

my college career by far. Over that Christmas break at the beginning As Groundskeeper, I didn’t of 2017 I had heavily considered changing majors andwith subsequently have a lot of time campers, changing schools. I had built up a distaste for myI current situbut when did theyacademic were really ation, and I desired change. This was, in my mind, one of the biggest great. At our LFR after Dark event, decisions that I had been confronted with in quite some time. Naturally, I the ministry partners would lay sought out the Father for assistance in making this decision. I longed to verses on the table for campers to remain “in His will.” My intentions were pure, but believe me, I went about look at and see if any of the versit the completely wrong way. I would pray sometimes, begging God for a just spoke to them. something After they sign of some kind. I wasn’t picky, butesI would have preferred all picked one I would go along the lines of a plane pulling a “Change your major!” banner around behind to each them and to never them it flying right by the window of my dorm room.ofObviously thistalk thing about their verses. came, much to my dismay. I was putting pressure on myself to make the week, a camper chose correct decision regarding what school to One attend, lest the wrong decision 2:10 which says, “I am put me outside of His will. Judging 2byTimothy my thoughts/actions, one would I asked himwas whysinful, he chose believe that I thought that choosingsaved.” the wrong school and that one although I probably wouldn’t have admitted thatand He responded “It’s at the time, they would probably bejust right. My something I’ve always wanted fear was sinning against God by choosing to do.” the After he said that, I pulled wrong school program. Silly, to right? My “sign” him aside andorgot the chance explain the gospel to him and he said never came, but God did make one thing he was ready to make his decision. Heclear prayed and just poured his to me:out apply to work at Lake heart to God. It was reallyForest great. Ranch. I had gotten some what“Man God wanted Once we gotmorsel done of I said, this awesome! We’re brothers for me, and it was a breath of fresh air in thatnow?” I said, “Yea man!” now!” and then he said “Wait I’m a Christian stressful semester. once “FINALLY!” I had appliedHeand He got pumped andSoyelled jumped up and told all his got hired, I was picturing LFR as thismeutopia friends! Right then God reminded why of I was working at LFR this spiritual growth, almost a factory that spit out summer. It was to cut grass and keep up the place, but the main rea“better” Christians who were more in tune with son was to share the love of Christ with campers. God truly blessed God. After all this, I was still in the wrong mindme this summer. set. Camp was chugging along. I had several GRAYquiteGILMORE kids get saved, I was learning a lot about myself and about whatCAMP it looksMACON like to walk in INTERN the Spirit. Things were going well, but I was, We wait on the Lord and He of course, not being explosively transformed is faithful! into what I was envisioning I’d be this far into the summer (nearly halfway through). IWith wasa truck packed full of all my belongings, I walked across exhausted from the past camp, frustrated that Troy University’s stage to receive I was not “growing” like I thought that I should and was having a hard time finding my AndAfter I was eating frankly disapmypurpose. diploma. lunch pointed that LFR wasn’t the utopia that it upI had to be.ample Abouttime this withI had my built family, time, I contracted bronchitis, which I to would in talksoon to learn God was (anda blessing listen) on disguise. I spent a couple of days in quarantine, rested up, and spent the my 6-hour drive to Lake Forest rest of that camp on Workstaff. This was where God put the right people Ranch. I knew a few things that in place so that He could speak to were me through them. Throughout the in store for me because this week, some of my fellow staff couldistell that something was bothering my third summer on staff (and me, and they genuinely wanted to help. I told summer them about frustrations second as my Camp Macon about my time at camp and before, Intern) and theybut, explained something veryI as far as specifics, simple, yet key to growing in this season. There is freedom in Christ! I knew none. When I arrived I imwas walking on eggshells trying to make the right decision, for whatever mediately began the process of reason, terrified that I’d otherwise be removed from His will. I was given raising awareness and support for a new definition of what it means to be in God’s will, and it’s simple: walk Camp Macon 2017, as well as studying the Law in the Spirit. He’ll take care of the rest. Godforrarely sendsSchool “signs”Admisto the sion Test (LSAT) that was less than a month away. This would degree of a banner behind a plane. I’ve realized that a lot oftest decisions determine if I was supposed to like where towhat go toI would school do canfor bethe left fall up tosemester, me, and that’s okay. No matter go to law school, and where. Needless to say, I was concerned, but where I end up, as long as I’m walking in the Spirit and walking in loveI wasn’t nervous. Although wasme. looming uncertainty, I was certain and communion with Him, there He’s got The rest will fall into place. Unin what I know be true—that in everything God is in working His derstanding thattosimple truth has put so much freedom my life for where

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works atclose His own perfect so glad that I have ended uptougher at Lake family, friends, andpace. LFR I’m community when things were Forest and that God has put the right people in place and spoken through than expected. Uncertainty is not a cake walk; however, God always them. up on time and we can rest in that. shows n success n n thanks n Camp Macon was a huge to the entire communiIt’s the dream of every camp counselor walk out away a sumty and student missionaries that poured theirtoheart (44from salvations mer having made an impact on someone’s life. I would say that most – we know the numbers aren’t the motivation but we must celebrate counselors who seek the Lord in their camp efforts “impact” a good many these new believers). And I found out I was accepted to Cumberland campers along the way, whether obvious or more obscure, but as per School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama with two scholarships! human nature, we long for those cases where our efforts can be gratiI got to witness firsthand this summer the faithfulness of our God. fied right before our eyes. I’m so thankful that God gifted me with one of And like Psalm 78 reads, I too can say, “Set your hope in God and do these exact circumstances just past the halfway mark of the summer, not worksitofmost. God.” rightforget whenthe I needed Immediately after a restful mid-summer break, I coasted into StuHUNTER SHEROUSE dent Camp 3, but naturally, God was still making plans in my passivity. My first student camp had been a stark contrast to the intensely movHEAD LIFEGUARD ing, no-holds-barred spiritual experience I was expecting. I thought that the older ages and generally higher maturity levels in my campers would make for an incredible week where I could walk them through some more mature issues than they may have been experiencing. I was, however, assigned the youngest age group allowed to come to a student camp rather than a kids’ camp. I think I even had a few campers who were below the threshold. Essentially, the week was another kids camp. I was sick for most of the second student camp and spent what time I wasn’t sick on Workstaff. I say these things, not to nullify what God did over the course of the weeks, but to bring into perspective my expectations for Student Camp 3. Frankly, they Going into the summer Head I had thewas thought were as pretty low,Lifeguard, which I now know not ofthat the I wouldn’t spend as much timeBut with campers as Ifaulty did last summer as a Spirit. God used that mindset of mine Counselor. I thought that I wouldn’t get toand spend any to shock me awake make meintentional sensitive totime the with them. What I didn’t think however, that I would have work Heabout, was doing right inwas front of me. campers from my cabin last There summer back to camp thisI’llyear. wascome this one camper, whom alias This was cool, becauseas most of these were so excited see Jesse, that I campers noticed was quieter and fartomore me again, that they took it uponinthemselves time me.I reserved contrast to tothespend rest of mywith cabin. This was so andhim exciting me, because into the happened to encouraging cross paths with duringtoafternoon rec as going I was heading to my cabin. I thought that I might as well knock out my first one-on-one summer, I was really hoping for that intentional one-on-one time with of the week, I asked him to sitthe and talk on before. the porch swing. Things campers thatso I had experienced summer start out as generically as most one-on-ones do, but it didn’t take long for the hurt that he was feeling to leak out into plain view. As we talked, he opened up to me about an illness that he had been diagnosed with that still affects his daily life. He told me about how much pain it caused him doing daily tasks, and how it hindered him from playing the sports he loved. And on top of the physical pain, he felt overwhelming loneliness. He felt like nobody could understand his pain, so emotional support and comfort were foreign to him. In addition to all this, his doctor had told him that if his condition followed suit and continued worsening, it could become cancerous. He was scared for his life. He was angry at God for allowing this. And nothing that I said was getting through to him. People had thrown religion at him rather than empathy. He could tell you every cliché in the book. He was tired of false encouragement. He had cemented his idea of what church and Jesus were. As far from the truth as they were, that is what he had been advertised, and he wanted no part of it.

JON HOPKINS

So, later that night atWORSHIP staff meeting, I briefly told the staff the situaLEADER tion and asked them to pray hard for Jesse. I decided to give him some space. I had tried to present the gospel to him, but I was hitting a wall. I thought it best to step back, let him experience camp, and let God do what He does best. On the very last night of camp, Jesse came to me and asked to talk. He said that he had accepted Christ the night before, which completely shocked me. At first I was skeptical, especially because he had done this without me being there and he had waited so long to tell me that it happened. I started asking questions about what God had revealed to him and had said to him over the course of the camp. His responses were incredible. What was once jaded disbelief had become authentic faith. His perspective on his illness had changed, and his entire outlook on life had completely shifted. The Spirit was in him, and it was obvious! He had been given new perspectives, appreciation, and understanding

JULIANNA JONES

that only the Spirit can provide. Nothing that I said made a difference in CAMP NANNY how he viewed Christianity or Jesus. My inability to help him was made very clear to me. Jesse had an encounter with Jesus, and was changed because of it. My introduction to this story may have been a bit misleading. I was not given one of those circumstances where my efforts were rewarded. I didn’t make an impact in this camper’s life. However, what I was blessed with was a front row seat at God’s work in this camper’s life showing real payoffs. I got to witness firsthand the impact that an experience with God can have on a person’s life. No mindset is too cemented for his fierce love. No diagnosis is too severe for the comfort that comes from the Spirit. In Him we are made new, once and for all, secure in the promise of life that we have in Jesus.

RACHEL BROOM - COUNSELOR CABIN 8 The first day of Student Camp 1, one of thesummer girls in was my cabin wouldn’t This amazing and I got to see God work in numerspeak to God anyone. She in ous ways! placed mebehaved on the Worship Team for a reason and one a way that she of thosethat wasmade shownmeto think me during the first Student Camp. God used did joy not for want anything to do withonme, my worship for His glory the last day of that camp. When I which was hard for me. At first, worship, the truth in the words of theI songs that we sing overwhelm thought she thought that in she me, and maybe the joy of Christ is shown my expression. During that camp thanpartner, me or and too one coolof for Iwas wasbetter a ministry the campers in my cabin saw that Lake ForestofRanch general. When expression joy andin wondered why. He then said that he wanted to I asked her to have one-on-one worship Christ like Iawas able to. with From that, I was able to share the me, she said, “Only if I have to.” In the him to trust God with his past, love of Christ with him and encourage beginningand of future! our one-on-one, her re- and humbling thing to see God present, It was an amazing sponses to amy questions were shortthe joy He had given me through use me, as worship leader, to take and vague. ourit to conversation con-to Christ! worship, andAsuse lead someone tinued, however, she began to open up about a lot things in her life that were heavier and harder than you would expect to hear from any teenager. Every time I brought up the Father, she would pull away. She genuinely believed that she did not need the love of Jesus because she found enough love in other areas of her life. Throughout the week, she refused to participate in camp activities and didn’t even try to make friends. It was hard for me not to get frustrated with her because I wanted her to have the fullest camp experience. After more conversations, I understood more of what she was going through and her behavior started to make sense. Her past made it difficult for her to relate to the other campers and to me. While she was in my cabin, I tried to carry all of her burdens and wanted to fix all of her problems myself. Trying to carry that weight alone took a toll on me. After talking to the Father about all of this, He revealed to me that I needed to simply fix my eyes on Him and He would do the rest. I finally realized that I needed to seek Him for the words to say and the truth that she needed to hear during our conversations. I had never realized how powerful prayer was and how much of a difference that it can make. I found that seeking and depending on Him during our one-on-ones caused words to come out of my mouth that were not from me, but from the Holy Spirit, and were exactly what that camper needed. On the last full day of camp, I watched her begin to make friends, and she even went on the zip line! I saw a tremendous difference in behavior in this camper as the week continued.

At the bonfire testimony time, shewillactually up and Summer of 2017 is not one that be easilystood forgottenfor myspoke path aboutmywhat had gone in getting to serve again this summer, role she this summer, andthrough all the andunique. how the lovethat canI was get Lord has taught me are all incredibly TheFather’s last summer yousaying through The nanny,” whole on staff (2015), I distinctly remember “I will anything. never be camp I never knew thatither because it was just too daunting ofcamp, a role and I didn’t feel like wentheart with opened to the Gospel my personality at all. The Lord is sowas coolbeing and faithful because gently over that she really listen-I the course of two years, He beganand to change mywas hearteven and this summer This showed me how had the amazing blessing to nannying. 8 kids every day. There havepowerful been so theI’ve love of the Jesus and through how it can many moments this summer where seen Lordiswork the change anyone’s heart.Camp Macon. kids, but the clearest moment for me was during Mission n n Camp n n I had been bummed all week because Mission is my favorite Driving down Road camp of the summer and, as the nanny, I wasn’t ableLake to beForest as involved May,toI watch was filled withget nerves and as I had been in years past. It wasin hard the kids off buses anxiety about what away this summer in the morning and have to walk the opposite direction– from the would beI knew like. Ineeded had heard a lotChrist aboutand LFR and knew was a kids who to know to be loved on that (evenit though great place and anneeded incredible I felt likeThe I was inadequate the kids I nannied thatministry, love just but as much). morning of the to serve a counselor this summer. Throughout staff be-I third day, as I was sitting in the dining hall with three of the kidstraining, I nanny itand came evident to me thatfor God had me here(she for was a purpose andfor that He saw a girl who had come Mission Camp too young team was going to do a great summer.at the Team Camp and was camp but was visiting withwork her this grandfather Slowly FatherThe began me that I had the same agebut as surely, the kidsthe I nanny). four to kidsreveal were to coloring a picture been living a when life fullallofofguilt and shame. in church, I had of a princess a sudden the oneGrowing little girlup states, “This girl is learnedjust all about theI blinked weight and of sin, butthem it wasn’t perfect, like me.” at herconsequences words, but chose to let pass until this surely summer I really thatbyGod hadI figured taken that weight because shethat didn’t meanlearned anything it, and I shouldn’t away.a He to reveal me the this identity that He’s givenremark me in open canbegan of spiritual wormstobecause girl made a passing Him, and that changed everything. about her picture. This summer, each staff member a wordspoke that had Sweetly and quietly one of the littlereceived girls I nanny up inbeen my prayed“Actually,” over us and summers. My word was “wanted” stead. she over said, our continuing to color her picture, “You’re and not all summer the Father teaching me how me,uploves perfect and neither am I.has Onlybeen Jesus is. Because youHe andsees I mess and me,bad and wants me. He has taughtisme how to love myself and bedo things sometimes. But Jesus perfect.” cause of that, I have been ablebytothis love He obehas I was immediately humbled six my yearcampers old who well. had the helped and me to become confident Him alone, rather thanshould puttinglook my dience immediacy of Christ. inThat’s what my witness identity other thingssweet or people. Coming into grace this summer, no like everyinday. A quiet, reminder of God’s and loveI had without that my viewworld of myself was off, but as thethink Father shown aidea thought in the of what someone might of has me or how me my more ofmay Himself, He has shown me who I am too. words be perceived. I was upset because I was missing Mission so thankful despite nerves and anxiety, theI Father CampI am Macon, but the that, reason I wasmy missing it wasn’t because wasn’t called meintoit,beit’sa because counselor summer. I have storiesThe of physically mythis flesh convinced me countless of that thought. howyear I saw work in the lives Camp of my Macon campers, of those six old Him I nanny found Mission andbut shenone got the point. stories if He ithadn’t And I’m would so gladfeel Godtheletsame me watch unfold.been working in me too.

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represent fear and sin weighing Each night in the cabin we would gatherREBEKAH around and just TATE spend - COUNSELOR CABIN 3 me down. When I first picked up my chain, I felt a sting on my palm. I looked down to find no blood, so I assumed it was time talking about various topics, laughing and just hanging out with just a sting. As another exercise from that station, we were topraying write down lies one another. As wor-It was really cool to see these girls grasp the real meanfor this that we believe about ourselves, and I wrote “unworthy.” I began to cry, and II ing shipof community time while they were at camp. Jason Curry, the speaker camp…” looked down at my hand to find it bleeding. The chain that represented sinwhat hurt for camp that started theweek, shared two things in PowWow that really stuck didn’t hear me. Sin harmed me. Thoughts of unworthiness harmed me. out to me; it is that truth is truth no matter what and that it is crucial first night of else he said So, as I was crying and looking at my bleeding palm,because and reading the as fellowcamp believers to encourage one another and be there to pick student my word “unworthy,” I lifted my eyes to the banner that hung on the wall. This someone up when they are down. I was sudsweet camper banner read, “Christ in you, in Christ.” Then I noticed something in that last night of camp both of these truths were experienced denlyOn theburlookedelseover at very moment… the photo of the girl on the banner was me. The in Cabinto6.pray We got back to the cabin and all the girls wanted to share dened me words with “Christ tears in you, in Christ” were literally covering me. I tell you what, in I washer just crying their testimonies for the girls and things that were on their hearts. As each one eyes earlier. In that moment I was boo-hooing. Abba was telling me in that moment, began to share, it was clear to see that there was a pattern of pain in my cabin and said “Wow. that I am worthy. He sent His son to die for me just so I could have label and struggles, as well as guilt for past things that had hapand similar not just That is the so God! of “worthy.” A sweet friend told me later that night that Abba blinded me to pened. The cool part is, as one was sharing and had begun to cry, the to pray, but to He got boththe of banner when I walked into the room (I mean, it was a pretty large just other moved from their beds and began to comfort and encourpray girls specifiy’all banner), to pray that so I could experience that sweet moment with Him. age callyeach for other. res- It was beautiful to watch because the counselor and I for ME.” Another station that night was the hand-washing station. It represented got to speak truth into some of the lies that they had believed, as well toration. I had It’s the how Christ cleanses us of our sins. I washed the blood off of my hands that sin as just be there to give encouragement. What an amazing and faithful not heard their coolest thing (the chain) and caused me. It was in this moment that I finally started to believe God we serve who gives us people who have walked through similar stories yet, but to experience that I was worthy, because Christ cleansed me of my unworthiness. things us! r e g a rto d l encourage ess, Christ working Finally, as the night was coming to a close, I went straight for the mural. This has I started lift-been a summer of growth as the Father has taken me through youI knew what I was going to paint this time. The word “resurrected” waslives painted out my comfort ing ofeach one zone and shown me what humble service and genin the of in red. I traced my hand just above that word and put red paint in theI middle uine love up looktolike. The only way that I have been able to serve or love of them others. never of the palm and streamed it down to the “R” in “resurrected.”truly We can underdefeat others through Jesus inside of me. the isFather, death, because Christ has already defeated it for us. This is what makes praying He’d stood abidingus in worthy. restore them in whatever was needed. As the week unfolded, I Christ until this summer, as He taught me how to rest in Him and watch CATwayTHOMPSON began to see the desperate need for restoration among these girls. Him work, not just in the lives of myKIDDER campers but in mine too. DANIEL FOOD SERVICE ASSISTANT During the first afternoon, one of my campers and I were sitting on n n n n VIDEOGRAPHER one of the swings of Lakeview and she slowly began to open up to me, On the last day of one of the kids camps I was feeling pretty physitelling me of all the hard things she had experienced in her 12 years of cally exhausted, dealing with a head cold and had been working outlife. From seeing her baby sister die in a car accident, being used by side for a while. As I walked back to my cabin I prayed for strength to her mom in theft, being rejected and unloved by her mom, neglected be able to love these campers with His love and I be nothing short of by her family, and so many more deep wounds. These wounds resulted what He wanted me to be. I stepped onto my cabin porch and several in her believing the lie that “this world would be better off without her.” kids met me at the door saying, “Count to 20 then you can come in.” As she poured out the hurt and pain of her life, she and I were both in I did that and then opening the door I found a note hanging from the tears. She said through sobs “I never talk about my hurt and I’ve never door frame that said, “Hey, Reba this is your campers welcome to your told anyone all the things I just told you… but, it’s weird, I feel like I’m end of the camp scavenger hunt. Your first clue is…” As I followed the finally healing.” clues, I found a beautiful flower bouquet, M & M’s, Hershey’s, Notes She continued to tell me of how she had finally found true love and and a Coke. The last clue led me to the clothes line where I found all my acceptance in Jesus Christ and had received His gift of salvation just campers and a sign pinned to the clothes line reading, “WE LOVE U!” shortly before camp! “For the first time in my life I was happy.” She said, and there they were, holding an LFR thermos as they ran to hug me. “I would just sit in my room staring at my open Bible and feel happy, just I lost it. Crying I thanked them for loving me so well. God used these knowing they were His words.” Life at home got harder as her mom was precious kids to fill me back up and bring me so much joy. Many times put inThe jailday shortly after, and her siblings were sent to live with relatives. He uses us to pour His love out to them, but I can say it equally works before the very first camp of the summer, the staff gathered to She told me, “Godwas brought here for aExperience.” reason; HeIiswent healing This the other as well. of this summer I felt very anxious and scared At theway beginning Lakeview for what calledme a “Worship into me. this night is the firstitplace ever gone that I Ifeel and happy!” Throughout my God shall Forest supply Ranch. all your needs according to HisI was richesexin about“But coming to Lake Don’t get me wrong, expecting to be I’ve no big deal because havesafe already been to that Worship the week, we a lot of prior time totogether andI might laughing glory IbygotChrist Jesus.” :19 feel qualified. I felt like I was going to cited the job, but Phil I didn’t Experience the spent two summers this one.praying, I actuallycrying said that not together andI looking seeing whatofwas now mess up really badly. Being around people I’d never seen before in even go, that would goattoscriptures bed instead because howtrue tiredabout I was.her Despite that she was in Christ. It was beautiful to see her wounds being healed. my life left me shy and reserved. I knew these were lies the enemy my fatigue, I went (also because a friend dragged me along and wouldn’t let On the last day of camp, as we were walking over to morning watch, was using on me during the first guys night. Everyone else new here me miss it). she was telling meI visited all Christ herstaff life was thistoweek I was said similar things. I didn’t feel the need to share what I was thinking The first station washad a bigdone mural.inThe paintand something reminded of the first was burdened to Ipray for restoration. since so many people took the words out of my mouth. The first few on it, but I couldn’t figureday outwhen what IIwanted to paint, so decided to come backI began tell her about what hadthoughts laid on my heart to on pray, was days I was by myself with equipment that wasn’t mine. All through later. Thetonight progressed and God personal were heavy myshe heart. I’d like,a“Wow! That’s awesome because that’s exactly whathow He Christ did in has my staff training I was scared and didn’t know what I was doing. But then, had problem with forgiving myself. So often I remind myself life this week!” We then sat down for morning watch and Steve Miller we were all given words before the first camp. I was given the word forgiven me, but how could I allow Christ’s forgiveness in my life when I haven’t said, “God showed me at the beginning of this week that He was go“calm.” The last thing I would think about myself was being calm. The even forgiven myself? ing toI walked bring restoration to some of your lives and that’s what I’ve been first camp was arriving and I had no idea what to expect. over to a station where I was to put a chain around my neck to

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AARON PENDERGRASS The first camp. It wasn’t that FOOD hard. I bought my ASSISTANT own camera. I now look back on SERVICE that first highlight video from Kids Camp A and want to throw up. But preskids got to see themselves and that’s the most“Practicing important the thing. As ence of God”…this is a the summer progressed, I became more and more comfortable being concept made here. This was the longest I’d ever been away from that home.was Suddenly famous Christians I became less and less anxious and scared. Family togroup became a fellow something I looked forward to. Nick Hall worldwide would read by stories about named Law-It Jesus serving people and how we should apply that toBrother our job here. Practicing was very motivating and encouraging right rence. before each camp. God’s There is out oftentimes were some mornings I woke up questioning,presence “I have to go and film all this stuff again?” Some mornings it was hard to get Sometimes easier saidup.than done, I would be wrapped up in my own thoughtsbut and Brother would have to push Lawrence myself and suppress getting lost in my thoughts so I could actually get learned the secret of bework done. I fell back into sins I thought I would have left behind by ing aware of God’s prescoming here. But I felt God speaking to me through the camp speaker, ence in all things, and he Steve Miller. Steve mentioned getting out oflearned that state of feeling guilty this while being about sin. He reminded me that Jesus already died on the cross so I a cook in a monastery. shouldn’t feel like I failed God or not done enough. Being a Christian (Col. 1:17) In a way, I reisn’t based on good works. I already knewlate thistobut I needed that to Brother Lawrence, be thrown at me again. I realized I should just move on after I sin and because this summer serve Jesus. The enemy has already lost. God brought me back to Midsummer. LFR to be a cook. When I first received news having an option I was excited to go back home and see myabout friends. I couldn’t wait to pick between roles at LFR, I never would have pondered the fact to tell them all the things I’d learned. Serving and loving people bethat I would cooking food that an entire summer at camp. God came more be important—not it wasn’t already, but it However, was becoming continues shatter expectations as toin what a fruitfulback summer is heavier ontomy heart.my I noticed a change me. Looking before considered, in theperson. summers of 2014 the summer,especially I felt like Isince was aI was reallya counselor self-righteous Sometimes and 2015. aboutbecause being faithful to theChrist. task atI hand, I would get God angrytaught at myme brother he denied would especially when I wouldand losegetmotivation. point out his mistakes irritated at him. From his view it looked recall thebetter truth of knowing thatwhen my work matters like ITo was acting than him. But I came back to andGod, sawyes, him even food, I amI took brought back to theI learned words offrom Jesus Scripagain,cooking it was different. all the things theinfirst half of the“Do summer andforapplied them intoperishes, my life. but I noticed going on ture. not work the food which for thatsin food which his life and I saw how broken he was. It was the first time I saw the endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God mistakes his set life His andseal lovedonhim. I teared a little. I knew it was my the Fatherinhas Him.” (Johnup 6:27, MEV) Contextually, one chance to speak some truth to him. So I calmly spoke it. we Jesus says these words to a group of people that are hungryThen to seek moved on and talked about other things. He was playing video games truth, but Jesus says they are seeking truth for the wrong reasons, so I only had a short window of time. especially after they were wowed by the miracle of feeding the five Second half. thousand. These words took on a whole new meaning for me after I wasfood ready be backthis and film again. I felt more us comfortable preparing for to hundreds summer. Jesus reminds as Chrisabout my job and my performance. I was ready to work tians that we are not like the rest of the world; we no longerwith workDaniel withSchwertz, the other videographer, for six more camps. I was asked to out purpose, but we work now for an eternal purpose. What is even be a ministry partner for Cabin 18 because the counselor became sick wilder than that is that Jesus is willing to give us Himself continually! and the ministry partner had to take over as counselor. The next day, Even was afterout all for of the this,count. my weary heart so often said, “But God,I Schwertz He had a really bad fever. So there how do I keep an eternal perspective in mind while making perishable was, a ministry partner and the only videographer. People asked me food…all of the I make bad in a fewI hours, whatThe is if I was okay andfood howthat I was doing.goes The truth though, was calm. the God, it’sin even worse when snarky and un-to Holypoint? Spirit moved me that week and people I got allseem the work I needed grateful!” Spirit continually back to mywith mindme. theI get done However, and more.the I realized my wordbrought really connected words of Christ, even the Son of were Man came be served, but don’t think for a “For second those words pickednot at to random. to serve, give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, MEV) Theand lasttocamp. “TrulyComing I say toout you, as you have Idone it for confident one of thewith least of these of this summer feel more myself and brothers of mine, youJesus have more done back it forhome. Me.” (Matthew have a heart to serve I also have25:40, a calmMEV) spirit and don’t like conflict. bestallsummer in my working “Jesus, knowing that theI have Fatherhad hadthe given things into Hislife hands and here at Lake Forest Ranch. I can’t wait to be back home and use the that He came from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid gifts I’ve learned here and apply them in the real world. I’m so thankful aside His garments, and took a towel and wrapped Himself. After that, for poured all the opportunities and and friendships got tothe have. Therefeet is not He water into a basin began toI wash disciples’ anda single person on staff I didn’t like. I’m glad I got to be here and meet to wipe them with the towel with which He was wrapped.” (John 13:3these people. going be a tough goodbye. But God has inusChrist all on 5, MEV) “HaveIt’sthis mindtoamong yourselves, which is yours paths that will lead to greater things for the Kingdom.

Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing toDANIEL be grasped,SCHWERTZ but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found VIDEOGRAPHER in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8, ESV) After all of this, I even thought that after all of the times I was irritated with people complaining about food, like the Israelites in the wilderness did with manna from heaven, I probably would have complained too. Being too familiar with something makes us ungrateful, but these passages of Scripture continually convicted me, and reminded me that my labor was not in vain. I’m very thankful to serve a humble Savior that tells me that my work is purposeful, and that in everything I do, whether I eat, drink, or do some other task, I can do it all to the glory of God! (1st Corinthians 10:31) In the end, this was probably one of the most productive summers I’ve experienced, because it was only in the background role of being a cook that I learned best what servant leadership means. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said in his book “Life Together” the following about service: “Once a man has experienced the mercy of God in his life, he will henceforth aspire only to serve. The proud throne My dearest brother, of the judge no longer lures him; he wants to be down below with the This morning I find myself thanking Our Lord for offering me a lowly and the needy, because that is where God found him.” (page new opportunity to worship this past evening. Our camp director en94) Operating out of a heart of gratitude is mostly found in the place joys saying, “Sleep is the most spiritual thing you can do”; however, of service. God loves a heart that is willing, and a heart that has comI spent, for the first time in my life, this entire night without a hint of mitted service to God has experienced the mercy of God, and a heart it. Though physically exhausted, and slightly nauseous, I feel more that has experienced mercy will value people the way Jesus values spiritual rest than I have found in some time. people, and that is what it means to “practice the presence of God” This morning, the Creator surprised me with the dawn. Very late and to “practice the presence of people.” These cannot be separated, in the night, after many hours of worshipping our Creator through crefor in loving people, we love God, and in loving God, we love people. ating videos, I felt strongly nature’s call. Grabbing my flashlight, I prepared for a dark andAUTUMN eerie journey across camp to relieve myself. But ADAMS when opening wide the door, what greeted me but an avian symphony CLUB LEADER heralding inSECOND grey sky HALF the newSUNSHINE day. Sitting on the lake pier, surrounded by the swirling hevel, my Sovereign graced me with His beauty. Like the return of our Christ, I eagerly awaited, anticipated, the rising of the new sun until I felt His warmth on my cheeks and His glory shone around me. I hope this letter finds your spirit encouraged, your mind renewed, and your face upon the Almighty. Yours, Daniel Praise Be to the Creator.

This summer I knew that I was here for a reason, but it was difficult for me to understand what that reason was until I got here. I just knew that I should rest in the Lord and give it all to Him. Trusting in Him fully was difficult at first until I got to meet all of the supportive people that are on staff. They were able to become an example of how I desire to be. God’s love has been a big part of my summer. Various types of people have been able to show me how important His love for us is.

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It all started with a former staff member I met at Camp Macon. He has shown me how people can use God’s love through them to spread the word. He told me that God is love and without God people can’t truly love, but you can show them love no matter the circumstance. It may be very difficult because at times you may want to not love someone, but God gives you the power of His will to love them unconditionally. I really brought that to heart for the past few weeks and have used it to help me throughout my time serving at camp. I was able to love kids even when they may not have the same feelings towards me. Also I have learned patience. I was a Sunshine Club Leader, so I got to work with 7 and 8 year olds. They don’t tend to listen that much which can get frustrating fast. I would use God’s love to help me remain steady with the children. At times I would want to just give up, but I was brought here to Lake Forest Ranch to give them the love that I desire for others to have. I want people to see and feel the Lord when I am with them. I know on my own I couldn’t have loved so many people. I was also sick at one point during my time I was serving on staff. I was so anxious to get back out to go work with the kids, but during that time I was in my cabin alone, it showed me how much I just need to be patient because I was shown how to give God’s love to everyone around me. It was like all of a sudden everything just hit me like a truck. I realized I need to remain constant with my walk with Christ, and I should love others unconditionally just like God loves us. The last kids camp of the summer really encouraged me. The kids were the best of both worlds. They were tender-hearted and rambunctious. They may not have listened most of the time, but I could see the seeds of Christ being planted in each and every one of them. They all gave me the opportunity to spread the word and just love them. They all wanted me to spend time with them. The previous camps before were completely different. I got the chance to connect with them with the word, but this last camp God really has blatantly spoken out to me. I couldn’t have done any of this without the love of Christ taking me step-by-step each day. The opportunity that I have been blessed with, to be a Sunshine Club Leader, is something I could’ve never imagined. I had so much support, which had helped me to become even more excited than I already was to get to serve at Lake Forest Ranch. The community has been so encouraging. It has influenced me to want to go back home and create a community similar to it. I want to be able to show God’s love back home because He is present through it all. I want more people back home to look at me and see God through my actions. I am privileged to have been created into a new creation by the Lord this summer.

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ASHTON RAY ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

it started. And, though I spent most of the time with other staff members, I was still given the chance to hangout with the campers from time to time. Having been a Counselor in 2015, I got to spend time with some of my campers that came back this summer. I got to hear of God’s faithfulness in their lives, proof that the work He does in five days at camp is strong and lasting. My role on Support Staff could have easily left me behind a desk and removed from the relational ministry that was taking place at camp. But, as I made myself available, I got to be right in the middle of it. I experienced God’s faithfulness, as He was available to me each time I made myself available to someone else. He was constant, strong, and dependable, leading me as I led others, and showing me His faithfulness time and time again.

BECCA THOMPSON SUNSHINE CLUB CHIEF The past three months have been a whirlwind. I graduated college and watched my brother get married before quickly packing up my things and moving to Lake Forest for what felt like the millionth time. As I pulled through the camp’s gate, I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that God had, once again, called me to spend my summer in the middle of these pine trees. I knew, due to the impracticality of my being here and haziness as to why exactly I had been called back, that God had important plans. I wasn’t wrong. Serving for my fourth summer at LFR, it would have been really easy for me to assume what my summer would look like. It would have been easy for me to retreat among the people that I knew and to fall into the routine of the summer. But, before I had the chance to do that, the Father put the phrase “Be available” on my heart. He gave me a desire to lead the staff, to be available to them, the campers, and the administration. He challenged me to fight my comfort and my tendencies, to say yes to the people that wanted to get to know me, and to get to know the people that He’d placed around me. I knew that this summer my ministry was primarily to the staff rather than the campers. So, I fought against my exhaustion and my introverted personality, and I made myself available to God and to the staff. I continuously asked God to show me what it looked like to be available, and day after day, he answered that prayer. I got the chance to have one-on-ones with the girl counselors, giving me the chance to watch how God was equipping His daughters to share the gospel to, well, His younger daughters. I got to hear their stories, their struggles, and their victories. He gave me the chance to empathize, celebrate, and pray with these girls, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. In making myself available, I was given a front row seat to what God was doing in the lives of the staff members. When the summer started, I would have never called myself a teacher. But, when the second half of the summer came along, I found myself with the chance to teach Workstaff Bible study every camp. I was given the chance to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and to study God’s Word in a way I hadn’t before. In Workstaff Bible study, I got to know a branch of the staff in a way that no one else could. I got to listen to the Spirit, asking Him what the Workstaff needed and watching as He stretched me in my ability to teach. Teaching Workstaff Bible study was one of the last things I expected this summer, but it was an opportunity I have not stopped giving thanks for since

For a long time I believed a lie that many of us as followers of Jesus believe. However, I didn’t realize the gift of truth that I was missing until recently. At Student Camp 1, on the last night of PowWow (the worship and preaching time), I came into it a bit distracted and frustrated at myself. I remember thinking that I hoped I would be able to “get my mind right” for worship. I remember wishing that I did not have to go through a process to be ready to be in the presence of God. Immediately, I felt the Lord rebuke that thought. Truth began to pour into my mind and soul. “You don’t have to fix anything to enter into My presence,” whispered the Father. We had been learning all week in Steve Miller’s messages that we believers are the very dwelling place of God. His presence radiates through my very being, regardless of what I feel. When I go to worship, I don’t have to be a certain way or feel a certain thing for me to be in the presence of God. My Jesus came to earth to make it possible for the presence of God to live in me. While worshipping, I simply chose to believe the fact that He is with me, sees me, and dwells in me. Before I knew it, I felt face to face with Jesus, and I didn’t even have to fix anything or go through a “mind process” to get there. Seeing the presence of God is a choice. It is a fact that the presence of God is constantly dwelling in me. Even after that worship time, Jesus was not finished revealing truth to me. At the end of Steve Miller’s message, he began to talk

about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Lord had revealed to Steve the ultimate truth about how God intended a relationship with us. In the beginning, before the fall, Adam and Eve walked with God every day. They were naked, vulnerable, exposed, and shameless in the eyes of the Lord. There was nothing in between Adam and Eve and God. Nothing. After Adam and Eve sinned, they were separated from that perfect relationship with Him. However, God promised that one day He would restore what was broken. The Father fulfilled that promise when He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross to provide forgiveness for our sins. The moment that Jesus defeated sin on the cross, the veil separating death and life was ripped in half, and the relationship of God and man was instantly restored for those who believe. So often in our faith, we think we have to hide certain things, not discuss certain things, or feel a certain way to be able to be good enough to talk to our King. We think that we have to act or pray a certain way for Him to hear us. We are afraid that some mistake that we make can once again place a veil up between us and the Father. That is a lie. There is NOTHING we have to be ashamed of. There is NOTHING I could ever do that could cause the veil to come up again. There is NO mistake that I would have to “pray away” for me to be able to have a “good relationship” with Jesus once again. The moment Christ said, “It is finished” was the moment that the perfect relationship, the one just like that of the Garden, was again available. For I am able to be naked, vulnerable, exposed, and shameless in the eyes of the Lord no matter what mistakes I make along the way. My Father will never see me differently, because all He sees is Christ in me. This is the relationship our God intended from the beginning. In our flesh we often doubt the grace of God. But regardless of my doubts, regardless of my failures, regardless of my fears, I am known by the Father and He is known to me. I am the dwelling place of Jesus, and the very presence of God is my life.

CASEY RANALLI SUNSHINE CLUB CHIEF AND ADMINISTRATIVE HELPER

This has been my first summer working at LFR and the Lord has done many amazing things. During Student Camp 3 I had the opportunity of being a cabin partner to Brevard, the counselor in Cabin 6. This was not my first camp being in a cabin with a counselor; however, it was one camp that stood out to me. It was just something about the group that made it feel comfortable.

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represent fear and sin weighing Each night in the cabin we would gatherREBEKAH around and justTATE spend - COUNSELOR CABIN 3 me down. When I first picked up my chain, I felt a sting on my palm. I looked down to find no blood, so I assumed it was time talking about various topics, laughing and just hanging out with just a sting. As another exercise from that station, we were praying to write down lies one another. As wor-It was really cool to see these girls grasp the real meanfor this that we believe about ourselves, and I wrote “unworthy.” I began to cry, and II ing of community ship time while they were at camp. Jason Curry, the speaker camp…” looked down at my hand to find it bleeding. The chain that represented hurt for camp that started the week, shared two things in PowWow that really stuck didn’t hearsinwhat me. Sin harmed me. Thoughts of unworthiness harmed me. out to me; it is that truth is truth no matter what and that it is crucial first night of else he said So, as I was crying and looking at my bleeding palm,because and reading my the as fellowcamp believers to encourage one another and be there to pick student word “unworthy,” I lifted my eyes to the banner that hung on the wall. This someone up when they are down. I was sudsweet camper banner read, “Christ in you, in Christ.” Then I noticed something in that last night of camp both of these truths were experienced denlyOn the burlookedelse over at very moment… the photo of the girl on the banner was me. The in Cabin We got back to the cabin and all the girls wanted to share dened to 6.pray me words with “Christ tears in you, in Christ” were literally covering me. I tell you what,inI washerjust crying their the testimonies for girls and things that were on their hearts. As each one eyes earlier. In that moment I was boo-hooing. Abba was telling me in that moment, began to share, it was clear to see that there was a pattern of pain in my cabin and said “Wow. that I am worthy. He sent His son to die for me just so I could have theGod! label and similar struggles, as well as guilt for past things that had hapand not just That is so of “worthy.” A sweet friend told me later that night that Abba blinded me to pened. The cool part is, as one was sharing and had begun to cry, the to pray, but to He got both the of banner when I walked into the room (I mean, it was a pretty large banner), just other girls moved from their beds and began to comfort and encourpray specifiy’all to pray that so I could experience that sweet moment with Him. age each cally for other. res- It was beautiful to watch because the counselor and I for ME.” Another station that night was the hand-washing station. It It’s represented got to speak toration. I hadtruth into some of the lies that they had believed, as well the how Christ cleanses us of our sins. I washed the blood off of my hands that sin as just be there to give encouragement. What an amazing and faithful not heard their coolest thing (the chain) and caused me. It was in this moment that I finally started to believe God we serve who gives us people who have walked through similar stories yet, but to experience that I was worthy, because Christ cleansed me of my unworthiness. us! rthings e g a r dtol eencourage ss, Christ working Finally, as the night was coming to a close, I went straight for the mural. This has I started lift- been a summer of growth as the Father has taken me through youI knew what I was going to paint this time. The word “resurrected” waslives painted out of my comfort ing each one zone and shown me what humble service and genin the of in red. I traced my hand just above that word and put red paint in theI middle uine loveup look of them to like. The only way that I have been able to serve or love others. never of the palm and streamed it down to the “R” in “resurrected.” We canunderdefeat others is through Jesus inside of me. the Father, truly death, because Christ has already defeated it for us. This is what makes praying He’d stood abiding us in worthy. restore them in whatever was needed. As the week unfolded, I Christ until this summer, as He taught me how to rest in Him and watch CATwayTHOMPSON began to see the desperate need for restoration among these girls. Him work, not just in the lives of my KIDDER campers but in mine too. DANIEL FOOD SERVICE ASSISTANT During the first afternoon, one of my campers and I were sitting on n n n n one of the swings of Lakeview and she slowly began to open up to me, On the last day of oneVIDEOGRAPHER of the kids camps I was feeling pretty physitelling me of all the hard things she had experienced in her 12 years of cally exhausted, dealing with a head cold and had been working outlife. From seeing her baby sister die in a car accident, being used by side for a while. As I walked back to my cabin I prayed for strength to her mom in theft, being rejected and unloved by her mom, neglected be able to love these campers with His love and I be nothing short of by her family, and so many more deep wounds. These wounds resulted what He wanted me to be. I stepped onto my cabin porch and several in her believing the lie that “this world would be better off without her.” kids met me at the door saying, “Count to 20 then you can come in.” As she poured out the hurt and pain of her life, she and I were both in I did that and then opening the door I found a note hanging from the tears. She said through sobs “I never talk about my hurt and I’ve never door frame that said, “Hey, Reba this is your campers welcome to your told anyone all the things I just told you… but, it’s weird, I feel like I’m end of the camp scavenger hunt. Your first clue is…” As I followed the finally healing.” clues, I found a beautiful flower bouquet, M & M’s, Hershey’s, Notes She continued to tell me of how she had finally found true love and and a Coke. The last clue led me to the clothes line where I found all my acceptance in Jesus Christ and had received His gift of salvation just campers and a sign pinned to the clothes line reading, “WE LOVE U!” shortly before camp! “For the first time in my life I was happy.” She said, and there they were, holding an LFR thermos as they ran to hug me. “I would just sit in my room staring at my open Bible and feel happy, just I lost it. Crying I thanked them for loving me so well. God used these knowing they were His words.” Life at home got harder as her mom was precious kids to fill me back up and bring me so much joy. Many times put inThe jail day shortly after, and her siblings were sent to live with relatives. He uses us to pour His love out to them, but I can say it equally works before the very first camp of the summer, the staff gathered to She told me, “Godwas brought for aExperience.” reason; He is healing the other way as well. of this summer I felt very anxious and scared At the beginning Lakeview for what calledmea here “Worship I went intome. this This night isexpecting the first itplace everdeal gone that I feel safe and happy!” my God shall supply your needs to HisI riches in about“But coming to Lake Forest all Ranch. Don’t according get me wrong, was exto beI’ve no big because I have already been to Throughout that Worship the week, we a lot of time andI laughing glory by Christ :19 feel qualified. I felt like I was going to cited I got the Jesus.” job, butPhil I didn’t Experience thespent two summers prior together to this one.praying, I actuallycrying said that might not together at to scriptures seeing whatofwas now mess up really badly. Being around people I’d never seen before in even go, and that Ilooking would go bed instead because howtrue tiredabout I was.her Despite that she was in Christ. It was beautiful to see her wounds being healed. my life left me shy and reserved. I knew these were lies the enemy my fatigue, I went (also because a friend dragged me along and wouldn’t let On the last day of camp, as we were walking over to morning watch, was using on me during the first guys night. Everyone else new here me miss it). she was telling me Iall Christ inThe her staff life was this to week I was said similar things. I didn’t feel the need to share what I was thinking The first station visited washad a bigdone mural. paintand something reminded of the first day was burdened to pray for restoration. since so many people took the words out of my mouth. The first few on it, but I couldn’t figure outwhen what I wanted to paint, so I decided to come backI began to night tell her about what had thoughts laid on my heart to pray, was days I was by myself with equipment that wasn’t mine. All through later. The progressed andGod personal were heavy on myshe heart. I’d like, That’s awesome because that’sI remind exactlymyself what how He did in my staff training I was scared and didn’t know what I was doing. But then, had a“Wow! problem with forgiving myself. So often Christ has life this week!” We then sat down for morning watch and Steve Miller we were all given words before the first camp. I was given the word forgiven me, but how could I allow Christ’s forgiveness in my life when I haven’t said, “God showed me at the beginning of this week that He was go“calm.” The last thing I would think about myself was being calm. The even forgiven myself? ing toI walked bring restoration to some of your lives and that’s what I’ve been first camp was arriving and I had no idea what to expect. over to a station where I was to put a chain around my neck to

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AARON PENDERGRASS The first camp. It wasn’t that hard. my own camera. I now look back on FOODI bought SERVICE ASSISTANT that first highlight video from Kids Camp A and want to throw up. But preskids got to see themselves and that’s the most“Practicing important the thing. As ence of God”…this is a the summer progressed, I became more and more comfortable being concept that was made here. This was the longest I’d ever been away from home. Suddenly famous I became less and less anxious and scared. Family to groupChristians became worldwide by a fellow something I looked forward to. Nick Hall would read stories about named Law-It Jesus serving people and how we should apply that toBrother our job here. rence. each Practicing God’s was very motivating and encouraging right before camp. There is out oftentimes were some mornings I woke up questioning,presence “I have to go and film all this stuff again?” Some mornings it was hard to get up. than Sometimes easier said done, I would be wrapped up in my own thoughtsbut and would have to push Brother Lawrence myself and suppress getting lost in my thoughts so I could actually get learned the secret of bework done. I fell back into sins I thought I would have left behind by ing aware of God’s prescoming here. But I felt God speaking to me through the camp speaker, ence in all things, and he Steve Miller. Steve mentioned getting out of learned that statethis of feeling guilty while being about sin. He reminded me that Jesus already died on the cross so I a cook in a monastery. shouldn’t feel like I failed God or not done enough. Being a Christian (Col. 1:17) In a way, I reisn’t based on good works. I already knew late this tobutBrother I needed that to Lawrence, be thrown at me again. I realized I should just move on after I sin and because this summer serve Jesus. The enemy has already lost. God brought me back to Midsummer. LFR Itowas be excited a cook. toWhen I first received news having an option go back home and see myabout friends. I couldn’t wait to pick between roles at LFR, I never would have pondered the fact to tell them all the things I’d learned. Serving and loving people bethat I would be cooking foodthat an entire summer at camp. However, God came more important—not it wasn’t already, but it was becoming continues expectations as to whatLooking a fruitfulback summer is heavier ontomyshatter heart.my I noticed a change in me. before considered, was aself-righteous counselor in the summers of 2014 the summer,especially I felt like I since was aI really person. Sometimes 2015. aboutbecause being faithful to theChrist. task atI would hand, Iand would get God angrytaught at myme brother he denied especially when I would lose point out his mistakes and getmotivation. irritated at him. From his view it looked thebetter truth than of knowing thatwhen my work matters to God, like I To wasrecall acting him. But I came back and saw yes, him even cooking food, I am brought back to the words of Jesus Scripagain, it was different. I took all the things I learned from the in first half of the“Do summer andfor applied them intoperishes, my life. Ibut noticed going on ture. not work the food which for thatsinfood which his life and I saw how broken he was. It was the first time I saw the endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God mistakes his life lovedonhim. I teared a little. I knew it was my the Fatherinhas set and His seal Him.” (Johnup6:27, MEV) Contextually, one chance to speak some truth to him. So I calmly spoke it. we Jesus says these words to a group of people that are hungryThen to seek moved on and talked about other things. He was playing video games truth, but Jesus says they are seeking truth for the wrong reasons, so I only had a short of time. especially after they window were wowed by the miracle of feeding the five Second half. thousand. These words took on a whole new meaning for me after I wasfood ready be backthis andsummer. film again. I felt more us comfortable preparing fortohundreds Jesus reminds as Chrisabout my job and my performance. I was ready to work tians that we are not like the rest of the world; we no longerwith workDaniel withSchwertz, the other videographer, for six more camps. I was asked to out purpose, but we work now for an eternal purpose. What is even be a ministry partner for Cabin 18 because the counselor became sick wilder than that is that Jesus is willing to give us Himself continually! and the ministry partner had to take over as counselor. The next day, Evenwas afterout allfor of the this,count. my weary heart so often said, “But God,I Schwertz He had a really bad fever. So there how do I keep an eternal perspective in mind while making perishable was, a ministry partner and the only videographer. People asked me of the make goes bad though, in a fewI was hours, whatThe is iffood…all I was okay andfood how that I wasI doing. The truth calm. the point? God, it’s eventhat worse snarky and unHoly Spirit moved in me weekwhen and people I got allseem the work I needed to grateful!” However, Spirit continually back to mywith mind theI get done and more.the I realized my word brought really connected me. wordsthink of Christ, “For even the words Son ofwere Man came to be served, but don’t for a second those pickednot at random. to serve, give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, MEV) The and last to camp. “TrulyComing I say tooutyou, as you haveI done it for confident one of thewith least of these of this summer feel more myself and brothers of mine, youJesus havemore doneback it forhome. Me.” I(Matthew have a heart to serve also have25:40, a calmMEV) spirit and don’t like conflict. I have had thegiven bestallsummer in my working “Jesus, knowing that the Father had things into Hislife hands and here at Lake Forest Ranch. I can’t wait to be back home and use the that He came from God and was going God, rose from supper, laid gifts I’ve learned here and apply them in the real world. I’m so thankful aside His garments, and took a towel and wrapped Himself. After that, for the opportunities and friendships to the have. There feet is not He all poured water into a basin and began toI got wash disciples’ anda single person on staff I didn’t like. I’m glad I got to be here and meet to wipe them with the towel with which He was wrapped.” (John 13:3these people. It’sthis going to among be a tough goodbye.which But God has us all on 5, MEV) “Have mind yourselves, is yours in Christ paths that will lead to greater things for the Kingdom.

Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing toDANIEL be grasped,SCHWERTZ but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found VIDEOGRAPHER in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8, ESV) After all of this, I even thought that after all of the times I was irritated with people complaining about food, like the Israelites in the wilderness did with manna from heaven, I probably would have complained too. Being too familiar with something makes us ungrateful, but these passages of Scripture continually convicted me, and reminded me that my labor was not in vain. I’m very thankful to serve a humble Savior that tells me that my work is purposeful, and that in everything I do, whether I eat, drink, or do some other task, I can do it all to the glory of God! (1st Corinthians 10:31) In the end, this was probably one of the most productive summers I’ve experienced, because it was only in the background role of being a cook that I learned best what servant leadership means. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said in his book “Life Together” the following about service: “Once a man has experienced the mercy of God in his life, he will henceforth aspire only to serve. The proud throne My dearest brother, of the judge no longer lures him; he wants to be down below with the This morning I find myself thanking Our Lord for offering me a lowly and the needy, because that is where God found him.” (page new opportunity to worship this past evening. Our camp director en94) Operating out of a heart of gratitude is mostly found in the place joys saying, “Sleep is the most spiritual thing you can do”; however, of service. God loves a heart that is willing, and a heart that has comI spent, for the first time in my life, this entire night without a hint of mitted service to God has experienced the mercy of God, and a heart it. Though physically exhausted, and slightly nauseous, I feel more that has experienced mercy will value people the way Jesus values spiritual rest than I have found in some time. people, and that is what it means to “practice the presence of God” This morning, the Creator surprised me with the dawn. Very late and to “practice the presence of people.” These cannot be separated, in the night, after many hours of worshipping our Creator through crefor in loving people, we love God, and in loving God, we love people. ating videos, I felt strongly nature’s call. Grabbing my flashlight, I prepared for a dark and AUTUMN eerie journey across camp to relieve myself. But ADAMS when opening wide the door, what greeted me but an avian symphony HALF CLUB LEADER heralding inSECOND grey sky the newSUNSHINE day. Sitting on the lake pier, surrounded by the swirling hevel, my Sovereign graced me with His beauty. Like the return of our Christ, I eagerly awaited, anticipated, the rising of the new sun until I felt His warmth on my cheeks and His glory shone around me. I hope this letter finds your spirit encouraged, your mind renewed, and your face upon the Almighty. Yours, Daniel Praise Be to the Creator.

This summer I knew that I was here for a reason, but it was difficult for me to understand what that reason was until I got here. I just knew that I should rest in the Lord and give it all to Him. Trusting in Him fully was difficult at first until I got to meet all of the supportive people that are on staff. They were able to become an example of how I desire to be. God’s love has been a big part of my summer. Various types of people have been able to show me how important His love for us is.

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glory and my CABIN good. I would NOAH MATHIS - COUNSELOR 19 be thankful IN all circumstances and FOR DOUG SHERRILL all circumstances, even if they appear unfavorable (1 Thessalonians GROUNDSKEEPER The semester leading into my summer at LFR was the hardest of there Philippians had been so4:6). little.Our ThisFather has been a long me process/season, God 5:18, comforted this summer but through

my college career by far. Over that Christmas break at the beginning As Groundskeeper, I didn’t of 2017 I had heavily considered changing majors andwith subsequently have a lot of time campers, changing schools. I had built up a distaste for myI current academic situbut when did they were really ation, and I desired change. This was, in my mind, one of the biggest great. At our LFR after Dark event, decisions that I had been confronted with in quite some time. Naturally, I the ministry partners would lay sought out the Father for assistance in making this decision. I longed to verses on the table for campers to remain “in His will.” My intentions were pure, but believe me, I went about look at and see if any of the versit the completely wrong way. I would pray sometimes, begging God for a just spoke to them. something After they sign of some kind. I wasn’t picky, butesI would have preferred all picked one I would go along the lines of a plane pulling a “Change your major!” banner around behind to each them and to never them it flying right by the window of my dorm room.ofObviously thistalk thing about their verses. came, much to my dismay. I was putting pressure on myself to make the week, a wrong camperdecision chose correct decision regarding what school to One attend, lest the 2 Timothy 2:10 which says, “I am put me outside of His will. Judging by my thoughts/actions, one would I asked himwas whysinful, he chose believe that I thought that choosingsaved.” the wrong school and that one although I probably wouldn’t have admitted thatand He responded “It’s at the time, they would probably bejust right. My something I’ve always wanted fear was sinning against God by choosing to do.” the After he said that, I pulled wrong school program. Silly, to right? My “sign” him aside andorgot the chance explain the gospel to him and he said never came, but God did make one thing he was ready to make his decision. Heclear prayed and just poured his to me:out apply to work at Lake heart to God. It was reallyForest great. Ranch. I had gotten some what “Man God wanted Once we gotmorsel done of I said, this awesome! We’re brothers for me, and it was a breath of fresh air in thatnow?” I said, “Yea man!” now!” and then he said “Wait I’m a Christian stressful semester. once “FINALLY!” I had appliedHeand He got pumped andSoyelled jumped up and told all his got hired, I was picturing LFR as thisme utopia friends! Right then God reminded why of I was working at LFR this spiritual growth, almost a factory that spit out summer. It was to cut grass and keep up the place, but the main rea“better” Christians who were more in tune with son was to share the love of Christ with campers. God truly blessed God. After all this, I was still in the wrong mindme this summer. set. Camp was chugging along. I had several GRAYquiteGILMORE kids get saved, I was learning a lot about myself and about whatCAMP it looksMACON like to walk in INTERN the Spirit. Things were going well, but I was, We wait on the Lord and He of course, not being explosively transformed is faithful! into what I was envisioning I’d be this far into the summer (nearly halfway through). IWith wasa truck packed full of all my belongings, I walked across exhausted from the past camp, frustrated that Troy University’s stage to receive I was not “growing” like I thought that I should and was having a hard time finding my AndAfter I was eating frankly disapmypurpose. diploma. lunch pointed that LFR wasn’t the utopia that it upI had to be.ample About time this withI had my built family, time, I contracted bronchitis, which I to would in talksoon to learn God was (anda blessing listen) on disguise. I spent a couple of days in quarantine, rested up, and spent the my 6-hour drive to Lake Forest rest of that camp on Workstaff. This was where God put the right people Ranch. I knew a few things that in place so that He could speak to were me through them. Throughout the in store for me because this week, some of my fellow staff couldistell that something was bothering my third summer on staff (and me, and they genuinely wanted to help. I told summer them about frustrations second as my Camp Macon about my time at camp and before, Intern) and theybut, explained something veryI as far as specifics, simple, yet key to growing in this season. There is freedom in Christ! I knew none. When I arrived I imwas walking on eggshells trying to make the right decision, for whatever mediately began the process of reason, terrified that I’d otherwise be removed from His will. I was given raising awareness and support for a new definition of what it means to be in God’s will, and it’s simple: walk Camp Macon 2017, as well as studying the Law in the Spirit. He’ll take care of the rest. Godforrarely sendsSchool “signs”Admisto the sion Test (LSAT) that was less than a month away. This would degree of a banner behind a plane. I’ve realized that a lot oftest decisions determine what I would do for the fall semester, if I was supposed to like where to go to school can be left up to me, and that’s okay. No matter go to law school, and where. Needless to say, I was concerned, but where I end up, as long as I’m walking in the Spirit and walking in loveI wasn’t nervous. with Although wasme. looming uncertainty, I was certain and communion Him, there He’s got The rest will fall into place. Unin what I know be true—that in everything God is in working His derstanding that to simple truth has put so much freedom my life for where

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works atclose His own perfect so glad that I have ended up tougher at Lake family, friends, andpace. LFR I’m community when things were Forest and that God has put the right people in place and spoken through than expected. Uncertainty is not a cake walk; however, God always them. up on time and we can rest in that. shows n success n n thanks n Camp Macon was a huge to the entire communiIt’s the dream of every camp counselor walk out away a sumty and student missionaries that poured theirtoheart (44from salvations mer having made an impact on someone’s life. I would say that most – we know the numbers aren’t the motivation but we must celebrate counselors who seek the Lord in their camp efforts “impact” a good many these new believers). And I found out I was accepted to Cumberland campers along the way, whether obvious or more obscure, but as per School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama with two scholarships! human nature, we long for those cases where our efforts can be gratiI got to witness firsthand this summer the faithfulness of our God. fied right before our eyes. I’m so thankful that God gifted me with one of And like Psalm 78 reads, I too can say, “Set your hope in God and do these exact circumstances just past the halfway mark of the summer, not worksitofmost. God.” rightforget whenthe I needed Immediately after a restful mid-summer break, I coasted into StuHUNTER SHEROUSE dent Camp 3, but naturally, God was still making plans in my passivity. My first student camp had been a stark contrast to the intensely movHEAD LIFEGUARD ing, no-holds-barred spiritual experience I was expecting. I thought that the older ages and generally higher maturity levels in my campers would make for an incredible week where I could walk them through some more mature issues than they may have been experiencing. I was, however, assigned the youngest age group allowed to come to a student camp rather than a kids’ camp. I think I even had a few campers who were below the threshold. Essentially, the week was another kids camp. I was sick for most of the second student camp and spent what time I wasn’t sick on Workstaff. I say these things, not to nullify what God did over the course of the weeks, but to bring into perspective my expectations for Student Camp 3. Frankly, they Going into the summer as Head I had thewas thought were pretty low,Lifeguard, which I now know not ofthat the I wouldn’t spend as much timeBut with campers as Ifaulty did last summer as a Spirit. God used that mindset of mine Counselor. I thought that I wouldn’t get toand spend any to shock me awake make meintentional sensitive totime the with them. What I didn’t think however, I would have work Heabout, was doing right inwas frontthat of me. campers from my cabin lastThere summer back to camp thisI’ll year. wascome this one camper, whom alias This was cool, becauseasmost of these were so excited see Jesse, that I campers noticed was quieter and fartomore me again, that they took it uponinthemselves time me.I reserved contrast to tothespend rest of mywith cabin. This was so encouraging andhim exciting me, because into the happened to cross paths with duringtoafternoon rec as going I was heading to my cabin. I thought that I might as well knock out my first one-on-one summer, I was really hoping for that intentional one-on-one time with of the week, I asked him to sitthe andsummer talk on before. the porch swing. Things campers thatso I had experienced start out as generically as most one-on-ones do, but it didn’t take long for the hurt that he was feeling to leak out into plain view. As we talked, he opened up to me about an illness that he had been diagnosed with that still affects his daily life. He told me about how much pain it caused him doing daily tasks, and how it hindered him from playing the sports he loved. And on top of the physical pain, he felt overwhelming loneliness. He felt like nobody could understand his pain, so emotional support and comfort were foreign to him. In addition to all this, his doctor had told him that if his condition followed suit and continued worsening, it could become cancerous. He was scared for his life. He was angry at God for allowing this. And nothing that I said was getting through to him. People had thrown religion at him rather than empathy. He could tell you every cliché in the book. He was tired of false encouragement. He had cemented his idea of what church and Jesus were. As far from the truth as they were, that is what he had been advertised, and he wanted no part of it.

JON HOPKINS

So, later that night atWORSHIP staff meeting, I briefly told the staff the situaLEADER tion and asked them to pray hard for Jesse. I decided to give him some space. I had tried to present the gospel to him, but I was hitting a wall. I thought it best to step back, let him experience camp, and let God do what He does best. On the very last night of camp, Jesse came to me and asked to talk. He said that he had accepted Christ the night before, which completely shocked me. At first I was skeptical, especially because he had done this without me being there and he had waited so long to tell me that it happened. I started asking questions about what God had revealed to him and had said to him over the course of the camp. His responses were incredible. What was once jaded disbelief had become authentic faith. His perspective on his illness had changed, and his entire outlook on life had completely shifted. The Spirit was in him, and it was obvious! He had been given new perspectives, appreciation, and understanding

JULIANNA JONES

that only the Spirit can provide. Nothing that I said made a difference in CAMP NANNY how he viewed Christianity or Jesus. My inability to help him was made very clear to me. Jesse had an encounter with Jesus, and was changed because of it. My introduction to this story may have been a bit misleading. I was not given one of those circumstances where my efforts were rewarded. I didn’t make an impact in this camper’s life. However, what I was blessed with was a front row seat at God’s work in this camper’s life showing real payoffs. I got to witness firsthand the impact that an experience with God can have on a person’s life. No mindset is too cemented for his fierce love. No diagnosis is too severe for the comfort that comes from the Spirit. In Him we are made new, once and for all, secure in the promise of life that we have in Jesus.

RACHEL BROOM - COUNSELOR CABIN 8 The first day of Student Camp 1, one This of thesummer girls in was my cabin wouldn’t amazing and I got to see God work in numerspeak to God anyone. She in ous ways! placed mebehaved on the Worship Team for a reason and one a way that she of thosethat wasmade shownmeto think me during the first Student Camp. God used did joy not for want anything to do withonme, my worship for His glory the last day of that camp. When I which was hard for me. At first, worship, the truth in the words of theI songs that we sing overwhelm thought thought that in she me, and maybe the joy ofshe Christ is shown my expression. During that camp thanpartner, me orand too one coolof for Iwas was better a ministry the campers in my cabin saw that Lake ForestofRanch general. When expression joy andinwondered why. He then said that he wanted to I asked her to have one-on-one worship Christ like Iawas able to. with From that, I was able to share the me, she said, with “Onlyhim if I have to.” In the him to trust God with his past, love of Christ and encourage beginningand of future! our one-on-one, her re- and humbling thing to see God present, It was an amazing sponses to amy questions were shortthe joy He had given me through use me, as worship leader, to take and vague. ourit to conversation con-to Christ! worship, andAsuse lead someone tinued, however, she began to open up about a lot things in her life that were heavier and harder than you would expect to hear from any teenager. Every time I brought up the Father, she would pull away. She genuinely believed that she did not need the love of Jesus because she found enough love in other areas of her life. Throughout the week, she refused to participate in camp activities and didn’t even try to make friends. It was hard for me not to get frustrated with her because I wanted her to have the fullest camp experience. After more conversations, I understood more of what she was going through and her behavior started to make sense. Her past made it difficult for her to relate to the other campers and to me. While she was in my cabin, I tried to carry all of her burdens and wanted to fix all of her problems myself. Trying to carry that weight alone took a toll on me. After talking to the Father about all of this, He revealed to me that I needed to simply fix my eyes on Him and He would do the rest. I finally realized that I needed to seek Him for the words to say and the truth that she needed to hear during our conversations. I had never realized how powerful prayer was and how much of a difference that it can make. I found that seeking and depending on Him during our one-on-ones caused words to come out of my mouth that were not from me, but from the Holy Spirit, and were exactly what that camper needed. On the last full day of camp, I watched her begin to make friends, and she even went on the zip line! I saw a tremendous difference in behavior in this camper as the week continued.

At the bonfire testimony time, shewillactually up and Summer of 2017 is not one that be easilystood forgottenfor myspoke path aboutmywhat had gone in getting to serve again this summer, role she this summer, andthrough all the andunique. how the lovethat canI was get Lord has taught me are all incredibly TheFather’s last summer yousaying through The nanny,” whole on staff (2015), I distinctly remember “I will anything. never be camp I never knew thatit her because it was just too daunting ofcamp, a role and I didn’t feel like wentheart with opened to the Gospel my personality at all. The Lord is sowas coolbeing and faithful because gently over that she really listen-I the course of two years, He beganand to change my was hearteven and this summer This showed me how had the amazing blessing to nannying. 8 kids every day. There havepowerful been so theI’ve love of the Jesus and through how it can many moments this summer where seen Lordiswork the change anyone’s heart.Camp Macon. kids, but the clearest moment for me was during Mission n n Camp n n I had been bummed all week because Mission is my favorite Driving down Road camp of the summer and, as the nanny, I wasn’t ableLake to beForest as involved May,toI watch was filled withget nerves and as I had been in years past. It wasinhard the kids off buses anxiety about what away this from summer in the morning and have to walk the opposite direction– the would like. Ineeded had heard a lotChrist about and knew that it though was a kids whobeI knew to know andLFR to be loved on (even great place and anneeded incredible I felt likeThe I was inadequate the kids I nannied that ministry, love just but as much). morning of the to serve a counselor this summer. Throughout staff be-I third day, Iaswas sitting in the dining hall with three of the kidstraining, I nanny itand came evident to me thatfor God had me here(she for was a purpose andfor that He saw a girl who had come Mission Camp too young team was going to do a great summer.at the Team Camp and was camp but was visiting withwork her this grandfather Slowly FatherThe began me that I had the same agebut as surely, the kidsthe I nanny). four to kidsreveal were to coloring a picture been living a when life fullallofofguilt and shame. in church, I had of a princess a sudden the oneGrowing little girlup states, “This girl is learnedjust all about theI blinked weight and of sin, butthem it wasn’t perfect, like me.” at herconsequences words, but chose to let pass until this surely summer I really thatbyGod hadI figured taken that weight because shethat didn’t meanlearned anything it, and I shouldn’t away.a He to reveal me the this identity that He’s givenremark me in open canbegan of spiritual wormstobecause girl made a passing Him, and that changed everything. about her picture. This summer, each one staff of member a wordspoke that had Sweetly and quietly the littlereceived girls I nanny up inbeen my prayed“Actually,” over us and summers. My word was “wanted” stead. she over said, our continuing to color her picture, “You’re and not all summer the Father teaching me how me,uploves perfect and neither am I.has Onlybeen Jesus is. Because youHe andsees I mess and me,bad and wants me. He has taughtisme how to love myself and bedo things sometimes. But Jesus perfect.” cause of that, I have humbled been ablebytothis love He obehas I was immediately six my yearcampers old who well. had the helped and me to become confident Him what alone,my rather thanshould puttinglook my dience immediacy of Christ. in That’s witness identity other thingssweet or people. Coming into grace this summer, had no like everyinday. A quiet, reminder of God’s and loveI without that my view of myself was off, but might as thethink Father shown aidea thought in the world of what someone of has me or how me my more of Himself, He has shown me who I am too. words may be perceived. I was upset because I was missing Mission so thankful despite nerves and anxiety, theI Father CampI am Macon, but the that, reason I wasmy missing it wasn’t because wasn’t called meintoit,beit’sabecause counselor summer. I have storiesThe of physically mythis flesh convinced me countless of that thought. howyear I saw work in the lives Camp of my Macon campers, of those six old Him I nanny found Mission andbut shenone got the point. stories if Heithadn’t And I’m would so gladfeel Godtheletsame me watch unfold.been working in me too.

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KAYLEA EDISON LEAH BENTLEY MASON COSBY - COUNSELOR CABIN 17 WRANGLER WORSHIP LEADER At the beginning of the summer, every staff member received knew I had to.

a word. These words came from a previous staff member praying over the names on the staff list, and the Holy Spirit put these words in her heart. The word I received was “satisfied.” I knew that this summer as a counselor would bring a lot of satisfaction, but I was unsure if I would be truly and fully satisfied. Some of the stand-out moments were when campers were saved or made an incredible breakthrough in their faith. The joy from the moments never lasted long, and I soon was bogged down by the lies placed in my head. One week, when I had the pleasure of being on Workstaff, I got to sit behind the Rec Hall counter. This job allowed for some time to journal. I had not really considered what “satisfied” meant to me, so I started writWhenthoughts. this summer started, didn’t think I was supposed to be ing some I realized thatI for somewhere like Lake Forest Ranch. many years I had been content with I was supposed to be babysitting three that me. I loveI knew dearly.I Then, out of the blue one day, where Godlittle hadgirls placed their supposed mom said,to“Kaylea, if you was be there, butneed thereany time off this summer, one of the girls’ cheer coaches has offered was not really any feeling associatedto keep them for as long as she needstheto.”divine At first I was kind of upset; with appointments. Satis- I didn’t understand why I would need to leave them for longer than a couple days, but God had better faction to me means joyfully content. plans for my life that I could not have The Lord showed me that satisfaction imagined. That next day a Wednesday in Him comes fromwas joyfully meeting night and at church we talked about giving andintrusting Him fully. That night at adversity andeverything continuingtotoGod grow dinner my boyfriend joy untilI talked the trialto has ended. If about I con- things we would start changing. One oftothe things I feltdespite that God had Iput on my heart was to Him. help kids tinue grow in joy trials, must be leaning into He at a Christian kids camp. Thursday morning, I checked my Facebook showed me tastes of what my life could resemble by many stand out to find thatSo, someone had shared a post LFRononmoving my wall. the moments. this summer, the Lord has from worked meInfrom post, the camp was expressing their unexpected and urgent need for a place in which I meet each trial without any emotion, or a little fear, a wrangler. After I saw the post I called the camp, and Rich asked to a place where I can joyfully meet anything thrown my way becauseif I could come down the are nextfound day for an interview. So, I did and it felt my joy and satisfaction in Him and Him alone. perfect. I was certain that itn wasnwhat n God n had in store for me. That next we finished up mywestuff movingcamp it into During theday second half of packing the summer, hadand a student a storage unit. That night I packed everything I thought I might need full of young Christians who were hungry for the Word and hungry to for camp and put it in my car. We went to the barn, picked up my serve. We also had a few campers who were not followers of Jesus horse, Miss Kitty,questioning hit highwaythe25, and headed Macon. Fromwas the and were really Gospel. One oftothese campers I opened my car door distant at camp,football I felt soplayer. wanted, valued, and loved atime really cool, emotionally I knew I needed to by theindividually community.with They me feel if theysure had that known my meet thismade camper, but Iaswasn’t the me nerdy wholekid life.in me was going to be able to have much of a conversation band I think with him. that is one of the reasons my Heavenly Father brought me to camp summer, to grow my cleaning faith and to to Himthis when times Onethis morning, when we in were thegocabin, camper get hard, instead of stressing out. He also wanted me to learn to told me I had been reciting scripture in my sleep. I asked howlove he myself,it because there will be anyone elselike likesomething me. Last year knew was scripture; He never said that it sounded that was my year in college and him I lived allhe of always my friends would befirst in the Bible and it gave thealone samewhile feeling got went tohedifferent schools. IfI Ihave wasn’tpersonally busy withnot school or work, much I was when heard scripture. memorized sleeping. Iso struggled withspeaking feeling alone a lot, in butmy thissleep summer scripture, to just be scripture wasthe anLord unhas shown me that I am never alone. I learned that no matter what, usual occurrence. Then the memory verse for that day was a Psalm I willtalked alwaysabout havehow HimGod to cling andinnot that,I had but also that on He that cantowork ouronly sleep. planned wants me to cling to Him. meeting individually with this camper that day, but at this point I

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LakestrugForWhen we did meet, he told me about howComing he wastoreally ever Ranch took a huge gling to know what was real and what are just lies. Then, this emoleap offootball faith. I player had nostartidea tionally distant what I was doing or what to ed to bawl. He said he really loved expect. Psalm 37:5 says, science and asked that if Christianyour to that the ity is true,“Commit then does thatway mean Lord; trust in Him, and all of science is false. He wantedHe to act.”but I lived this afraid verse believe inwillGod, he was minute of every of letting out go every of what seems to be As I by surrendered my accepted day. as truth society. God will to the Father, I saw used my experience of walking Himvery move in powerful andI though this similar dilemma. wonderful ways. Countless got to explain to him that science times throughout sumand Christianity can go the hand in mer, I had the pleasure of hand on many topics. We must look earth at sciencewatching throughheaven the veiland of scripbecome throughthough song ture instead of atone scripture and praise. I got to see the the veil of science. As Christians, children of God grow in we know that the Word is true, but their confidence before the Father. Through times of worship, I saw we don’t know what is true from fear leave and love invade. I amthe beyond grateful for the perspective scientific community. I also exGod shared with me throughout the six weeks I served the worship plained that he can as spend his life leader. looking for answers outside of the Campers would arrive to Lake mixed Bible,Forest neverRanch findingfilled true with fulfillment, emotions and expectations. At theorfirst Pow Wow, campers were he could look at God’s Wordusufor ally timid and hesitant to participate in worship, curiously the answers Godbut hasalso provided on seeking more. Each time we met to worship thistogether side of eternity andthe relyFather, on HimI watched as campers became more and more free to worship Himthe in for fulfillment. I said I had tried Spirit and in truth. first option and the second option There was one camper, fromwas Student that stood out to muchCamp more3, enjoyable. That me. He was on the front row during the first Pow Wow and remained day he either rededicated his life or believed for the first time. Either there camp. As with we began to brother sing praises, he understanding watched with curiosway, Iallcelebrated a fellow his new of our ity. Though he did not know the songs, he would read the words on Father. the screen. As the week progressed, he began singing with us. By the end of the week he was lifting his hand in praise. He encountered the love of Jesus through our times of worship and was set free in love. To see his growth during camp was the most exciting and rewarding thing. God worked it out for this camper to return to Mission Camp Macon. And there he was again on the front row, starting right were he left off. Each Pow Wow he would perk up when we started singing a song he knew. He would sing and lift his hands. During dinner times, he would find me and request songs and express how grateful he was for the worship times everyone shared. There is always a worship night during Mission Camp Macon. I was extremely expectant for this special time of worship with everyone. As we worshiped together in Spirit and truth, the same guy who I had watched transform over the past two camps was front row and fully engaged as he sang, lifted his hands, and loudly sang praises to the great I AM. He confidently and boldly entered into the throne room with thanksgiving and praise. It was beautiful. After the worship night, he came up to me and expressed how grateful he was for the worship team. He went onto say, “ I always looked forward to Pow Wow, because of the worship times. I knew it would be good and it always

was. You will never know how much you guys impacted life.” Then- COUNSELOR the summer was that I18 would see Christ in others. I can’t tell you how many MATT my CAREY CABIN I got to thank him and also encourage him to continue pursuing the times I did. Leaving this community will be so hard, facing everyday life Lord.Camp I got tois speak truth toadventure him about his identity in Christ as a son again as well. But I go back a new person; I ammore in Christ. I now an ongoing GodI know is sowho much powerful of This interaction was such a blessing from the Father. In that have a vision for reaching the lostthan that I did have coming here! I forGod. the staff at Lake Forest Ranch, we not are. Hisbefore power is evident moment, showed I was at Lake Forest Ranch. Father can’t praise God enough for directing me here and placing these people in with veryGod little time me in why between in His creation, the impact He has brought Forest Ranchvery to teach His children how to sing, to my life! They had an eternal impact me! lives, and in this case, in camps, me andto Lake for counselors, ononour lead to comeAs to Him without shame. I cannot believe that little them time in to how ourselves. amazing our weakness. I was a counselor in He me inallthis way. as itwould is to live see through God’s work around Sunshine Club (our camp program MEGAN When Lake Forest I felt unequipped and incaus as eachI came camptounfolds with Ranch all for 7SHOAF & 8 Year olds) and I had just pable to lead. I brought these fears to the Lord and He said, “You are its challenges and victories, someaway from my lowest point of HEAD come LIFEGUARD right. are not thefocus most equipped timesYou counselors on what person to lead.” Obviously, this the summer. I was broken down and is notcan’t what see, I wanted to like hearwhat from Imy they much didFather. I asked him, “Why would felt alone; however, the other male you bring methe here6thtoand leadfinal if I camp have no idea what I am doing?” He by the time Sunshine Club counselor was my replied, “Thehalf lesscame equipped youI are of the first around. hadthe more dependent you will be best friend here on staff, but he was on Me.”a I counselor realized in this been for moment four of how the great it was that I could not do at his lowest point as well. My friend this in my own strength. completely depend on Holy Spirit five job previous camps, andI had toyet and I were sharing our burdens, for every decision, every breath, every moment. It took the pressure to have any camper from my cabin which was both bringing us down off of me. I could be with He ledkids me.from It is intense a sweet sweet accept Christ intojusttheir life. Him I hadasseen backand uplifting us as we knew we had each other no matter what. surrender. grounds come in and open up, and incredible victory stories of To this point we had each only had 1 camp all summer where a kids overcoming extremely difficult things in their lives, but the camper had accepted Christ. As the week went on, the night of our LIZZY TATE fact that none of my campers had accepted Christ held me down. invitation came, and three out of my five campers stepped forward PHOTOGRAPHER Then comes the 6th camp; Kids Camp D. to accept Christ. That alone was enough to show me that even in Coming off of back-to-back cabins of 17-19 year olds into my lowest point, God was working. However, what amazed me the my first full cabin of 10 campers, all between the ages of 8 and most was this one eight year old boy and his answer to the ques11. On top of it being full, this cabin of campers was my rowdition “Why do you want to accept Jesus into your heart?” When I est, most energetic, and least inclined to respond to something asked him that question, he gave me an answer with faith only a I asked them to do. As the camp progressed, I was completely child could have. He answered “ I don’t want to wait, that way I get overwhelmed by having a full cabin and tried to keep them under to know for of longer.” BeingHim a part Support Staff at LFR provides a unique perspeccontrol. As I went through my one-on-ones throughout the week, tive ofThe faith of a new vary Christian in the midst a broken counselor camp. Our jobs considerably and of involve a fair amount I had one with a specific camper who seemed to lead a pretty ofshowed me how much more powerfulI have God isbeen thanon me. Even inStaff my behind-the-scenes work. Although Support normal life, but admitted that he had never accepted Christ, yet, previously, brokenness work was through me, butThe notFather of myshowed flesh. thisHis summer was done especially humbling. as I asked, he seemed to know the Gospel as head knowledge me ways I am selfish and prideful, yet He also used those times when but maintained that he didn’t have a relationship with Christ. As I I was living in my flesh to bless me and show me grace despite my finished the one-on-one, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I failures. One instance in which the Father showed me His grace this didn’t ask him if he would like to have that relationship with Christ summer involved the fact that I was a ministry partner. (nerves of Holy Spirit). Having been on Support Staff in the past, I had experienced the Later that night, during LFR after Dark, the gospel was pre- freedom of being able to stay out at night and hang out with other sented and the kids were seeing verses about what is true about staffers. This made it hard at times to follow the rules and go to my them if they are in Christ. The boy I had a one-on-one with earlier cabin every night to support the Counselor and stay up late spending that day was the first to come to me with a verse that stuck out time with the girls in our cabin. There was one week during the secto him. When I looked at the paper he had in his hands, he was ond half of the summer, when I came really close to asking for time off holding one that said “I am forgiven of sins - Eph. 1:7.” From this from being a Ministry Partner. I remember sitting in the laundry hut late point I went on to tell him that forgiveness of sins is a gift offered one night waiting for my clothes to dry and the Spirit clearly telling me by Christ and that people with a relationship with Christ have that that I needed to press on and be a Ministry Partner for that next camp. in Christ. As he nodded in understanding, I asked him if he would After skit night during that camp, I was lingering in Lakeview, like As thatI drove as well, would. I asked to pray downand thehe longsaid dirt that road he to Lake Forest Ranch,him I was filled when Casey, the Ministry Partner in the cabin connected to mine, deandunspoken gave himfears guidelines through themight ABC’s of Fears becoming a Chriswith of what the summer hold. that I might not cided to bust out some dance moves after all the campers had gone tian, and he said his prayer and I welcomed him to the family of to their cabins. I ended up walking with her back to our cabin, and we be what they wanted, or that I would just not fit in. I was listening to these believers. I led him to a chalk board where campers are asked to threw a spontaneous dance party with all the girls in cabins 5 and 6, lies and believing them. I had been struggling with a lot in the past few write down is unanswered true about them in Christ, and without know- which turned out to be one of the most joyful moments I experienced months; I hadwhat a lot of questions and burdens that I brought ing me whatto he wasWhat going to place write,over he wrote God’s heart” which all summer. Once I finally laid down in bed that night, the Spirit gently with camp. took the next“Inthree months changed sums up the entirety of the lessons of the week and I knew that he reminded me that had I chosen to disobey and take that week off from my life forever! understood. So in my most chaotic camp; a camp I could Mama Sandy opened my eyes to truths about my truewhere identity, Papa being a Ministry Partner, I would have missed out on one of my fabarely keepmy upeyes with on mywho kidsI am andinfelt likeChad I couldn’t invest in them Rich opened Christ, Chapman showed us vorite memories from the summer. Listening to and obeying the Spirit or pour into them, God showed me through that boy what he can all how to serve together well and trust. Nick taught us how we are all can be hard, but I was reminded that night that the Father sees and do, whether I wasofthere orAll not. am only the tool Godfamily used.serving rewards our obedience to Him, even if we may not fully experience needy and in need Jesus! theI staff became one big n n each other; my prayer for that reward here on earth. as the Body of Christ. Prayingnandnencouraging

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RAEGAN BARBER KRISTIN WALZ - COUNSELOR CABIN 10SETH JONES FOOD SERVICE ASSISTANT say WORSHIP TEAM me, just

It’s easy to that Lake Forest Ranch has truly been one of the greatest opportunities God has ever presented to me. Earlier this year, I spent twenty one days in prayer, asking the Father what He would desire of me to do this summer for the Kingdom. On the very last day I found myself sitting with Mama Sandy and Papa Rich, having never met them before, talking about LFR and all ofHaving the the incredible opportunity to be on the Worship Team at Lake Forthings Jesus donehas been an absolute dream. I got to see Abba est Ranch thishas summer and will continue to do at camp summer. I knewonright then and work in so many beautiful ways every and I got to embark an incredible there that He was directing me to apply. It was a perfect example of spiritual journey that has impacted my life in huge ways. The many how God’s promises to us are true and He gives us the desires of deep relationships I have made with fellow staff members drove me ourrejoice hearts!every There have moments summer to day andbeen lean countless on the Holy Spirit in this every action,where word, Jesus has displayed his immeasurable love and unrelenting grace to and thought. theseAbbey campers anda staff, and I’veand been so grateful for Jacks, Workstaffer, I bonded earlytoonbe in athevessel summer Him here! when we found out that we both have a love for rain. During one of One experience thatwere I’vesitting had will with me longthe after camp the Student Camps, we at remain lunch talking about Father’s ends. During a kid’s camp, the little girls in my cabin made a lasting goodness when it started raining heavily. We looked at each other, impact and on my heartsharing by their display of love their sisterthe in smiled, started what the Father hadtowards shown us through Christ. One night the speaker at Pow Wow invited the campers to rain. Rain is a beautiful thing, and you can see it and the effects of it talk to their counselors they hadand anyexperiencing questions oritwanted to know without actually steppingif outside fully. When you more about the into grace Jesus has us. A in girlthe in feeling my cabin who actually do step it, though, youoffered are engulfed of water has wind. been Itinisfoster for almost and such care a freeing thing toher justentire be in life the walked rain. out to see me. She opened up to me about her struggles with loss of family Abbey and I realized that rain can be used tothe explain peoples’ members, loneliness, bullying and rejection. She felt so much anxiety relationship or lack of relationship with God. Unbelievers are like the and what the most was noticed that thecreation words people thatbroke weremy in heart the dining hall at thewhen time.I They can see “I love you” were foreign for her to hear and say. During her week at and the miracles God has done and is doing, but they do not fully camp, Jesus is embrace. deeply loved and that He experience hisrevealed presencetoorher feelthat his she loving We believers, on will other neverhand, abandon her or forsakes her,rain. and We, that inthere everlasting the completely run into the faith,istrust that no hope inwhat God.storm That forms, night, she decisionbeautiful, to followand Jesus and matter our made God isthe powerful, freeing. invited Him to be the Lord and Savior of her life! Later in the camp, Abbey and I then proceeded to sprint outside, run to the dock, and she told fewlake. girls As in our about troubles with bullying, jump intoathe I feltcabin the rain andhersaw it creating ripples inand the the girls started speaking life into her and, through spending lake, I was in awe of the goodness of our Heavenly Father.time I dowith not her, reminding her of how valuedbut sheHeis.relentlessly They evenpursues asked me deserve to experience His grace, mehow and we could celebrate decision followa Jesus cabin carries meallthrough my her everyday life.toWhat Father!during Whatour a Savior! time. I found myself left in awe of Jesus’ provision and care for us as I witnessed the body of Christ in these little nine and ten year olds offer love and support to each other. Not only is God doing incredible things in the hearts of campers here at Lake Forest, but He is also molding and revealing new things to my heart. The power of prayer and the confidence we can approach His throne with, knowing there will be fulfillment, are growing my life this summer. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know

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as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay my life down for the sheep.” John 10:14-14 n n n n Coming to Lake Forest has easily been one of the greatest opportunities the Father has ever given me. There have been countless times where Jesus has offered divine strength and energy to me when I was convinced that I had none left to give. Before I began the Kingdom work at LFR this summer, I was given the word “constant” by God to focus on and learn about during this season of my life. Being a counselor of numerous overtothe course of truly an entire summer requires First off,campers I just want express how thankful I am that God great constancy reliance upon theForest Lord. Ranch. The amazing revelation has allowed me toand serve here at Lake I also would like of depending wholly and completely on the Lord for my energy and to take a moment and say thank you to Papa Rich, Mama Sandy, Nick ministry all timesChad and Chapman, in every situation brought a place of Hall, GrayatBarnes, Jeff Troyer, andme thetoLake Forest peace Board and confidence thatforI have experience in my life. here Ranch of Directors givingyet metothe opportunity to serve God constant. He is our rock and firm foundation in the midst at LFR foristhe third consecutive summer. This opportunity to serve rd of theatstorms andsochaos, as well as inthis ourwas worries fears. Being here LFR was special. Though my 3and summer as a able to say, “Jesus, thistoapart fill Service me and member on staff, thisI simply was thecan’t firstdo time servefrom as ayou, Food allow me to be anhas empty vessel you” back was the most powerful prayer Assistant, which allowed mefor to give to everyone here at LFR I have made to Himcamp this summer. I haveI been to pour outawhat who made summer for me when was aable camper such fun, was constantly given to me from Jesus without losing enjoyable, and spiritually challenging experience, whichheart. in return has I am honored have been serve God this summer helped me so become the to Christian manable who to I am today. and Heading to share into the Gospel with Hisof children. The boldness and persethe beginning staff training, I was honestly wonverance sharing loveback thattoI LFR haveand discovered willquestioncertainly dering whyin God had Jesus’ called me I was really remain mewhether for the rest my where life. I have God have Almighty thank for ing God with about LFRofwas I should beentothis sumthat However, as well asbythe men and women of Lake mer. thewonderful end of theGod-fearing summer, God revealed the purpose of Forest Ranch. loveToand sacrifice of Jesus can’t be held me serving hereThe at LFR: surround myself with asimply community of Godin or restrained; it reaches from followers east to west. For this, I amsomething eternally fearing, loving, and encouraging of Jesus Christ, grateful. that I did not have much where I attend college, and something that I eagerly wanted to find but was not able to! To further emphasize this point, there is a lot that I like about Lake Forest Ranch but as the summer has passed on by in the blink of an eye, the one thing that I like and cherish the most about LFR is the emphasis to build relationships with each other that will not only last while here at LFR for 12 weeks, but will last for the rest of all of our lives—Building Relationships for Eternal Impact, the Mission Statement for LFR. Looking back throughout the entire summer, the first thing that comes to mind, especially since I was serving in a behind-the-scenes position this summer as a Food Service Assistant, when reflecting upon this Summer, was the book The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. One of the quotes in this book that really applied to me this Summer, as I didn’t have much interaction with campers, was the quote in which Brother Lawrence states, “We ought not to be

weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the- SENIOR He also guides. I must often be MAKAYLA LIPPERT COUNSELOR CABIN 7 reminded that my most prominent greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” There identity isn’t only in being a 19 year old named Isaac, but includes wereIt times this summer in which I saw great things happening bethis: we are one with Christ. When I wait on thebrought Lord, I me receive seems low tween athough Counselor and camper, such as a camper getting saved, and strength; my strength is walking with Christ. as and built walls there were also times in which I would get told by fellow staff memThis summer, the fruit of walking with Christ and of Him workanytime I end around my bers,here, “Man, it’s I wish I had your job, it seems so easy.” I would say to ing through us was so evident. It’s comforting to know fruitI will conup heart, needed myself,I “Ifhave only others could truly see what we do back here in the tinue, whether we are willing to obey or not, but goodness, it’s so when “fresh bread” kitchen” and would from time-to-time think to myself, “Maybe my job much better and it’s such an honor getting to work with, being reached the as Steve Millera isn’t as important as other jobs on staff?” After reflecting upon The work of, and being a tool for God. Working with Christ end of myself. put this it summer during the Presence of God and how it applied to me this summer, brought so much healing and growth. Camp changed life, and IPractice alwaysoflook staff my training. I have realized I have come out with more faith, hope, and love.Over I rejoice in this forward to the that every single job here at Lake Forest Ranch (seen the course and unseen, also! The Body of Christ, those with whom we are of one, so much time spent atupfront and behind-the-scenes) is important and contheis day, my tributesbecause to the ministry that is happening here at Lake Forest Ranch. larger than camp staff could ever be. You see, theurgency theme of camp LFR to thatinin everything that we do, not just here this summer at this summer was Christ in me in Christ. II realized know that meet with my LFR, continual but everything in life in general, “We ought not to be weary of This summer I learned to lean into the body ofDad Jesuscontinued Christ of the doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness Nazareth more than ever. I got to see His body in action as pouring out of to build aingroup my of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” In conclusion, I of young adults were called to congregate and minster. see myself, I will heart.I gotI tocan’t am so grateful God work through us, and how He gives us gifts tell andyou talents eventually befor the opportunity that God has given me and all of the whatand we Executive Staff has given me to be able to serve here at LFR and I miracles to equip us for our tasks, and how we all have a place. filled by Christ. sang that night, will take that I have learned from Lake Forest Ranch and I Sometimes He called us to a place outside of our Oneeverything thing butcomfort I canzone, tell hope to Father share it with everyone that I may encounter. which, for whatever reason, tended to involve greater that youresponsibility that I found and authority. (Insert sarcastic tone). I’ve NEVER heard anyone has been sweet offreedom ISAAC JACKSON becoming uncomfortable by God calling us to an identity we presweetly showin the presence viously didn’t believe about ourselves! *cough* Moses.. *cough* ing me this WORSHIP TEAM DRUMMER of our savior. Me... (End sarcastic tone). summer is Often when I didn’tI find feelmyself equipped or gooditenough to doWhile what how to find sacredness in the little moments of routine. In my mind, I hearSometimes from the Father visualizing in my mind. and on my own the feelingrealizations was true - Ithat wasn’t equipped camp is all big moments, but in reality, it is filled with the sweetIHe wasasked, worshipping, I came to some became picor good enough. However, the father equips the called, and in callness of daily routine. I get to wake up 10 girls every morning and tures in my mind. The picture was of a little girl, struggling to ing Heand also guides. I must often be reminded most promisee their messy bed heads. I brush my teeth, make my bed, eat walk, crying in frustration under the weightthat shemywas carrying. nentFather identitywas isn’t only in this, beingready a 19toyear named Isaac, but food, and work hard. It is in these everyday moments that seem so Her watching stepold in and help, but she includes let this: weclose are one with toChrist. When I wait the Lord, I simple, that I get to see the reality of Christ in me and me in Christ. wouldn’t Him enough help her. She was on embarrassed receive strength; mydidn’t strength walking withwhat Christ. Because this is something that the Lord has been teaching and ashamed. She wantisHim to see she had so careThis summer, thereminded fruit of walking with and of known Him workme, I have been asking all of my campers during our one-on-one fully locked away. He her that HeChrist had always her ing through us was so evident. It’sliecomforting know fruit will contime what it looks like for them to follow Jesus in their everyday and loved her. Before she could to herself,to convincing herself tinue, we are willing to obey or not, but goodness, it’s so lives. When they are away from the Spirit-soaked atmosphere of that shewhether was self-reliant, He told her that He had seen her nakedmuch better and it’s such an honor getting to work with, being camp, what does it look like to have Christ in them? I have gotten a ness and was not ashamed or embarrassed of her. These wordsa work of, being a tool this summer wide range of responses. A lot of them said that their faith in Christ finally gotand to the little girl, for andGod. she Working realized with that Christ she didn’t have to brought muchany healing andWith growth. Campsure changed my life, and influenced their daily decisions; they listen to their parents more carry thesoweight longer. a voice and pleading, He I have“letcome out with faith, She hope,gave and itlove. I rejoice this or don’t pick on their siblings. The best part of those responses is said, me carry thatmore please.” to Him, cryingin and also! The Body of Christ, those with whom we are one, is so much that I can see the Spirit at work in their hearts, even in those small laughing. larger than campseem staff like coulda ever be. You see, the theme of camp daily decisions to obey and love. I was really touched by the way This might ridiculous picture or something that this summer was Christ in me in Christ. one girl in my cabin put it, right before the end of the first half of the I should have learned long ago, but as I saw this play out in my summer. She said, “It’s like I can feel my heart beating. My spirit mind’s eye, I felt a physical weight lifted off of my shoulders. I was heart is working.” What a beautiful reality. so surprised by the reality of the Father’s faithfulness that I started This summer I learned to lean into the body of Jesus Christ of nnnn laughing out loud. I couldn’t stop! I was done running, and was Nazareth more than ever. I got to see His body in action as a group Freedom. caught in the arms of my Father. of young adults were called to congregate and minster. I got to see Be still and know. At the beginning of the summer everyone was given a word, God work through us, and how He gives us gifts and talents and Be still and know freedom. mine was the phrase “be still and know.” When I received this miracles to equip us for our tasks, and how we all have a place. Coming off of midsummer break I was at a crossroads in my word, I interpreted it in the context of the scripture, be still and Sometimes He called us to a place outside of our comfort zone, relationship with the Father. I had spent the break quietly in reflecknow that I am God. I think that it is the overarching theme of what which, for whatever reason, tended to involve greater responsibility tion about what direction my life needs to go at the end of the sumI am learning this summer. During the worship night however, I and authority. (Insert sarcastic tone). I’ve NEVER heard of anyone mer. What was next? Honestly I still don’t know the answer to this was able to deeply know what it means to be still and know asbecoming uncomfortable by God calling us to an identity we previquestion, but I feel more at peace in my uncertainty than I have pects of the Father’s character. That night I was still before Him ously didn’t believe about ourselves! *cough* Moses.. *cough* Me... ever felt before. As we were preparing to come back to camp, I and learned what it looked like to truly believe that “There is there(End sarcastic tone). could feel in my spirit that I was going to meet with the Father in a fore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I Sometimes I didn’t feel equipped or good enough to do what He big way during the night of worship that was planned to take place hope that I will continue to learn what it means to be still and know. asked, and on my own the feeling was true - I wasn’t equipped or the night of our return. I was ready. After enduring a year that had good enough. However, the father equips the called, and in calling

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a camper, I remember telling my Bible study leaders that I was going to be on ABBY CHAPPELL JONATHAN GATEWOOD - COUNSELOR CABIN 12 staff one day. I remember them laughingly telling me that I had a long ways to FIRST HALF go. dayoffering has never left myand mind. A couple years ago, Iso downloaded the Over six camps into the first half, God has taught me one major myThat small of effort turn it in toofsomething much more. application and began filling it out. However, I could not finish the application. COUNSELOR thing: Seeds can grow in any heartWORKSTAFF and out of any situation. The nnnn

background to that phrase comes from a camper I had in my third My experience Forest camp. I had just come off of a rough one-on-one whereatit Lake seemed as has been one of exploring what if the kid had no care to hear about Jesus at all. I had been out onthe a Father has in store for me. I came paddleboat doing the one-on-one and as soon as I made it back to to camp anyagain. expectations the dock, another camper was waiting on mewithout to go out I admit and having no idea why that, at the time, I really did not want to go back out because Ithe wasLord reled me to LFR. soonthe came ally discouraged from the previoushad conversation and I Iknew nextto why the Lord me to LFR, camper already had a really good realize relationship with theled Lord. Needas it was a season of healing and less to say, I went, and it was while we were talking about a science peace. Healing from all the turmoil experiment his teacher had done in class that I heard this phrase: “It of theinpast and peace in knowing is really amazing how seeds can sprout just about any conditions.” IHis don’t phrase have to worry again or think bitterly about the past. The Lord knew I needed jumped out a season of peace and LFR gave me that. He gave me brothers and and grabbedsisters and He opportunity to serve alongside them. He gavemind me the my andopportunity to show the love he had shown me. I had after that,theIopportunity to be a workstaff counselor, which was challenging but couldn’t get also it rewarding because I got to see two sides of camp life. my Being a counselor gave me a view of the work and love each off mind. camper deserves. The campers gave me a wind of energy that I desIt was then I perately needed at times. Being there for them to love and grow in realized that every moment I spend with them was one of my favorite experiences this was the from camp. The friendships I made with my campers remind me of Spirit tellhaving little sisters. ing me that, despite Being me on workstaff, however, was a whole different world. The community being dis- and love shown to me by the staff has forever impacted me and in what I look for in fellowship. One of the last nights of first couraged and half workstaff, thinking less we all met together and had community time. This was onethe of my nights of camp because the Lord chose to reveal of jobfavorite I himself to me. On that night, the Lord appeared to me in the midst of was doing, a worshipful bonfire. He showed himself to me by walking out of the God could woods,it cloaked use and in white, walking to the center of our gathering and then sat down make some- on one of the benches. He just sat and watched as his sons grow. and daughters worshiped Him. It left me in awe. The presence thing of theI was King reenjoying His children. minded of this phrase again ASHLEY BLAKENEY in Kids Camp D at LFR after Dark. I felt extremely horrible about this SECOND HALFthe kids LFR after Dark. This service is supposed to be a time where can see an illustration of what we have been studying in a different WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR way, it is also a time where God shows up in a huge way. I had been Coming this right, summer, discouraged because it seemed that nothing wasinto going andI knew I was supposed to be here no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get my boys to tune in and takebut it not know I knewfeel I was seriously. I could see God moving alldidaround mewhy. but All I didn’t it suppose to be here. Trusting the in my campers. We were the first to leave and I remember being so Father was my the kids one of the out hardest mad at both myself and the enemy for making miss on things I learned to do this summer. Not just saying I trust Him, but fully trusting such a pivotal time. But, I had one of my boys want to do a one-onHim every singleand situation. one inafterwards it turned out to be the best one-on-one I had Throughout the summer, it was hard not knowing whyDark I wastoat inspire camp. I during the camp. God had moved through LFR after am thechange type of person likes to He know every single detail about single a life in thatthat camper. had realized that he hadevery joined a thing. Father showed exactly why I was andHeit was groupBut of the friends that was inmeturn dragging him here, down. wasdefinitely shown more rewarding would have been and to know from those the beginning. that he neededthattoItmake changes alsoeverything shown that same Ifriends would not change a single thing about this summer. were now his mission. God showed me again that despite knew to work at Lake was whatI Ialways think of the that job II wanted have done, that He isForest over itRanch. all andWhen can Itake

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I cannot explain not having passion to fillinitorder out then, I know why. I have to tell a lot ofthe background for but thisnow story to make At that point in my life, I was not where I needed to be spiritually, physically, or sense, so bear with me for a little bit. For one of the last kids camps of emotionally. From thenoriginally on, I kind ofplanned forgot outthat LakeI Forest andcabin how much the summer, it was have aRanch normal and this place means to me. not Sunshine Club. Sunshine Club is a specially designed program I do not know how the Lake Forest Ranch up there but I knew specifically targeting 7-8topic yearofolds. However, thiscame camp werethis a summer I wanted to do something like this. I downloaded the application after lot of 7-8 year old kids that did not want to be in Sunshine Club. WantChristmas andthe toldsame myselfages I would start to work it and fill it outinbefore schoolI ing to keep together, theyon were placed my cabin. started. I never got around to it and the deadline was right around the corner. spent the whole week kind of bouncing back and forth between Sun-I filled it out in somewhat of aactivities hurry not thinking twice about answers. I applied shine Club scheduled and normal campmyscheduled activitoties. be either on workstaff or counselor. I cannot reallythe explain to apply We wanted these guys to experience mostwhy outI chose of camp that for both but I just did. I turned it in and kind of forgot about it. they could without overwhelming them. This would have been really From the time I turned in my application until I received thegood call from if I Papa had Rich, I was praying, “Father, if this is where I am suppose to be then let it not hadhappen. one 9 If it is your will, I will accept the job and not think twice about giving myold confirmayear who, tion.” On the day Papa Rich called me, I received a letter sayingbeing I was not older going to be accepted into the nursing program at my school starting inand the fall. I didmanot more know why I did not get in because all of my qualifications to getture in where thangreat the but I did not get in, and that was very confusing. Later that day, I received the rest, noticed call and when Papa Rich asked if I wanted to be on staff. It wassaonombrainer beething cause I fully trusted the Lord and His plan for me. Papa offeredwas me the position different. of workstaff/counselor for second half of the summer and I accepted the position. He had been When I started in second half, I did not know anything. AsintimeSunshine went on, I doubted that I was suppose to be here and my reason for even being staff. At Club on before the same time, several things were happening at home and I much rather would so he knew have been there with my family. However, I knew without a doubthethatwas I wassupsupposed to be here but I did not know why yet. posed to be During the last mini camp, I was a counselor and I was out not allofhere beit this cause of things that were happening at home. I tried not to let myyear, campers sense and he that. This camp was definitely one of my favorites and it was definitely most was theupset impactful. that he was Three girls in my cabin stood out the most. The first oneplaced was very with hard to get along with. We always butted heads and she pushed my buttons every the “little kids” chance she got. I felt like I could not get anything across to her.again. I was having a one-on-one with another camper and she walked up and said, “HopeIyours was really better than mine. Mine was boring.” When she said that, I just sat there. I didn’t had a heart know what to say. I do not want to say I gave up hope on her andforbutthis I didkid a little. beThe finalhe daywas campers were Tree there,recipient, she came up me and said,a “Next cause an Angel hetocame from reallysummer rough when back, can be myand counselor?” I almost cried I thought homeI come life, wasn’t in you church, camp was really thebecause only exposure Itohad not impacted her at all. the Bible he had. Then we came to the night of “LFR after Dark,” I was having thewe second and teaching she askedinmea what which is our waymy of one-on-one presentingwith what havegirl been new my story was, what my favorite Bible verse(s) were, and what was going onnot in and more hands on worship experience. I had originally planned my life. I got one-on-oned by a nine year old. I was supposed to be doing that to to participate in LFR after Dark, as it doesn’t really translate well to her, the other wayespecially around. However, I did not all. I got share my the not younger kids, after a long andmind tiringat day. So to I collected story and my life with her! I got to share the love to Jesus and everything He has my kids and I made my way back to our cabin. On the way however, done in my life. I noticed my 9 year old was kind of upset he had to miss LFR after got saved this camp. I got toleadership, lead her to Christ Dark.The In third whatgirlwas most during definitely the Spirit’s I hadand theit was one of the best experiences in my life. She understood the gospel and what idea to take him back and put him with another counselor so he Jesus done for her. wasthis trulywas a blessing. couldhas experience it. IShe know definitely the Spirit’s leadership Coming to camp not knowing why I was suppose be here andthe then the because it was at LFR after Dark where he wastopresented GosFather showing me Himself was one of the best things happened me pel and he accepted Christ as his Savior! I amthat sohas grateful that toGod this summer. I learned to trust the Father in every situation and that it is okay to has made divine appointments for each of us and thankful that he not know every detail of everything. This summer was a blessing and it changed has chosen to use LFR and me, even if in small ways, to meet them. my life tremendously.

he had been growing a ton 2at Lake Forest. I asked him if he had any KEELEAMULLINS WOOD - SENIOR COUNSELOR CABIN CHUCK questions about being a man of God and he said, “Well there’s this girl at mymeschool…” Right off kids? the batFrom I’m thinking, “Oh shoot, heredrink we FIRST “I consider my life worth nothing to me, that I mayHALF finish the race enable to disciple Your an overflow? May we go: 13 year old boy that’s girl crazy.” I couldn’t have been further off. and complete the task marked out forWORKSTAFF me – the taskCOUNSELOR of testifying to deeply Yourdoesn’t Word and Yourinlife..” was my He from said,Your “SheSpirit told and me she believe God.That I wanted to

the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). Testifying: bearing witness to One ofamy favorite memothe good news of God’s amazing grace. This was verse God placed ries from this summer took on my heart in 2013 before I had ever place on the last night of the heard of Lake Forest Ranch and the Lord first kid’s camp. I was sitting brought it back to mind this summer. next En- to one of my campers durtering into my second summer as a couning the bonfire and talking to selor,about I acknowledged that was ahenew him stuff in his life andit what had learned over the previous week. summer with new staff and new campers wereand talking, brought up how last summer he prayed and aWhile new we theme new he Bible studies, that Jesus would enter into his heart, but etc. Even returning staff and campers andhe thought that he said it too quietly, so Jesus didn’t hear him. After my heart melted a little, I reasadults were going to be different because sured the camper that Jesus had heard him and that He knows our of growthand andknows life andwhat Jesus. wassay thankthoughts we Iwill before we say it. ful and andin eager to learnand withdidn’t say much, and then he Heexpectant soaked that for a minute my campers and staffHe family. And asked me a question. asked meatif Ithe wanted to know who his favorite counselor asked who it was and he responded that Jesus same time, I was. was Ipraying, “God, if you was favorite then able to share with him that what don’this show up, Icounselor. can’t do thisI was again.” he said wasnoreally cool because the Bible Now, cabin feels the same, buttells us that the Holy Spirit is our counselor. He then said, “Wait, I don’t get it… I know that Jesus the second week of camp, my cabin felt different. My campers weren’t lives in your heart… Oh, wait… That makes sense.” misbehaving or outaoflittle line bit at all, but I and guess what I was feeling was that We sat there longer then there was an invitation. the majority of myhecampers were I watched Jesus their The camper said wanted to talklost. so we moved over to aawaken picnic table. hearts.we Onwere one talking, of the nights of camp, haveheanwas interactive worship While he went back towewhen saved last summer and talked about how he Dark,” thoughtand it didn’t work because experience called “LFR after right before that timewhen one he of prayed his head wasn’t bowed, his eyesstation weren’tinclosed, and hisHer hands my campers came in from the nurse’s utter pieces. toe weren’t clasped. myshe melted heart once had gotten hurt byGathering a cleat and was in pain,together and tears feelagain, good,I told him that prayer is a conversation with God, and even though he and I just held her and let her cry for a minute while LFR after Dark didn’t do those things, the Lord still heard his prayer. was beginning. was used so upset, there elsebut I felt for I believe theShe Father me aand lot to pourwas intonothing campers, more thisHe girlused but compassion. quietly the first partyou of the night so, the campersShe to pour intocried me asforwell. Thank so much withyour some ice pressed to herfortoe. we transitioned for prayers and support thisAscamp and the staff.to the second part of LFR after Dark and we gathered around a table in the Dining CLARK KILGORE Hall, I heard her sniffles and saw her little sad shoulders hunched over, and I walked over to her chair and crouched down. “Hug FIRST HALF her.” That’s all I heard, and that’s all I wanted to do. And I experienced one WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR moment falling into the next with the Lord leading her sweet heart into His own. While we were sitting at the table, she looked up and an sawinThis summer was the pieces of paper with words and phrases written on them that arefor credible season for me and true about us when we’re “in Christ.” She “forgiven,” her eyes so grabbed many others at Lake Forest lit up, and she popped up out of her seat. We Getting talked about whythesheFaRanch. to see workconfessed, so clearly“Because every day chose that word and she fell into tearsther as she is something I can’t describe. I am forgiven.” She gave her life to Christ right there. Compassion. I could try to summarize “Hug her.” Our Shepherd goes after His sheep. He loves us, andwhat He I saw and felt happen this summer but there was so much that I’m at a wants know to that andSo to instead, know Him. ThatI’m wasjust one of many sweet loss asustotowhere start. I think going to share one stories that week, and this whole summer, of kids and students meetof the many crazy stories of when God spoke to me through campers. ing Jesus. invites uscamps into Histhat loveI was to know Him. DuringHeone of the a counselor, there was a really hot joy filled daytoatpray, camp. I had justyou finished working at athe Thatbut week, I began “God thank for letting me be ropes andhere” set out find one Iofcouldn’t my campers to spend some part of course your work andtoI stopped. even take that much one on one time with him. Then, one of my guys spotted me and came credit. My prayer shifted to, “God, thank you for letting me witness running up. lives I saidhere.” “ManBearing lets go witness fishing.”toHe and off we went. you change thegrinned, gospel of God’s grace. This camper, like most Mississippi boys, loved fishing. He always had a He shows up.face, He has power.when He transforms. sweet smile on his especially there was aWhat fishing polelove. in hisWhat hand. sweet mercy. What freedom we have in knowing God through He was just a laid back, happy, easygoing 13-year-old guy. Christ. I like I’d Him. I’m really thankful that He is WhotoHe says He is. with this kid and been looking forward getting to fish hear about his life. We talkedn about good bit about his faith, his family n na n and,“..God, of course, was how strong will fishing. You stir What us up?stood Will out Youmost, blesshowever, these student missionnot only this guy’s faith was but his eager desire to share it. He told aries? Will You build them up? May You disciple me. And will Youme

prayerher onthat training Camp Macon. for about CampGod, Mashow He isday true,ofso I would talk toI couldn’t her everywait week con.she I’d been looking believe forwardintoHim. it all summer it was and still doesn’t I told myand mom howhere! hard Iitsmile was my listen churchto was for me because I want herremembering to know Him it,butbecause she doesn’t me. My mom told me I should coming. probablyNot justmy give up and that itupisin, okbut to just church I grew my not worry about her. Do you thinkof it’s ok for me up?”with I thought family believers thattoI’dgive grown in the for a minute and answered saying, “What dodays you think, man?”Camp I was3 Lord during the 14 of Student expecting a simple yes or no. But what this kid said next will stick with Camp in 2016. TheyJesus werenever comme forever. “I don’t think I and should giveMacon up on her because ing back, and Jesus was going to meet gave up on me!” Those words were the truth I think not only thiswith kid and wewith didn’t know they whatwill He push had, and I needed to hear, but us all again, who struggle whether we never knew He was to show And on in sharing the Gospel. but Jesus gave upgoing on growing us,up. caring for us, or loving on us. Inthus turn,began this summer, God taught mebelievers to push our meetings: 15 or so to do the same toward those aroundof me: to be intentional, apresent, consisting student missionaries, couple and persistent. of staff, and me. We met in the afternoons, in the Upper Room, with coffee and cookies. We all had our DAVID journals andDAMON Bibles out, with no agenda except to gather together and HALF meet in the presenceFIRST of Jesus. We learned. We rested. We drank deeply from sweet teaching and truth in the WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR Word. And we shared from an overflow of what the Spirit had taught Thisin summer Lake us recently. To rely on the Spirit for leadership a setting at such as Forthat est Ranch has been one of enthe was risky. And it was beautiful. We were obedient to meet. And we most impactful experiences tered worship. We experienced discipleship, community, and church. of my It has been In Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer said, “A entire spirituallife.kingdom lies alla journey of God lovingly teachabout us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our ing me who I am in Him, and inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God is here awaithow I canHimself be a part of bringing ing our response Presence. Thisiseternal world willincome alive His Kingdom heretoonHis earth. But there one experience particular to uswill thestay moment we for begin reckon that with me thetorest of myupon life. its reality.” I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful for that truthofthat setsa us free. And and I’m thankful that It was my second week being counselor, I had some the Lord says, “O taste see Ithat amknow Good,”. pretty great men in myand cabin. gotI to and encourage these campers, while thanMacon, not, they doing the for had me. On the finalmore day often of Camp allwere “my plans” for same that day On our lastthe night of camp while getting for bed,the a few dissolved moment I had sleptI was in, and sleptready THROUGH timeofI my broke By thethe onetime rulethe I had in wascampers, planning without to meet meaning with one any of myharm campers. afterplace, which was respect for one another and for my ministry partner. noon hit, I was stressed and almost in a panic with all I was trying to I let them know this rule the first day of camp and I told them that there do. In the midst of that, I passed my sweet 14 year old camper/sister/ would be a price to pay if it was broken. friendSothat I had the connected with the first day and of camp I pulled select campers outside I let (and themwe’d knowbeen that hard to separate since then). I said coldly, “Not now. I’m stressed and they broke this rule and the price needed to be paid. I asked them I don’tthey have time to talk.” And of course would she questioned was what thought a suitable punishment be. (Beingwhat the awewrong. All angry and tantrum-like, I unloaded my responsibilities anda some guys they were, and feeling guilt for their actions, they gave stress hefty to her,punishment and just guess what sheI did. I finished rant,it pretty of push-ups.) thenBefore told them I didn’tmythink was I doubled it. mouth, looked me in the eye, and said she enough put her so hand over my they were getting down ready to them, I told themOh I was gofirmly,As“Keelea, stop. You’re listening todo lies. Trust Jesus.” I was ing to do this for them. So I began an unreasonable amount of pushso mad at her (not really). She was so right, but stress and distrust ups, begin sweat, grow weak, and gasp for air before Iand eventruth got in theand Lord wastostill radiating off of me, until the simplicity half way. The whole time I was doing the push-ups, I was explaining of what she said hit my heart. She told me she’d talk to me later and the grace and sacrifice the Jesus paid on the cross for them. At the walked off as joyfully as she is. Within seconds, a friend took one of end, I was tired, winded, and hurting, but I was able to look them in my eyes responsibilities so Ithat could be free theredoI was the and tell them I love them,that andafternoon, that’s whyand I could that shouting out my 14 year old friend’s name to tell her she was right. for them, but Jesus loves them so much more. She That ran back measwith much joy to andallsaid, “See? That’s ways, what next today we so were about go our separate we’ve guys beenIlearning for our me.cabin How deep the those was ablealltoweek!” shareAnd that she withprayed gathered together, Father’s love for us. How is. And how coolI and my entire cabin just humbling began to His praylove for and eachtruth other as brothers. doubt I’ll forget that camp where Holy Spirit so powerfully that grace and peace and rest andthe freedom will always belong todidus,a work on my heart, we butbelong I am sure because of Whom to. that many campers experienced a hint of the love Christ has for them that week.

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HANNAH WILSON GAVIN GRANT - COUNSELOR CABIN 21 ELIZABETH MENDOZA I had a little dude come into my cabin during theFIRST very firstHALF camp of the sumwas a totally different feel than normal. Through all the fun and intentional times, I mer. This ten-year-old boy was talking my WORKSTAFF head off from theCOUNSELOR moment he came lost track of time and on the last day, I still had five one-on-ones to do. However, FIRSTleftHALF into my cabin, going on and on about how many animals he’s killed and all kinds each one of these one-on-ones were some of the deepest times I had with campof other things. In our one-on-one, he told me that he wanted to get2 saved he ers I had all summer. WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR Student Camp was but probwasn’t ready yet. He had a few questions, so I read some verses about the Gospel ably one of the heaviest and most to him and he seemed to be very intrigued. However, he still told me he wasn’t challenging I wasouraone-onpart of ready to receive Jesus, but I felt that he was very close.camps Either way, first half. The first day you could one lasted for about an hour to an hour and a half. I didn’t even realize how much thelittle weight of the campers’ time I was spending with him, but it meantjust a lotfeel to the camper because after our one-on-one, he seemed to gravitate towards me more before. He group would lives. Many hadthan come from follow me,foster sit by me, and talk me a lot he had previously. He prejust homes, homes, andtomany justmore badthan households. I was not seemed more comfortable with me. pared for this camp in any way, shape, or form, but the cool thing with In staff meeting the next day, Papa Rich asked if he should do an invitation that youservice don’tthat havenight. to beI shot prepared because control andI atGod the iscampfire my hand up and He’s said, in “Yes please! already has His divine plan laid out. I learned that week that when have a camper who wants to be saved but he said he isn’t ready yet.” During the I am leastkids prepared is when should allow Him(Iftoyou do don’t his thing, take the the campfire, were passing the Imicrophone around know what campfire service is, campers pass around a microphone backseat and watch Him work. and give a testimony of what one God of hasmy done in their lives One night of camp, campers and I had a one-on-one during camp). Drew received the microphone and said, and I could tell she had a lot on her heart to talk about, but I had no “This week, God made me a better person.” I immediately idea about baggage I was behishitheart with. She told me about began praying,the asking the Holy Spiritabout to worktoon her friends betraying her, her struggle with depression, the lack of and reveal to him the difference between being a better trustworthy people Jesus. in her Ilife, herhenightmare of a home life, and to top person and accepting knew hadn’t accepted Christ yet, so begging Holy Spirit to revealfor a long time about it all off, sheI was did basically not know the Lord. We spoke Jesus to him. A few moments later, Papa Rich did thehad in- going on in her life. her struggles, and her self-harm, and all she vitation. I was sitting near Drew and saw his hand go up I’ve never felt so much pain and heartache come from another person about wanting to accept Jesus. Again, I began praying. before I met I asked her felt thispic-way and why she felt Drew cameher. to the back and wewhy wentshe to a nearby the need to self-harm. All she could say back was, nic table where we sat across from each other. When we “No one listens to me,down, no one wants me, was andup. noHe one So why should I care?” sat I asked him what toldloves me heme. wanted toHer getwords saved. broke I reminded what it means to receive Jemy him heart. sus. I also reminded him that he told metoin her. our one-on-one I then explained the gospel We spoke about God’s goodthat he wasn’t ready to receive Jesus yet. Then I asked ness and grace, the way He loves each of us and has made us all for if he felt like this was the time; he began to cry. I moved purpose, thatofHis is hurting forsitting her and that He toa the other side the heart table where he was and began to cares comfortso himmuch and for her.theShe honestly believe a word I said at the time.Jesus All she explain Gospel to him didn’t again. Then I told him that he could receive in hadmoment knownif was people coming and her life, herAfter constant that he was ready and I gaveinhim an out idea of of what to pray. a few seconds went by,being still in tears, Drew at me and said, “I just did it.” He told pain, and not wanted orlooked caredupfor. me thatWe he ended told Godup hetalking loved Him and that he1am wanted Him to come until around that night. Letinto mehis tellheart. you, I said, “That’s it!” As I began to explain his identity in Christ now that he is a new God is so good. She accepted Christ that night. For the first time I creation, he said, “I’m so happy I got saved.” Later on, he told me, in a very proud saw “Ithe pure joy face and the first said to me tone, gotlook savedofbefore you on did.”her Then I remembered thatthing in ourshe one-on-one, he after me being I feel(I different! Butguyit’swaslike a good difasked howsaved old I waswas, when“Wow I got saved was 12). This bragging about ferent.” That shows Gods right there. God works being saved younger than me. Igrace thoughtand thatgoodness was pretty funny. Through learnedThat moresweet of howgirl faithful Father work miracles andthis Heexperience, is just so Igood. whothehas beenis to broken through new little guys and girls intoin Hisher family. all her me lifeinisbringing now whole with Christ Jesus life.He doesn’t need me to do it. None of my words made Drew get saved. None of my time spent with him brought him to Christ. It was the Holy Spirit who was working faithfully in Drew’s heart to bring this little dude into the kingdom. That moment with Drew set the tone for my entire summer, as I realized and truly believed that I couldn’t do this job on my own. None of us can! Our strength and power is found in Jesus Christ. God is good.

nnnn

Student Camp 3 was fantastic! It was my first week with 16-18 year old campers. Coming in, I was intimidated because I was not that much older than them and so I was afraid that my guys would not respect me. Also, a lot of my guys came in with hard things. In that, I saw the activity of the Holy Spirit in each thing that happened during the week: cabin time, Bible study, an emotional LFR after Dark, and each of the one-on-ones. Heck, we even performed an original song that a guy in the cabin wrote during the week in LFR’s Got Talent (It was not a serious song, but a funny one). At the beginning of the week, I felt God wanted me to make it clear to my guys that I wasn’t better than any of them and that I just wanted to be a brother to them. Boy, did He use that. Each one-on-one was deep and open and I was able to watch the Father love each and every one my guys. In the cabin, it

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One of my guys was dealing with a home life in which both of his parents were alcoholics. I knew this going into our one-on-one. The adult leaders had My absolute favorite made me aware of it and earlier in the week he auditioned for LFR’s Got Talent by ofwas thisalready summer was singing a song about his dad, which left himmemory in tears. He a believer, and I knew that, but I also knew there was some had and there the deep nighthurt of that LFRheafter dark of was a lot of truth he needed to hear. I found him onCamp the basketball andcamps asked Kids D, onecourt of the him if heI was wanted to hang out. After He said, I don’t really to talk where a counselor. we“Well, got finished, wehave wentanything back to our about.” I said, “Let’s just go talk.” cabinWe and my ministry partner, Emily, walks in and made a comment sat down and started out with some surface level conversation. Eventuabout theasking stars.some Wequestions both immediately at each otherhisand she ally, after about home,looked he opened up about parents. ran to get a tarp. While she was doing that, I told our girls to put While he was talking I was just praying, “God, I have absolutely no idea what on to say toshoes this guy.and I don’t about walking this. Please speak to their trustknow me.anything Naturally, little girlsthrough are curious and so there he wasand donethe sharing, I opened my and was a lot of chatterhim.” and When questions atmosphere of mouth the room the Father just began to speak truth to him through me. immediately went from being tired and “bedtime” to “adventure” and As I was talking, I looked up at him and saw tears in his there was so much eyes energy. When my ministry partner got back with and a smile on his face. Honestly, it startled me and the tarp, we turned off all the lights aand a train ofFather holding hands I began to stutter littlemade bit. Even so, the continued to take them to the field next to our cabin where the tarp was laid out. to speak all of this truth that He knew His child needed to we ended prayer, gave Eventually, we hear. got After everyone on our theone-on-one tarp and with it was likehewhen me awhat hug was and with tears eyes, youwas so they finally understood going oninithis was likesaid, their“Thank breath much.” I was still startled at all the truth because each thing taken from them by the beauty of our Father. I began to tell them what the Father spoke through me was truth that I needed to the Father has beenhear teaching me through the stars this summer. I and believe myself. It was also crazy to me because told them that our Father in Heaven so anything much more captivated it went from, “I don’t is have to talkso about,” before by us than we werethe byone-on-one the stars. toHe“Wow. loves us more than we love the Thank you so much,” afterwards. thathow day, inI sat down with my stars. I began telling themLater about Genesis, Godanother madeone the ofstars guys. We talked for a while. He had had a rough life, so and explained the difference of things being spoken into existence we talked through that and all the things he had been dealand things being created so thoroughly. I told them how the Father ing with. Towards the end of our one-on-one, he said he knit them together inwanted their mother’s womb and they aren’t a mistake. to share his testimony with the whole cabin that Everything about them is exactly how the Father wanted to be, night (the last night). He said, “I don’t care about skin color, those them guys are my even if they don’t my likebig it about them how much he brothers, and you’re brother.”themselves. That really hitI told me because I remembered saying that I wanted be their brother, FatherAbba used that. adores them and to how proud He isand to the be their daddy. Emily then got to what the cabin night was after cleaning rec and hall (we cabin cleanspokeWeabout thethat Father teachingtheher shelostshared what up) and we all sat down and listened to him as he shared. When he finished, all it meant to be a daughter. She used the phrase that the girls were the guys encouraged him with truth and then began to share about their own lives. captivated by. She said, “I am a daughter of a Star-Breathing King.” It was crazy, because they were opening up about deep hurts that they had been Right after that, the coolest thing at happened. We were dealing with. she That said isn’t normal for guys, especially that age. I knew Jesusstarwas ing the starsspecial and we saw an outline heart. The parents girls saw it first doingatsomething in the cabin. The guy of witha the alcoholic spoke up. He said thatEmily over the yearithe hadwe been parents andlaughing going to and then andpast I saw and justdealing lost it.with Thehisgirls were other such things alooking girls, partying, and pornography. with pure for joyfulfillment, and theythings werelikeholding our hands and it wasHea then said, withjoy. tears in his eyes again, “But now I know that none of those things contagious can fill me up. Only Jesus can.” I was amazed. Jesus did that in him! He hadn’t When they finally settled back down, I told them to be still and suopened up about those things in our one-on-one or anything, and then I was told per quiet. It took a while but we finally The got them that point andvulnerwhen that he’d never opened up about anything. Fatherto brought so much we didand it was something thatduring they the willweek. neverHeforget. ability comfort to His child knew As thatthey Jesuswere was being all he needed. was a work the Lord did in him during week.toThe Spirit still andThat admiring the that beauty of the night sky, I the began tellHoly them to led all of theseTo things that the guys opening up andwhat sharing. of my guys be present. be aware of allwere of their senses; theEach air smelt like, walked awayof with having something special in their livesFather and I was just the feeling theGod tarp and done the night air, the beauty of our being able to watch. shown in creation, and what they were hearing. This is a moment that That would be the theme of not just Student Camp 3, but my entire summer. IDuring will never forget, thisable wasto awatch moment thatSpirit the form Father giftedbrotherhood me and it that camp, I was the Holy a special was withinso myprecious. cabin. I literally just got the opportunity to watch. It was that way all summer, me watching God work. Each camper, each one-on-one, each salvation, each chain broken, the Father just gave me the opportunity to watch. Sometimes He would use me, and that was still Him, but a lot of times it was just Him doing it and me watching it all unfold. I love this job because I know I am incapable of doing a good job or a bad job. I have the freedom to lean into Christ and allow Him to live, love, minister, work, and do all kinds of other things through me. No strings attached, it is all Him.

Spirit was at work. I asked him, JAREDMCKNIGHT BISSELL - SENIOR GRIFFIN COUNSELOR CABIN 13“If you were to die today and God asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say to him?” His answer astounded me,later he said “I would God that My reflection actually starts before SECOND HALF meeting that day, this tell camper’s adultI shouldn’t step foot into heaven, I’m not good enough, I am a sincamp, during my second semesterWORKSTAFF of leaders told me that he was really excited for COUNSELOR sophomore year, the semester that ended First off let me give a little right before camp began. I had walked backstory. I was what’s called through a really hard season where the a workstaff counselor this sumLord had begun working in me to remove mer, which means that I am nora struggle that I had long held on to and mally not surrendered to Him. This process wason workstaff unless a full summer counselor is out sick or long and hard and brought back memories of my past and shook my faith andneeds confi- a break. Generally, that meant that I would be a counselor like two or three camps durdence in the Lord and His character. for Howing the second half. The story that I have ever, the one thing that I was confident to tell takes place during thewas second lastsupposed camp of the summer, in that Itowas to be back atand it just so happens that all the camps leading up to this one I was needed as a counselor. Lake Forest Ranch. So I Ialready campsbegan as a counselor arrived had and four the Father a time under my belt and only a day or two on workstaff. This really wasn’t a big issue to me, but of healing and restoration in my life during Istaff wastraining. ready The for alast break and wanted to get know night, my workstaff night of staff training, the to worship as I was family so I was excited to be on workstaff for kids camp at one of the stations I began to remember all of my pastE.and how The storycould really during We were having a certain things be starts standing in theskit waynight. of my relationship with God good time, doing the transition to the last skit of the night and one and began to fall back into a spirit of legalism, thinking that I have to of theand guy counselors theand stage acting crazy, runninga work sacrifice to earnjumps God’son love forgiveness. This brought around likeanxiety, a chicken its head cutI did off. not (Literally, he was wearton of fear, andwith confusion that know what to do with ing a costume that made him look like a chicken and everything.) other than pray and seek answers. Naturally, another staffbegan member tackled the and ground to make I walked over and to talk to anhim old to friend mentor, Darthe kids laugh, but it didn’t go the way they planned, and the counren Miley, and he began to speak truth and remind me that the Father selor me ended his ankle.my sin and wants that relationship loves andup thatbreaking He has removed As we were assessing damage and getting take with me. He reminded me tothe trust the Father and thatready He isto good. him toall thethose hospital, thatthere I waswas going in as a counselWhile wordsI was weretold good, stillback this lie I believed that or inFather the place the me, counselor. the toflesh, frustrated the didn’toflove but that In I had workthis for really that love. So the me because I was having a good time withRoom my workstaff family next morning we walked in to our first Upper time before theand first enjoying the break. But I reluctantly pulled my stuff together and camp. I was still praying and just wrestling with this lie and confusion got the counselor to tell up methe thestairs rundown on his campers. He all toldof and anxiety as I walked into the Upper Room. As me a bit about each camper and the conversations that he had these thoughts and feelings are running around in my mind, somealready had withthat them. As we talking, lingered on onehad of one announced Ashton, whowere is one of the he Admin Assistants, his kids;usthis camper really have his heart heart.forIt each was clear painted words that she feltseemed God hadtoput on her of us. that the counselor wanted this to be a place of healing for him. They began to pass out these words and I begin to think to myself,So“I aftermyskit night was over, I rushed thekind cabin to getnever to know my bet word is going to be loved. No,tothat of stuff happens new campers. to me, there is no way.” Then sure enough Mama Sandy comes over Themefollowing wasword riding my down. bike around camp looking to hand my wordday withI the facing for my campers so I could do one on ones. saw the camper I turn it over and I read the word, “Loved”.I Immediately therethat is a the counselor had dwelt on hanging out on the basketball court reminder and calmness in my spirit reminding me that I am lovedand by I rolled up that to him askI cannot if he wanted to hang His facethe lit up. the Father, it isand a love earn. After that,out. throughout first He said, we go boating?”to Ishow agreeme and went me overhow to half of the“Can summer, thepaddle Lord continued andweremind the paddleboats. We made our way to the middle of the lake when deep His love for us is, and how He wants us to grow to be like Him and I can thatrelationship he has finally warmed me. Hework started asking to havetellthat with Him, but up thattoI cannot or sacrifice questions about being in Christ verses being in Adam (a concept anything to earn that, the relationship is a free gift. that is focused on in our Bible study). n n n Inexplained the Gospel messageDuring to himthe andfirst I could tell that was agetting student campHeI had cabin it. of 16-18 year olds. After presenting the Gospel him, I asked what wasexcited keeping As they came into my cabin, I couldtotell they were all really for him from accepting the gift of salvation and he replied, “I want camp. We all hung out at the cabin because they were all excited toto become a Christian myfellow parents saymates. I needThen, to wait till I’m older build relationships withbut their cabin a camper walks and I’m a better person.” I explained that faith and a up who was obviously very different from the others, andrelationship I could imwith God isn’t about being “good enough” forjust Christ, butthethat ChristI mediately tell that he had something going on below surface. will meet you wherever you are and loves you no matter what you tried to engage him in some conversation, but he just wasn’t interested havevery done. Something clicked himalone. and I could theleader Holy and much just wanted to bein left Duringtell thethat adult

ner and am not worthy.” We talked more and he expressed thathard he camp, however, he had an incredibly wanted to give his life to life Christ and be sanctified of his sins. After and had been asking questions about we got done on the paddleboat, walkedand to aallpicnic and I sin, otherwe religions, kinds table of stuff. had him go through what he believes about what Jesus has done, Later that night I saw him sitting by himand he presented the Gospel I toldofhim, have self perfectly. on the porch my “Now cabin all andyou another to do is accept the gift Christ offers you and came pray toand receive Jesus one of my campers told me that into your heart.” He then leds himselfreally in prayer, asking God clean he seemed sad. So I went outtothere to him from sin and telling God he believes everything that Jesus did talk to him and he began to tell me that he on the earth and in heaven. After having the prayer, I looked at himcampand had been troubles with other asked, “Now, if you wereersto and die we andbegan God asked you why should to talk about that. DurI let you into my heavening what say?” He replied thiswould talk heyou began to open up. Hewith told something that I am going remember forofthe rest of my He metoabout all kinds hardships thatlife. he had said, “I would say because I’m and clean. I believed Jesus did faced how he didn’twhat understand howona the cross and is now in heaven waiting for me, I cancould go in allow because God that we claim is good bad I things am forgiven.” to happen to people. I began praying and asking that God would works inbecause crazy ways. in the paingood of some, or giveGod me wisdom I reallyEven did not thinkphysical I had a very answer inand theknew reluctance of others He still works. I learned that week that no that, if that was his starting question, that I would be getting matter the hardship or the pain, God’s planGod always much harder questions later. Sure enough gaveprevails. me wisdom and answers to this guy’s questions. We talked for a long time about how he is worth loving and how our past events do not define us, nor do people define us. However, at this point it was almostTURNER one in the mornKRISTON ing, so we decided to talk more the next night. That next night we hung out, and againSECOND he asked HALF questions about his life’s worth, why Christians are soWORKSTAFF hateful, and he told me about how COUNSELOR he had grown up with this message of God not loving him from both his was my first year at LFR home life and other believers. Again, This the Father worked through me hadquestions only one but expectation: to and gave me wisdom and answersand forIhis we talked for see God move in, and through me. a while, and again, we decided to wait till the next night to keep talking. began to cover expectaThis was the night before the As lastInight of camp andthat we were talktion with prayer, I had no idea what ing again. This time he continued to ask questions about his life worth, would opened.and but this time he also asked if Godopportunities can take away thesebethoughts I was a counselor first his sin and his past. I told him yes, that God can take away allthe of those week of second half, my first things if he would just trust God with them. This allowed me to share at accept camp Jesus, and the the Gospel with him. However, heweek did not but biggest instead camp we’ve ever had. I was overexpressed that he did not want his life anymore. We talked more about qualified. self-worth and how I cared aboutwhelmed his life, asand wellfeltasunder how much God Before knew his it, I life, had but ten he pairs of beautiful cared Iabout was starting totwelve shut year down.oldSoeyes we starwent ing backand at me. wasday in complete amazement as to how Abba placed inside that Inext we had the bonfire service. such wondrous girls in my cabin. As soon as they entered Before the bonfire service, I had talked with Papa Richthe andcabin, MamaI connected with them so easily. However, there was one camper that Sandy and they had advised me to tell his adult leaders about what wanted to do the withnight me. before. All weekThey I tried to advised spend time we hadnothing talked about also me with to tellher, the but there was a gap between us that I couldn’t bridge. camper that I was telling the adults so he’d know he had people to go It quickly turned the lastservice, night ofI told camp I was becoming to. So that night at theto bonfire himand what I was going to worried that I would have to force a conversation that she didn’t want. tell his adult leaders and he was really chill about it. Then he asked me I how told her that we would talk the next morning before breakfast. I wasof he could give Jesus a second try. I shared with him the ABC’s expecting tenwhen minute that wouldhim feelifone-sided. salvation aand weconversation got to believe, I asked he believedI had that completely thathisI sins was and a daughter of the At 2am this Jesus couldforgotten take away forgive him, andKing. he said, “a little.” same wokethis mebefore up andsoshe told me wassitready to talk. I had camper never heard I asked himshe to just and listen to the For the next two hours we sat in rocking chairs as she in testimonies and that if he wanted to talk about it later after the was bonfire tears pouring out her heart. I was shaken to my bones by the way then we would. Later that night he said that he wanted to talk and he our timing is perfect, to testimonies say the least. As she that nextin toldFather’s me that as he listened to the of what Godlefthad done morning, we hugged and I said goodbye to my sister in Christ. The all those other campers’ lives that he believed God could changefull his weight what been praying collided withhis Abba’s life as of well, andI had at the bonfire service he gave life tograce. Christ.

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LUCAS STOCKS EMILY JACKLIN - COUNSELOR CABIN 5 After the first camp of the summer, I wasSECOND exhaustedHALF in every way. selves best friends, but left as sisters. In the same day I had my I did not know how I was going to do this again with campers the very one-on-one with each of these girls. They were all upcoming freshWORKSTAFF COUNSELOR next day —much less do this for the entire summer. I realized early in as a the Workstaff/ on I could NOT do anything on my own.Jumping I knew I NEEDED Lord’s Counselor second all halfof was strength to get through the summer, and morefor importantly, life. hard for a couple of reasons, but I prayed and cried out to the Lord to give me His strength and for the at the same time I got to experiSpirit to lead in every situation. I talked with Mama Sandy the morning ence so much more thantoldmost. of the second camp when I was feeling exhausted and she me I was to love that the Spirit doesn’t always provide us able with what we and needinvest before-in many amazing campers, and to hand—but He will experience community and fun of being on workstaff. There give it as wethe need were it. Fordays Campthat B were He harder for sure, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. did exactly that. As a counselor, My campers the Father completely rocked my world. I got the opportunity to show campers the Father’s love. I was always brought so much amazed my one-on-one time with the campers by how much pain andduring baggage the words from their I spoke pasts. were never my own. I remember almost everything that campers told me, but most of the words that I said There wasthe a reocback aretheme a mystery. curring of Whenever a camper told me that something I said impacted them dad issues, physi- in any way, I always thought to myself, “That that’sabuse, Jesus notand me.” That’s all I really needed to know. cal Beingthoughts on workstaff was slightly harder for me. I loved the time negative thatnotI got to spend of being want- with my campers, so making the transition was difficult. to find ways to brighten the camper’s days ed, loved,I did or manage chowhile As being workstaff. I tried to make everything I did fun for mysen. a on whole, self camp and for thedark people I was serving. Taking time during my breaks this was to spend time with and heavy. At thesunshine club campers helped as well. This is not saying that of I enjoyed beginning that workstaff any less, but that my heart is leaned more toward camp, one ofpouring the into others. I did get to make amazing connections with other adult leaders told incredible people on workstaff, and I did have wonderful with campers during this time as well. me my experiences one-onOne of cooler stories of my summer was during the preteen one with a the certain camp 2nd half be when I was a counselor. People were always telling camper would me stories about the best one, so my campers, and how I needed to go talk to them this “Great, or that. They always seemed to be up to something. I Iabout was like, didn’t It kind of reminded me of myself when I was younger. I’ll domind. it tomorDuringForthat camp, timeevery seemed flow tovery because row!” some reason time to I went finddifferent her I never could,I somehow have multipleit to one-on-ones of and I knowhad nowthe thattime the to Lord intended be that way.with Shesome ended them, which awesome. I ofeven up having one-onup being my was last one-on-one the ended camp and it was three so refreshing onesawith oneweek. of my campers. after heavy He seemed to believe the gospel he old. had She was incredibly mature in her and faith knew as aneverything eleven year to. Little know he theI was one talking to surprise me theDuring most. We got todid digI deeper andwould it wasbelike to a friend. Duringafter theDark” invitation, I didn’t expect anyexperience), of my kids towe walk “LFR (our third night worship gottotoback, lead but hecamper did. Weupwalked a bit. methey that each to the outside cross toand praytalked with for them. At He thattold time, he didgiven believe gospel, but he realized they that he’s confessed were the the chance to write something werenever thankful for that that out asked to be in his So inheChrist. wanted to Christ hadloud doneorfor themJesus or a truth about whoheart. they are This know if he could do that. When we started going through that, he particular camper wrote “satisfied.” An eleven year old truly gets what said thatinhe didn’t he could. told him He thatisI ithesitated, means to he be satisfied Christ. Hethink is enough. He isI all I need. couldn’t force to, but he believed all theJesus thingsreminded he saidme he my strength. Hehim fills me and ifmakes me complete. didthat thatsweet theretruth is nothrough reason this to becamper. ashamed afraid to. He in waited of I amorfully satisfied Christa few throughout seconds and something thatallowed almostme brought me satisfied to tears, and thesaid summer Jesus has to remain “Jesus I wantyou, to ask you if you would accept me into your heart in Him. Thank Jesus. because I know now without n andoubt n that n you are in mine.” It went so well with our theme this year of Christ you in Christ, andofit the is a Student Camp 1 was one of the mostinmemorable weeks memory for thatme. willI be a very time.themsummer hadengraved three girlsininmy myheart cabinforthat camelong calling

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men in high school and they were craving Jesus and authentic community. After I met with each of them, the Holy Spirit put it on my heart to have a three-on-one with them to talk about friendship and how to love one another better as sisters. Late that night, we met on the porch for about two hours. It was the sweetest time of community. They spoke about how all they did was laugh and hangout, but never really talked about Jesus or the real things going on in each of their lives. They went around and said what they personally needed from each other as friends. They shared hurts, praises, and how they It is known that couldat camp, love TRIPP WARREN there’s an abundance of fun activieach other SECOND HALF ties for campers tobetter. participateWe in. With activities like tubing, horsetalked about WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR back riding, high and whatlowit ropes, looks and many other fun things, it is easy to see how much likefuntothat be chilthe dren and teenagers can have at LFR. What makes the recreational body of Christ activities at Lake Forest unique is the way that even simplest andthea sister in games and activities can point campers towards Christ. Christ. I loved One day while I was a counselor, I challenged one boys that of Ithedidn’t in my cabin to a round of disc-golf. While we were have havingtoa faciligreat time playing, I began to ask him about the Gospel. Throughout our tate the conconversation, I discovered that the young man was versation, knowledgeable beabout God, though he had not asked God to forgive cause him forthe hisHoly sins and toled have a personal relationship Him.party and acted goofy. Spirit it. We even randomly had with a dance our round of disc-golf, continued our conEveryAfter timewe wefinished acted silly, they brought the we conversation back to versation and the about young these boy got saved. was trulyback astonishing Christ. Everything sweet girlsIt pointed to Jesus.to see We the talked Lord use a game funcould and simple as disc-golf to lead about how as they start meeting at least oncea child towards Himself. This story shows an example of how the activia week to do a Bible study and take time to talk about their lives ties what at camp tools can be used by they God could to make an and the are Lordministry is doing. Wethat talked about how grow eternaltoimpact somebody’s closer Jesusontogether whilelife. holding each other accountable. I challenged them to meet at least 2-3 times before they came back for Camp Macon a month later and they said, “No, four times!” They were so excited about Jesus and community and that is what we were created for. About a month passes and all three girls are in my cabin again. The sweet bond we formed a month earlier had picked up right where it left off. It was a rewarding thing to see these girls grow deeper in their faith together and reminisce on the real community they shared with one another while they were away from LFR. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

ABBY JACKS EMMA CONNER - COUNSELOR CABIN 4 SECOND HALF Then, just as clear as it was before, he said, “Dear Emma, I took you away to show you that I WORKSTAFF COUNSELOR

“Five years,” He said. Five years? I knew not to question it. I heard Him clearer than I ever had before. He told me five “Eternity will not be long years and I was mad. enough to learn all He is, or to Lord, please? Lake Forest is my stability, praise Him for all He has done, my safe place, my sanctuary. Please don’t butask then, that matters not; for me to step away from this. we shall be always with Him, I didn’t want to leave Lake Forest for evenwe desire nothing more.” and a day, much less five years. I was happiest andTozer. -AW I felt safest while I was there. I had been there We know all too well that this past summer is impossible for for six summers in a row, as atry camper and and let the Spirit interwords to capture, but(four I will anyways two on staff) but before I was even to step cede for me with words too deep to foot utter. on theEvery. property,Single. Lake Forest Ranchwas was insomyfull of the Father’s Heart. Moment. blood. Mymy parents worked and metwas there,one andI wasn’t even looking for. One of favorite moments IRather, wanted to be at LFR it found me.and follow in their footsteps Imore than I wanted was walking oneto breathe. of my campers to the nurse one night. I During school small year, my whole and dreamed was trying the to make talk withbeing her, thought, but hertalked, love was far too about camp. If I had a bad day, I could talk to one of my camp friends about it fearless to settle for that. “What’s your testimony?” she asked later. If school was hard, I could daydream about the peace at camp. me. The cool thing is, a huge part of my testimony happenedCamp. earCamp. Camp. lier just that morning. I got to tell her what I was learning about And He to waitdoesn’t five years? No way. Noto how. possible.that Not healing, andasked howme Jesus bring things theNot surface going to happen. He doesn’t want to heal. That’s why He died in the first place: for Summer 2013healing. was in sight. I was stubborn, I didn’t listen, and I pretended redemption and like I didn’t hear Him. next possible chancesexually and applied to work She then toldI jumped me herat the testimony of being abused, at LFR the upcoming summer. I didn’t get the job. Ouch. and how she blamed God for what happened to her. She didn’t Jesus? AreShe you listening me? I NEED this place. Emmawere withunderstand. was sotoangry. Her words andI am hernoteyes out it. filled with hurt. By this time, we had found ourselves lying on The following summers I didn’t apply for up health reasons. the dock with thetworest of Cabin 1 looking at the stars, at Him. Summer wasHe in sight. I was wasI want good, and ready. “I want that 2016 healing wants tohealthy, give tolifeus. HimI was to make As soon as I submitted the application, I knew it wasn’t my time. I couldn’t me new. Can you show me how to give my life to God?” I saw explain it toinmy my family;with I justhope. knew Ithat not-so-great news the was the hurt herfriends eyesorreplaced cannot remember coming. I was right and it wasn’t pretty. The place that I loved more than life, and words that I said back to her which is simply proof that they the dream that I had had since birth was once again delayed from my sight. weren’t my words at all. He led me as I led her to eternal life. Summer 2017 was in sight. healthy, life was and I was terriI showed her scripture thatI was I didn’t even knowgood, I remembered. fied. I wasback in theand habitwatched of letting fear over me. be my last sumI stood therule Father pickThis herwould up and wash her mer in college and most likely the last summer I would be able to work there. and make her new, pure, holy, alive. IIncan’t it. I want tomy staymind homewent whereback it’s safe. I like mywhen job. I like being thatdomoment, to 2009, I stood close to family. I like the people around me. What if I mess up? What if I let on that very dock and heard Jesus call me name and take them me down? if I fail Jesus? can’t step do it. into eternal, abundant life. by theWhat hand as You, I took my Ifirst that not application wasstanding not an option. asked me AbbaI knew looked at submitting 8-year-oldtheAbbey Jacks onHe that dock to do my part and let Him do His. So, I did it, and even though I was terrified that night and knew she would one day be in the exact same beyond comprehension, in anand everlead so gentle way, Hetoscooped held me place eight years later someone Christme forup, the first close, and whispered, “My child. Remember? It’s been five years.” Papa Rich time. He orchestrates everything so beautifully and intricately called me a week later. and graciously and purposefully. He about me those five years exceptthemywhole name. Mychanged word foreverything the summer wasin“free.” I had spent But boy, did He take me on an incredible and unforgettable journey. My persummer learning just how free I was in the Spirit, but God used sonality changed. My demeanor changed. My heart changed. My passions that night to show me how free He is. I didn’t even have to ask changed. thoughts andwith opinions life walking changed. her Heck,toI even for that My conversation thatand girl.outlooks I wason just the changed schoolswhen three times. Thethink Emmatothat would served Him in that 2013 nurse. Even I didn’t ask, thehave Father placed ismoment not the same Emma served in 2017, and for thatHe I amdirects so thankful. at my feet who freely andHim without hesitation. our I remember driving down that dirt road on May 11, 2017. My brainHis was steps with such care, as a Father does when He is teaching pondering the unknown. child how to walk. He knows exactly what we need before we you take medelights away? Why was I goneHis for so long? This place was evenWhy saydid a word and in lavishing reckless love upon my home. This was my safe place. us. He is so kind.

am your safe place.” And suddenly, it all made sense. All the pain. All the tears. All the fears. All the hurt. All the uncertainty. I was putting so much emphasis on the place itself that I overlooked Who the place was really about. I was so busy making it about me, when in reality, it was never about me at all. n n n n She walked into my cabin on the first day, looked me in the eyes, and told me she did not want to be there. She was already ready to go home. Her face was hard and I could tell that her life was full of hurt. The way that she carried herself showed that she had seen more in her short 15 years of life than I could even fathom. I didn’t want her in my cabin. I didn’t want to be the one who had to love on her. I knew that the week was going toDuring be hardthe andsummer emotionally drainingI of 2015, BEN JENKINS already, and I thought that adding this lost soul into the mix was going to be too was a counselor in cabin 21 (a.k.a. much for me. I prayed for compassion. I prayed that He would show me how WORKSTAFF MANAGER Twenty-fun!). It was an incredible to love her like He does. I knew that only He could her heart and my summer, andchange I learned invaluable attitude,about and I prayed that both of us would see Him clearly. things community, building relationships, and of course, the SheDuring came out see meofduring invitationI had one night. We sat down, I Father. thetocourse that the summer, one camper—out asked her what was on her mind, and she lost it. She sobbed and sobbed and of roughly 120 that came through my cabin—begin his relationship sobbed some more. I just held her and asked Jesus to give me words say, with Jesus, and I was honored and humbled to be present for to such because I surely had none. a momentous event in a person’s life. Little did I know, though, that about than beingIborn into a Isn’t roughthat family, but then adopted Abba She wastold up me to more thought. always thewas case? into aFast goodforward family. She toldsummer. me about losing her adopted mom, the one who to this lovedIt’sherthe so next well, and hownight the pain was stilland so agonizing. didn’t to last of camp LFR AfterShe Dark hasthink justit was fair that she had to live here on earth without her. She told me about being ended. Campers who have to take nightly meds before bed are passed around place.toShe hurt so times by so straggling into from the place Diningto Hall findhad thebeen nurse, andmany in walks one many people, and all of the hurtful memories were all coming back up right of my campers from 2015! As he’s waiting, I pull him aside to catch then andhelp there.him pass the time. We had made passing remarks of up and I gotand to share Jesusupwith her. I gotalltothroughout tell her how people on thisbut earththis will “Hello!” “What’s dude?!” this camp, hurt the us and us, but Jesus never will. He sat will never us oraforsake us. I was firstfailmoment we had actually downleave to have real congot to tell her that no matter how hard and terrible and disastrous our circumversation. stances, God me: can use them for For word maybetothedescribe first time my in herstate life, she Believe “Struck” is good. not the of was getting truth poured into her, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world that disbelief as this camper recounted his last two years and all that GodSpirit wanted me done to be the do that. knew she needed but his she the had in one his tolife. ThisShe camper knew the Jesus, Father; was too overwhelmed to make that decision right then. vocabulary when it came to spiritual things and even the manner Shehe broke downofagain theSpirit last night during our campfire service. took in which spoke the on Holy were telling a person who Ihad her aside, heldwith her tight, andfor shared the while. GospelIwith told her how been walking Jesus a good hadher to again. know!I “When did easyyou it was ask Jesus into her life,thing and I asked her to(or sit quietly and justalong listen this andto Jesus relationship happen?” something to him.lines) The suddenly, stoodHeup,responded, looked me in the with a face full of joy those I askedshehim. “In eyes my one-on-one with and freedom, and said, “Let’s go get some watermelon!!” you!” He then recounted nearly every detail of our conversation: joy inwhat my heart! Her whole persona changed. I justboat staredweat whereOh wethewere, we spoke about, evenwas what color the her, in awe of the one who made her. were riding in was. I didn’t have the faintest idea in 2015! He didn’t “Did justupask Jesus into your heart?!”Jesus without so much as a tell me! Heyou just and decided to follow “I sure word of it todid!” his counselor. You never know what the Father is up to, Mytruth friendiswas I told her thatthe following and the thatfree. youFinally. may never see fruit ofJesus your doesn’t labor inmean the that bad things or hard things won’t happen to us. Following Jesus that Kingdom. Through a conversation with me, Abba brought means this dead we can call on Him when those hard times hit and we can know that He is with camper to resurrection life, and I didn’t find out until almost exactly us every of the way. two yearsstep later!

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CLAIRE DAN BAILEY CHRIS SUBAT GUILLOTTE - COUNSELOR CABIN 20 FULL SUMMER WORKSTAFF negative mood I was in, but all thingsFULL SUMMER WORKSTAFF Going into this summer, I had never worked at a camp or organization are possible with God!

anything like LFR. When Papa Rich called and toldinto methe I was hired as a Coming summer I recounselor, I was ecstatic. However, nerves and fear began to mess with ally wanted to get baptized at Lake my mind and I spent much of the beginning the summer my Forestofbecause thisquestioning was the place ability to be a counselor. I was racked with insecurities first couple I drew near to thetheFather backofin weeks, but I knew God placed me at2014. Lake Forest for a reason, soon No more than a and week afJesus began to teach me about trulyterabiding in Him. John 15:4 says, coming, I had doubts and boy, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch bearones. fruit byI doubted itself, unless werecannot they big that it abides in the vine, neither can you, being unless you abide inwas me.”something God really I baptized began to hammer into me that I wouldn’t be wanted able to acreally to do; I doubted that complish anything without Him, and His but it’s what I bethis is something God wanted meI began to do. to It’ssee crazy, handiwork through me after. get baptized because I was dealing lieved. I believed thatsoon I couldn’t It was Kids Camp B, our campI believed of the summer, with all of this stuff from my2ndpast; that I needed to get my and I had been having a really hard week. My camplife together before I even attempted to talk about baptism. But, God ers were 11-13 years old.heart Mostwhile of them were always continued to pull at my mending it at the same time, and hyper and someI had hardworthy time listening to directions. I still believed wasanot of touching that water. About half way On top ofthe all that, it hadIbeen raining and I feltabout horrible. through summer completely forgot being baptized. I had Ipushed was exhausted thesowhole week main goal that desire far out my and mindmy because I did not believe that I for of enough it was tofor justit;get through that the camp in one wasmost good I believed I wasn’t good enough for God. piece.Throughout As I had one-on-ones with the my Lord campers, manythis summer would my time here, revealed of weren’t deep and pretty straightforward. bethem the start of very a long healing process. During this process, He took On second day,ofI had one-on-one with one me the down to thefullcore whata all the incorrect things were I believed of my campers. This camper was in my withme because I don’t about myself. I realized I didn’t want Godcabin to love his uncle,itwho happened be agrace). year younger deserve (by also the way, that’s to called I also didn’t want to walk than him. They were best andtospent much of understand why in freedom because it wasfriends foreign me and I didn’t their together week, so Ididn’t didn’twant havetomuch I wastime allowed to bethat free. I really embrace anything God opportunity before we (If didyou ever think that has called for mean to actual believeconversation about him or myself. our youone-on-one. are not supposed to walk in freedom and love fearlessly, that is started to this camper aboutyou himself fleshI and nottalking what the Lord has called to). and his home, what he liked to do, to what his church was like, ofetc.all Then asked him, Back baptism, in the midst theseI doubts and “Have wrongyou beever any of spoke the stuffsowe’ve talked about some at camp, likefriends the Gospel?” liefs,heard the Father sweetly through wise here at He replied, I wasthat floored heardHeofhas whatalready Jesus camp. He “No.” revealed I amthat to this walkkidinhad thebarely freedom did for him, and I really didn’t know where to take the conversation after paid the price for; He calls us to love without fear, and to walk humbly that. Then God took over. I started talking to him about Genesis and alongside Him. The Father created new beliefs in me the lasthow few Adam I explained what me sin was and how God want usand be weekssinned. of camp and allowed to embrace Him,doesn’t His freedom, condemned because of it,weeks so Heofsent Jesus die in our place. askedof His love. The last two camp thetoFather pulled thatI idea him whobaptized loved himback most,onand said his mom I picked and I getting theheoutskirts of mydid. brain and letupitasitrock there. said, “Thistold rockHim represents of love youryou mom hasme for you.” basically that, “Ifevery this isbitsomething want to do,Then even Ithough droppedI am the rock in aout giant about yards long, over scared of puddle, my mind, you20are going to left have to from makeallit the rain. “This puddle, all this water, represents God’s love for you.” His happen.” Not surprisingly, He made it happen. jaw hitThe the second ground. to Helast hadday never loved him that of heard campGod I was putting up much dishesand in he the had never seenPapa an illustration like this before. me While eyes lit up some after kitchen when Rich walked up behind andhis said, “I hear hearing howyou much God treasures him, I was myself, talk about wanting to get baptized.” Sothinking right offtothe bat I“This knewillusthat tration is insane! How the world with this?” That’s this was God and notinPapa Rich,didsoI come I veryup hesitantly said yes.when I realized I hadn’t come at all.ofItcamp was all(the fromday the IHoly using I Fast forward to up thewith lastit day got Spirit, baptized), me my lowest, both oftalking us at the same time. wasatsitting with aamazing good friend about how I don’t feel adequate that illustration God and watchto doThose this. Iwords facedand to many lies withinwere the directly span offrom 5 minutes I had NO ing them wasout awesome! They obviously a mark on camp-to clueHim if I use would back or do it for all the wrongleft reasons, so my I began er, because theGod nexttonight he decided to follow Jesus! uncle followed pray. I asked remove all distractions in this His precious moment him to invitation wasthe crying afterdoing. his nephew accepted of me declaringand what He with hasjoy been Instantly I wasChrist. in this We hadstate our testimony bonfire andwere the camper’s shared all weird of knowing aboutthat 80 night people watchinguncle me, but feeling that God was doing in his endingI with “Goddown savedtomy tonight so much peace from thelife, Father. walked thenephew water in tears and I got toI had be there when I’ll long neverand forget the joy on bothmyself of theirto because wanted doHe thisdid.” for so I finally allowed faces, nor will I forget that it was all done by Christ and not by my own follow his guide. Through this experience I learned to trust the father power. I could never off anything especially in the wholly and walkhave in his lovepulled and freedom. He like is sothis, faithful!

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n n n I nfirmly believe that God the summer, a camper who During the 2 student camp of brings peopleI had to LFR for two came from a very rough background. He was The from afirst shelter and I reasons. is home obviously could tell he was carrying a lot of baggage to LFR. I was helpso thatcoming they can pourAs into others; ing him bring his luggage into the cabin, I asked him if he was excited for but the second is so that He can camp. He said he didn’t want to bepour hereinto because it was a church camp them. To some degree, and he hated church. I asked him why he hated church, and his member response each applies to every was, “Because I hate God and I know hates onGod staff, butme.” each is also more He began to tell me to howsome he thought just applicable in oneGod case sat on a cloud watched suffer for for enandand others in people another. And tertainment and knew that all he had heard about me Ipersonally, I most certainly God had come in thethe form of lies from the enemy. fit into latter. At the cabin, he constantly askedmany questions like God shows Himself in a plethora of ways, absurd “Why does Godexample let peoplewould suffer?beWhy did GodI and entirely unexpected. A prime a dream make murder hisword. son? Why do Iperhaps? have to be had, though dream is not people quite the right Vision washed in thesimilar blood oftoChrist? They Regardless, it was something both.That’s One gross!” night after were all Ideep questions student his age, but deep clean, as I lay in bed, entered a sortforofapre-somnia limbo, I could In tellthis he was them confrontationally, neither awake nor asleep. time,asking I stood in the lines where trying toIchallenge whatme I know about who God is. we serve food to campers. had before a container partially I had my one-on-one him the day, filled with old, dry, crusty, grated cheese. Itwith coated thenext edges andacross he toldthe metop, how leaving he had moved from hollow. home to and formed a thin film the inside home beginning and seen many things his age However, campers were to line up,a young and I man needed to should never to see. Hedairy told me that he’dI serve them. So, armed with thehave world’s worst product, betrayed and“Ihurt by others, howthem. he feltLet like tried to enter servingbeen lines, saying, need to serve he wasn’t loved, and so much more. This camper me serve them. This is good enough.” But someone held me was so much thatme, came from back. I felt a hand on mycarrying shoulder, and abaggage voice told “Wait, the things that But had happened to him. “I need to serve them. This is wait, wait.” still I insisted. to Papa for advice and heAnd stressed to me that “Wait, all this goodI went enough. TheRich people are hungry.” still the voice, camper had ever heardI could was a reply, bunch the of lies. The enemy wait, wait.” Before person behindwas me trying tippedto keep tight around him byqueso feedingover him lies God a vathisofhands hot, wrapped fresh, steaming, perfect myabout cheese. and his love. had never truly heard of Jesus’ love and theand Gospel, so It filled the He container perfectly, completely covering filling Papa Rich just told me to let God work. We talked about how Christ has what was in there. And I awoke. already through his death resurrection, soitwe already have vicMywon initial thought was, and “That was weird, probably doesn’t tory in Jesus. All theThen devil can is lie and make think“Bro, we don’t, mean anything.” Goddocame down andussaid, howwhich can isyou exactly was doingAnd to my camper.I knew As I left the office and went denywhat mehe like that?” I knew. what it meant, this throughout my day, reminding thatstart He had already won andI gift. I wanted to God pourkept myself out atmethe of this summer. all the power of sinright and in, death nailedittoclear the cross, rendering wanted to jump butwas Godleftmade I wasn’t ready.it absolutely It wasn’t powerless. that I had nothing, only that what I had was broken night our to followdo Jesus. and That not from the camp Spirit.speaker That’soffered not to an sayinvitation God couldn’t goodI wasn’t anyone my imagine cabin to respond since it was onlygreatthe 2nd thingsexpecting with what I had.inBut the magnitude of His night camp, manifest but that camper I was of so worried up nessofmade if instead pouringabout out came what walking I fill mytoself mewith, after the He saidofhewhat felt likeHehefills needed talk I fillinvitation others was withmade. the beauty me to with. toHow me, great so we is satour down, wentthat through the Gospel, and heHis accepted Christ God, he can demonstrate will for us that night! serving I was expecting Godqueso. to do something big, but I was so shocked through lines and He did it so soon; it didn’t fully register to me that the camper was saved until the next morning. Throughout the rest of camp, his demeanor totally changed. He was engaged in activities, he began to ask genuine questions in an effort to learn, and he even asked “How do I pray?” when he volunteered to open the Bible study for us. If that’s not enough, two more of my campers got saved that week! I thought they were already saved, but it turned out that they had never actually responded to the Jesus’ offer of salvation. What I thought would be one of my most stressful weeks ended up being my most fruitful. All thanks and all glory to God! nd

DAVID KJELLIN - COUNSELOR CABIN 22 EMILY RAYBURN GABBI ADAMS HALF WORKSTAFF HALF WORKSTAFF good and SECOND loving Father. The main theme that has been FIRST underlining

n n into n n my entire experience at Lake Forest Ranch thethis has been a sumFor is me, Coming this summer, I During the entirely week of sure Mission Maperson and position of the Father. An unexpected mer of not just knowing truth, but wasn’t whatCamp my purcon, I was stationed a Kid’s Camp Aside Direcevent caused me to return home believing right before a deep in my heart. truth pose would as look like here. tor at St. from MarkstheChurch of Holiness. Thismiswas camp, and when I arrived at my house, my own One night I laid on the dock lookobvious yet important my first Camp Macon and I did not know how father was waiting for me outside. ing It was little at at the stars, and a friend said, sion of loving campers and pointing anythingthem really to worked flexible the time, but seeing little things that“Even he didifforthe meclouds cover up the Christ,or Ihow didn’t knowit was. why I was given a set of instructions and so showed me what God is like in our stars, own lives. the stars are still there. The the Father had placed me rules, at LFR. I followed them as best as I could, clinging The next camp, one of my same campers was is true of truth. Truth is truth Within my first couple of weeks ofto the familiarity offered. weekand it seemed having an identity crisis about God. He had toldof whether we believe independent camp,they a spirit of All doubt bitterthat one adult leader and I butted heads conme about howmajor he has never knownbelieving his fa- this summer is that it orbefore not.” One of the truths I began ness began to overwhelm me—doubt that I wasn’t actually meant stantly. I was rigid, wanting to know where ther, and has had a rough family life. While I was I am a daughter. I have known for a while now that I am a daughter to be on staff this summer, and bitterness because I felt like I wasn’t everything wasasand skeptical of doing encouraging understand of God, but, him untiland this helping summer,him I did not beginthe believing it to be apart as submerged in the LFR community I wanted to be. I didn’tthings feel outside of the norm, and the adult leadertowas Father, he told that he saw me as a father. I unof my identity. accepted. I didn’t feel wanted. I just felt… there. So I began do just ministering the kids. onethat point the derstood then that our Father onedoc, whoI found a note in my A few weeks afterperfect that night on isthe what I do best—build walls. I built wallstoaround theAtwalls were relationship strained it was not only provides, hetocomforts andbycares foron it, and at the botmailbox with song but lyrics “Starlight” Bethel already a fortress around my heart,seemed and for so some time, that I didn’t let almost us ways do not“I fully real- and felt like I had tomin of the that notewe it said, was understand listening to or ‘Starlight’ anyone or anything shake them.hindering the unity of the group and sanity. Sohow Papa to me me ize until wesomething, see it missing. to create so I made this… and then God told me to give I knew that the wayourI felt wasn’t theRich Holy suggested Spirit wanted that I humble myself and (even though I may The next kid’s camp, I got the opportunity to it to you, a daughter of the Star Breather.” Wow! The Father used a to feel. I knew that my experience at LFR was meant to be more have that understood all or would agreednot with of talk withphrase, a camper about seeing father for simple daughter of the his Starreal Breather, to transform my heart than this. So I prayed. not I prayed the HolyitSpirit letallme the things that went on) suggest a break and the first time this summer. I was able to comfort to believe truth. dwell on these emotions, but instead focus on the mission at hand. celebration for unity kid in a and encourage through whatcounselor God had and shown Each camphim after that, the I would take every opI prayed that He would soften my heart, andand thatministry each of for myainteracsituation. In thebeend it fully healed my relationship with the me abouttohistake being perfect outside, Father for others for and myself. portunity the acampers look at theand stars, shareGod the very tionsrough this summer would divine. leaderthen andon, left He thecontinued week feeling like a huge of Godmy thatpurwe had the right campers in the right order of what he was teachtruthplaced with them that they too are beloved daughters of God. It was my adult From speaking to me,work revealing all got the chance to love on kids and each other. ing me this summer about His comfort and provision. God is truly a favorite thing to see their faces light up whenever they truly believed pose, healing. He allowed me to open up and practice vulnerability, they were daughters and that if they were daughters then they were even when my flesh wanted to believe that those around me didn’t loved, treasured, brave, redeemed, free, heard, beautiful, and on and desire it. In Him I connected with some amazing, planet shaking on. people whose very existence boasts of God’s glory. Day after day One of my favorite moments of this entire summer was at a bonHe healed parts of my heart and soul that I never even realized were fire testimony night, I was sitting by the counselor in my cabin, listenbroken. Isn’t itCABIN amazing MATT COLEMAN - COUNSELOR 16that He can do that for us? That He can be ing to the children share their stories of what they learned from the that for us—a healer? Father heard the voice of one of our campers, and she said, One night towards the end of camp, all of the workstaffers and That camp Myat camp. first Icamp “Thisthe week at Lake Forest Ranch I learned that I am God’s chosen some support staff gathered at the Malone’s house forone our of, lastif teswas not, was hardest camp am a daughter of the Star Breather!” timony time together. After the last testimony was the shared, we fruitful spent most Idaughter. had all Isummer. At I am of suretraining of this: Itruth is meant to be shared. This summer a lot of some time in worship together. It was so free andcamp so spontaneous, I have ever the end truth was shared with me and I am so thankful that the Father allowed and so powerful. You could, almost tangibly, just feel the power of counseled. Sevhad the symptoms me to be apart of sharing it further than what I will ever know. His presence. And just like that, every truth the Father had whiseral kids accepted of a sinus infection. pered to me through the healing all pieced together whenand He Ispoke Christ could When campers came these few words into my spirit: “I am tearing downtell the walls the around others to camp the first day, it your heart, and growing up a garden.” was getting worse. By were very encourOur Father, the one who created time andaged space, caresfaith. so in their the middle of the camp deeply for us. There are no words that could even attempt to acAnd I can honmy nose and sinuses curately sum it up. He is our healer. He is our estly shepherd. He is were in agony, and the say it wasn’t our comforter. He is our savior. He is life. You’d be amazed at me. I wasn’tthea infection spread to my wonderful, beautiful, work He can do on your heart, if you’dcounselor only let “better” eye, causing extreme Him in. or more spiritual. discomfort. I knew that What I can say is at any moment I could tell the director and that Christ worked through me. He get someone to take sustained me my place. But I heard the call from God to that week, spoke through me and loved through me. Even when my body was weak, stay. To leave would mean to abandon the amazing relationship I had the Holy Spirit was strong. It was humbling to see God work in my built with my cabin, and someone else coming in would struggle to physical brokenness and to bring glory to himself even in my weakrelate to them. I knew this would be costly, but that God would sustain ness. me.

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LIZZY TAYLOR MILLIGAN ABBY BAILEY THOMPSON - COUNSELOR CABIN 1 ASSISTANT WORKSTAFF SECOND HALF WORKSTAFF Being a counselor has been such a journey for me. I was boat for our one-on-one time, I picked a rose and gave it to her. MANAGER on support staff for two summers, and I always thought and told We talked about her life, family, things doing, and Beforeshe thisenjoyed summer, I hadn’t people that I could never be a counselor. I thought I wasn’t I’ve been at LFR a longgood time. enough… I wouldn’t be able to do it… it would be too At I was a camper for eighthard. summers the end of summer 2016, God put it on my heart to be a counand I have just completed my fifth selor. He opened my eyes andon staff. Looking back, it continues helped me see that all He wantedto amaze me how the Father has me to do was be willing to loveused this place and its people to and listen to girls who need to befashion the course of my life. Like loved and listened to. It has beensummers before, this was a seahard times, growth. but SO rewarding! son ofatintense The Father loved, asking heard,that the Father show me what it is I entered this summer and cared for so many girls my to know what that meant as a to walk with Him in the spirit. Iinwanted cabin thisbysummer. It has He been moment moment process. has answered that prayer in all the SO amazing! He has moved little things. I saw it answered dayinby day in the community here, in mighty ways! I tell them how they staff loving on campers and each other, in all the instances I watched have a loving, kind, good Father people sacrifice time and energy to serve, in hard conversations with who will I never themthrough or for- exhaustion, and frustrations and friends. saw it leave answered sake them. He is gently continufailures and through the grace that always followed, in being called ing me how is IN me out,toin show the teaching weHe received as staff, and always in the everyday giving mesetthebystrength example my fellowand stafffilling members. I saw Jesus through them me loveinnumerable to be able things to care and with I learned from that. for the precious girls who I can’t wrap this summer come up in a pretty paragraph and put a bow to cabin. itThere girl and messy. Everything I learned onmy it because was bigwas andone beautiful this summer that I had to lovingly is connected to the much larger and ongoing narrative of my life. But correct on a certain issue, and I easy to leave, but all that hapthat’s important to remember. It is not was afraid she would that before it is not ending with this pened this summer and resent every summer and not want to talk to me. I season at LFR. prayed for her and asked others C. S. Lewis makes a point about events and remembering, exto pray while alsoexperience fighting against plaining that any is not summed up or completed in the the doubts of feeling moment of time within inadequate. which it occurred. That is only the half of the In one-on-one opened realour thing. Rather, the she memory of that event and what it makes of us up and shared about her all our lives, what it will be in family, us months or years from now, even until past struggles, the day we die, and that relationships. is the true experience. All that I learned here, The Holy Spirit gave words to the relationships that Ime built, the memories that I leave with, both the share with her and it was incredbeautiful and the hard, these are all things that the Father will continue ible! also about being a counselor one to useShe in my life.expressed And for that,interest I am hopeful. day, but that she did not think she could. I smiled and looked at her and shared my story. She looked at me in disbelief and asked, “Why would you think that?” She then said, “You are an amazing counselor; my favorite in the 4 summers I have been here.” It brought tears to my eyes as I realized how faithful the Father is. He is doing amazing things, and I am learning how to be a messenger of hope. n n n n Journal entry from 7/21/17: “Help me have courage. Help me have great faith. Help me believe without doubting. Help me to do the impossible so that people can know it was You.” The very next camp, after I wrote that prayer in my journal, the Father sent me a girl to see how much I meant those words. As soon as she walked into my cabin, I knew she was going to be a challenge. I knew I would have to choose to love her because she was not going to make it easy. As the camp went on, the Spirit kept guiding me in how to treat her kindly and show her love. When we were heading to the lake to paddle

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her relationship with God. She said she had gone to another been to Lake Forest Ranch since I camp before coming to Lake Forest did so notI like was in Ranch. the fourthShe grade, didn’tit because the people there wereknow not nice. then started what We to expect. In mytalking head, about what we do here is being on workstaff, I wason justearth going important, and that will have to serve campers and we observe what rewards heaven. at God wasin doing fromShe a looked distance. me and “Youofare to be While thesaid, majority mygoing job is servrewarded.” stopped ing, I did notI see God pedaling. from a dis-I back at her andmany asked her tance at all. The Father moved inlooked me and taught me so things why she said that. She immedithis summer. ately responded, “Because you One of the major things God taught me was what grace really areheard nice.”it aI sat in amazement means. Growing up in church, I’ve thousand times saidand as at the of the Father. “grace is not getting what you dowonder deserve.” Thatlove phrase didn’t really my flesh, I had thought of click until I missed one of my jobs onInworkstaff. this child assodisrespectful, hard to It was my first camp of the summer, I was really worried handle, even a little annoyabout doing my job perfectly. I didn’t wantand to do anything wrong, so Because the Spirit of supGod when I messed up, I was super ing. upset and embarrassed. I was dwells ininside of hall, me, but I was to posed to be working one of the breaks the rec I gotable really love her regardless of just howforgot she caught up in something I was already doing that I flat out behaved. chosen be to go. I was so mad at myself but, since the She breakwas I had missedtowas loved the notrest for what did butwas. for over, I decided to go back to where of theshe workstaff I could so easily When I got back and reluctantlywho told she themis.I forgot to have work the break frustrated by manager, her, but by the I was taken aback by what our been workstaff assistant Lizzy, Father I was able to said. She reassured me and toldgrace me it of wasthe okay and that there was reach outsame and time loveitHis daughter. grace for me. It was so simple, but at the wasn’t simple Sometimes who up at all. I had never fully understood what gracethe wasones up until thatact point. difficult the some ones kind who I finally grasped that it was whenand weare should haveare gotten the most love. Right Afterthen that of punishment for something weneed did wrong, but didn’t. it left, theusSpirit hit me that the amount of gracecamper the Father gives by hisreminded sacrifice me of what I had written to the on the cross is INSANE. Father a few days before. “Help me to do the impossible so that people can know it was You.” I did not love that girl of my own will. Her Papa did. Christ in me loved her, and He loved her well. This summer has been a summer of growth and learning about the faithfulness of my heavenly Father. He has revealed Himself to me and to so many of my girls this summer. I am so excited to go home and share what God has done in and through the people at LFR in 2017! I want to CELEBRATE who He is and the purpose He gives to each of our lives! We have a good Father. In my soul His Spirit has made me [Settled]. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love Your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:43-48

Testimonies -BREVARD Kids Camps and Student Camps Leaders WARD - COUNSELOR CABINAdult 6 KIDS CAMPS Aimee Bradley LFR is a special place and a unique camp experience! The personal and individual attention that both campers and adult leaders receive makes LFR stand tall above all other camps that we have attended. The location and setting help create an environment that allows kids to be kids while they learn more about God’s love for them. The adult leaders are challenged, encouraged and allowed time to just simply love the kids that are in their care. Thank you LFR staff for being the highlight of the summer! Halah Cox One blessing was that our kids felt comfortable enough to share with your counselors. They felt like this was a safe place to be open and share with others. Ashli Bixer The Lord really spoke to me about some things that I’d been struggling with through Rich’s Bible study. It’s also a lot harder to ignore the Lord here so He honestly convicted me about a lot of things this week. Nathan Sims This week I was able pray for a girl in one of my friends’ cabins who had struggles with her identity. I was able to see God work in her and transform her heart this week. She is going home with a better view on who she is in Christ. Erin Ledbetter I love how well everyone is cared for at LFR. As an adult leader, I always leave having been able to rest and am near to the Lord. You can tell that the staff are being discipled and are growing in faith together. I have never seen anything Forit.Kids C, I had Sunshine Club (7 and year girls olds). quite like Our Camp kids experienced so much love! I have seen8 some onThe this first night, one of my little campers was dying to have a one-on-one, trip totally change their disposition, because they were being so well cared for. so after the rest of the girls were in bed, we went out to the porch Thank you!!!

and sat on the swing. She told me about her family, school, and

Felicia Walker what life is like for her. On the other side of the porch, EmJack, the Icounselor enjoyed watching the kidswas make lastingafriendships with other from different next door, having one-on-one with kids a camper from churches. The counselors and heard encouraging to the kids.As she was a children’s home thatwere hadgreat never the Gospel.

explaining it, another camper from her cabin came outside, who Eric Mackey had also never heard the Gospel. As Emjack was sharing this with I have twin sons Blaze and Stone, they love LFR and talk about it all year long. them,leave my here camper began notice. She todoing me, inand asked They refreshed and to excited about whatturned they are Christ and what Emjack was doing. I told her that she was telling them about what Christ is doing in them. Thank you!!!! Jesus, and then she looked at me and said, “Am I going to get new sisters tonight?” Ellie Lynch I lovedShe how showed the staffersme spent onethe on one time with followed upThis with that Gospel is my trulykidsforandeveryone. me at the endold of the confirmed some things I had been in my eight year girl,week! whoThis definitely acted like an eight yearseeing old, would kids opened my eyes to the revealed things I maythe notdepth have noticed. loved seeing the haveandthese moments that of her Iunderstanding staff engaged during every aspect of camp, even after a long day. Theirofenergy the Gospel and what it means to be a part of the Kingdom God. never seemed to dwindle. No matter age or the background we come from, the Spirit allows us to understand the Gospel and go deeper into our relationship Emily Walker with Christ. What meant a lot to me was the definite acceptance of Christ and many seeds n nin the n days n to come due to the one to one that were sown to be explored further There was a lot of excitement for studentwho camp With Jason and small group settings. Also, I loved seeing children were3.already saved Curry as the speaker, there’s an thatthe theLord. truth he children shares verbally acknowledge a deepening faithexpectation experience with I saw ministering to one through encouragement and will be used byanother the Father toprayer, impactcompanionship, the campers. I was so ready genuine lovecabin of the and Lord.connect with my girls. However, when they got to get my there, that is not how I felt. The first twenty four hours, the enemy Dawn Hovas me lies that I wasn’t connecting with the campers, and kept telling The reminder that we are saints… it’s hard to grasp that when the Devil beats they weren’t connecting with one another. My spirit was so uneasy us down. Thanks for giving us a much needed break so we can be fed spiritually aboutthe what cabin community during adultthe leader upper room time. was going to look like throughout the week. The Father, being the faithful Father that He is, completely wrecked my unsure thoughts and built a family in Cabin 6. The

Kelsey Huggins One of our girls had been struggling with understanding the gospel, but while at the campfire time she shared with everyone that Jesus saved her. It has been fun watching her grow in confidence. STUDENT CAMPS Melissa Owens A spiritual blessing this week was that a camper in our group opened up to forgiveness, as well as another receiving salvation. We also had another camper find his identity in Christ! God opened my mind and heart to the teachings of Jesus through the Pow Wow speaker Steve and the Asst. Director Nick. There was also reassurance given that God is working in the lives of our students even when we don’t see it. Cindy Holbrook God has made Himself known is a saving way through Jesus to two of our campers this week. Both were able to listen to God and respond because of the time that the counselors took with them individually to listen and prayerfully ask questions and encourage them with the truths of the gospel. I appreciate that there was no pressure or manipulation, but simply the faithfulness as instruments to be used by God in His work and the faith to wait, pray and then rejoice with us as He alone changes lives. They were well prepared and looking with spiritual eyes at the lives of each camper. Each student who was already in Christ was strengthened and challenged to grow, walk, and live in Him. The impact of the young people who love Jesus so much is immeasurable and inspiring. One girl said, “I’ve never known someone so young who loves Jesus so much. I want to be just like her when I am 20; how can I do that?” Another camper said, “My counselor was awesome. He really liked us and spent a lot of time hanging out with us and second of camp, up until sharing spent all ofnight his time with us. we In mystayed one-on-one timeone he listened andfunny helpedstories me so and laughing until our tummies hurt. The next night, we hadhold a girl’s much. He encouraged me to give all of me, everything to Jesus and not back night all Ithe atGod camp. a panel that of four girl staff and thatwith is what havegirls done. knewThere exactlywas the counselor I needed.” On and on the same story, faithful vessels,about well equipped and walking with God. God members to answer questions relationships, self-worth, and does work atogodly His glory. youlike. guys, who you what it all whathis being girlLove looks When we are gotand back toyou thedo, cabin, matters and it is all worth it. all the girls moved their beds on the floor. They started asking more

questions that pertained to everything from specific scenarios go-

Jack Holbrook ing on in their lives to asking for clarification on what was said at The Lord was gracious and two of our campers got saved. Also the love and girl’s night. In that moment, I knew that the Father had created a admiration that the staff showed for all of us was amazing. Thank you! We will secure toenvironment continue pray for you! within the cabin that allowed the girls to feel

safe enough to ask questions and seek wisdom in front of everyone

withoutCarney fear of judgment or being made fun of. Brandy The last night aofsense camp, a few ofand thepeace girlsfrom asked to share their The campers received of calmness our busy lives. They seem to enjoy the so much andOfeach other.IAs a leader are always testimonies andactivities their struggles. course said yes!we There were trying comewho together and mattresses work together on andthe this floor week and whilethe at camp threetogirls still as hadonetheir rest we were able to experience working together. were still in their beds. Two girls shared their stories and the girls were super attentive. Then one of the girls on the floor began to

Nathan Sims share hers, she opened up about feeling shamed and problems at I was able to watch the staff pour out love to my students and see my students home. She began that moment, all Ithe girls gotpraying out offortheir respond with the desiretotosob. loveAt in submission to God. have been my beds and RAN to her. They sat down on the floor and held her as students and it was a huge answer to prayer.

she cried. They each began to open up about their stories and their heartaches. Amber StricklinThey stayed in that circle hugging each other, crying This week campencouraging has been life changing for my kids as well as amyself. camp together,atand one another. There was lot ofThis brokenisness so different from any other camp that I have ever been to. It is small and personal. and hurt in the lives of those fourteen year old girls, but I saw Iwhat have known all tenlooks of my youth that I brought for several and Iheart. have learned hope truly like when you have Jesusyears in your I saw so much about them in the past few days. There is so much going on a few of what it looks like to be the church: to cry together, laughwith together, them, I had no idea how to feel. It has been such a blessing. I thought we had come encourage and speak truth into one another, and walk through hard to this camp by default, because we were not able to attend another camp we had things with a community that loves you. It was so beautiful because planned to. I now see it as all a part of God’s plan for us. We needed to be here and I had absolutely to do with these Holywith Spirit experience this placenothing and the coming together of ourmoments. group. We The will leave two hadsisters knit the hearts these girls together and was revealing new in Christ andofwe are already looking forward to next summer!Himself We feel to each of them other.summer home. that we have found athrough loving andeach supportive

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CampNICK Macon HALL 2017 / Student Missionary Testimonies - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The question was asked, “What did God do in or through your life this year at Camp Macon?”

What an amazing summer! In fact, it might have been the Lord uses His Word and its absolute truth to speak to all of us regardNeal Smith - Marianna, FL - Student Missionary This He has reinforcing the idea that not only me, but best summer we’ve experienced in our time at LFR. I say that about less year of where webeen are. Our circumstances andHe needs mayloves change, but He taught me to look at the things as blessings. We pretty only that He isfor IN us love with does. me. He is constantly pursuing relationships with every summer, so I’m notlittle exactly sure how that works. Allmuch I know is His truth never had kidsanatincredible our kids camp location, at first seemed to be an His children nevereach stopssummer loving us.isThis team the privithat five it was summer, and Iwhich can’t imagine how it could be Myand prayer thatweek whatmywe arehad doing here issue, but after some time I saw this as a gift. It’s because of the small lege to pray with five people as they accepted Jesus into their hearts topped! makes an eternal difference. “Building Relationships for Eternal and Imamount ofSomething kids we hadnew that we got to spend one-on-one time with each lives. to talkstatement to severalafter people my team were for me this summer was the privilege pact” Iisalso our got mission all. Ion rejoice in thewho over 200already campof our kids. It was during that time that God worked through us and three Christians and it was super encouraging to me. I’m so grateful for all the of leading our ers who trusted kids got saved and one rededicated his life. awesome people who invested their time and money into making Camp adult leaders in Jesus for the first Macon happen. Bible study each time this sumKaley Dunn - Marianna, FL - Student Missionary camp. One of mer! However, God did amazing things in my life this week. First off, I grew closer to Lauren Herrington - Brasstown, NC - Student Missionary the things I love I alsofeltrejoice in Christ than ever before through worship and trusting in Him. He really This week was hard, both physically and emotionally. I often exhaustmost about Lake knowing showed me that if I put my faith in Him, He will do great things. Also, the ed and discouraged. But for one of the first times, I truly felt excitedthat to Forest Ranch is we send Lord taught me a lot about being bold and unashamed of the gospel. He share the gospel and my testimony. God gave me a deeper didn’t understandour commitment those campers showed me that keeping the good news all to myself is not only against ing of my own salvation and a deeper desire to see others experience the to care for the back home to up no His will, but also very selfish of me. same power of Christ healing their hearts, the same new life springing adults who bring one. The adult within them. I also learned to trust that God uses me to plant seeds but kids Stringfellow to camp.- Gulf Shores, AL - Student Missionary leaders who exErin ultimately it is Him who brings the growth. Theyfirstare perienced camp The thing chilthat comes to mind is obedience and patience. I had to whole-heartedly trust in the Lord to provide me with the words to say and Savannah Holland - Gulf Shores, AL - Student Missionary dren’s ministers, with them, pray provide with the patience to love the kids no matter the hardships, I think of how God has illustrated His unconditional love reyouth mepastors, forthrough them,theand unwillingness, lationships developed throughout the week. In addition, thethem practice of parents and orlaydifficulties they may have caused. God overflowed me lead weekwith so much building a godly community was something that I learned leaders who love are for people I have never met and that proves how big ly from will this be week there and powerful is. and I plan on building these communities as I head to college. invested in Hethe to help them lives of the kids grow in their Molly Ory Covington, LA Student Missionary Beth Carter Brandon, MS Student Missionary they bring, and new found faith STEPHANIE, EMMA,ItNICK ELLIOT God taught so much this week. One thing that AVA, he really taught me was & really greatHALL to see how He revealed Himself to meinin new waysAsthisa we feel thatme if we Jesus. was how to be a servant. I totally surrendered myself to Him and asked year and not necessarily ways I expected. This year He showed me that can encourage them that we multiply our ministry to their children. result, family trees will be changed forever. I’m humbled to know that put me out of myPM comfort zone, He did. It was so amazing to it doesn’t matter how messed up I am, but how great He is. I also feel like p_LayoutHim 1 to11/7/16 3:34 Page 1 andand Each camp, we’d explore Luke 7:36-50 discuss the story of the Lake Forest Ranch is a part of something so huge and everlasting! see God work through me and just have Him use me for his glory. I’ve I got a renewed sense of His presence, whether it be during worship or woman washing Jesus’ feet. We’d discuss what the story tells us It is no small thing that we are a place where people respond to the been feeling God pushing me to be a leader for the past four months. It just hanging out with kids and sharing the gospel. about the Gospel and how we should respond to such grace. It was Gospel of Jesus for the first time and then are immediately embraced was like He was preparing me for this, because I felt out of my comfort a joy for me to hear from these adults! Each group was unique and by older brothers sistersTN in the faith to Missionary walk with them. What could zone, but at the same time I felt prepared. I was blessed with the opportuAnnaleigh Benoitand - Dayton, - Student brought a different perspective. Thisof was a great thatreally the be more nity to have one-on-one time with five the kids in myreminder group. I just The Lord important broke downthan my this? walls of fear and self-consciousness. After our got to know them. I learned so much by just talking to them. God filled me with so much love for the kids this week. It was unreal; I honestly can’t put it into words. Four kids in my group were saved, I saw Jesus working through them and working through me. He’s just really shown me that He is in charge of every situation and He knows everyone’s hearts.

Becca Avent - Brasstown, NC - Student Missionary This week has been awesome! I loved getting to know everyone. The student missionaries were super cool and fun to serve alongside. God has been showing me more of His character each time I come to LFR.

326 Lake Forest Rd. Macon, MS 39341

P (662) 726.5052

worship service Friday night, the Lord gave me the word “forgiven.” I feel that not only did I come to feed hungry souls, but Christ knew I needed to be fed as well. I have not only been stretched this week, but the Lord showed me new things about myself I have been questioning. I am so thankful for LFR and the counselors and directors that have spoken encouragement into my life. Emma McHenry - Kansas City, MO - Student Missionary I haven’t really been comfortable sharing my faith in the past, not because I didn’t want to, but because I thought I had to say the magic

F (662) 726.4388

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W lakeforestranch.com

“Buildi ding Relatitionship ips fo for Etern rnal Impact” est. 1950

Mission Camp Macon 2017 Student Missionaries and Staff 42 2

use me as His instrument to encourage others and share the word with STAFF REFLECTIONS my team. The seeds have been planted in the hearts of the people in

words or something. Camp Macon showed me that all you have to do is let God speak through you and share the good news—no stress about what words you use. It’s not my job to leadABIGAIL them to Christ RUCKER anyway, it’s God’s job. I don’t have that power. Sharing the gospel with kids this week was so amazing… to see God working firsthand that way is something Prior to starting thisthat summer as a counselor, I had pretty I’m so grateful for. Now I havejourney a real taste of sharing my faith this much made mystuff mind thatwith thisme was be apeople summer of me way I can takeupthis home andgoing keeptotelling about the simply pouring myself into kids over and over, not really spiritually gaincrazy love of God.

Noxubee County. - COUNSELOR CABIN 11

Chris Tuttle - Dayton, TN - Adult Group Leader When I looktoback, week sticks like aand sore thumb: Student The opportunity reachone young men and out women build relationships Camp 3. I made had a this totaltrip of ten girls,It and Godgets hand-picked one of with them for me. always me out ofeach my comfort them placed in my cabin. He knew I needed them. Prior zone, and which thenthem stretches, strengthens, andthat grows my faith beyond to that camp, there weremyareas of my life that I was well words. I love watching student missionaries stepashamed out and of, stepasup to as areas was afraid to kids talk here about, becauseGod they wereGOOD!! not glorifying share the Igospel to these in Macon. is SO He has to God. Those wereHis thepresence flesh-areas myevery life that didn’t know how truly graced us with eachofand dayI this week.

ing or learning anything for myself. Man, I could not have been more wrong. Before the camps even began, I was starting Jenna Herrington - Brasstown, NC - Former Staff to feel genuinely worried I wasCamp goingMacon to properly the kids thattowould God hasabout usedhow Mission morepour thaninto anything else teach mecoming, how to love others, year was exception. This be whenand I feltserve like my faith and had this the depth of a no teacup. I began to to emotionally or spiritually digest. However, during all ten of my oneweek is an incredible opportunity to grow as a servant leader. I am leavCarley Wells Brooksville, Mississippi - Studentwith Missionary pray for depth, and asked God to show me how to not have a surfaceon-ones, each-girl had experienced and struggled something that ing with a restored perspective on what God values more than anything Years ago, I felt empty. Being surrounded by people drowning level faith. I had who also are experienced else and that is relationship—with Him and with others. in the love of Christ, people who want to build you up and grow During staff trainand struggled with with.youI teaches you how to become full. I didn’t feel anything years ago but last ing, Steve Miller was began to pour my heart Olivia Holbrook Cullman, AL Student Missionary year was the year I started to feel again! This year, I was placed with walking us through the out to those girls, sharGod has shown that it is okay to not always succeed or be “perfect.” Team Camp and it was definitely a challenge. Learning commustudent camp meBible ing tips, how waystoout, and He will work through you no matter what your situation is. I realized that nicate using Christ is an amazing emotion for me. This team member study on the Old Tescomforting scriptures there is no way I can do anything without God. God is all you need. He of mine taught me something and I’ll never forget he helped told me.durHe tament Tabernacle. thatwhat really will fill you with His word and the Holy Spirit will guide you the rest of the said, “In order to become a teacher you have to be a student first.” He’s There are 3 parts to ing those times of hardway. The main thing I learned was to rely on the Holy Spirit. so right. We cannot teach these kids the Gospel on our own. We need the tabernacle: the ship. I got to experiChrist to move in us and we need His Holy Spirit to lead us. I learned this Outer Court, the Holy ence the Father turn LaJerrius Haralson - Olive Branch, MS - Student Missionary year, more than ever, that we have an amazing opportunity—we have the Place, and the Holy of what I considered the I think of all the great things that He has done in my life. Just these past chance to change someone’s life and lead them to the narrow path of life. Holies. To briefly sumdark and broken parts two weeks, as I’ve been at the student camp and Camp Macon, God has marize, thethrough Outer Court my life into somemoved all me. Both of these camps have made my walk with Kelsey Quillin - Huntsville, Alabama - StudentofMissionary showed thatbetter there Christ so us much and God has placed me where He wanted me and As cliché as it sounds, Camp Macon opened mything eyesbeautiful. to a newAnd formfor of was onlythrough one point of camps have helped change my life. first istime, I began is living me. These sharing the gospel. Spreading God’s Word to the children nothing new entry to the tabernacle, to heal. God to me, but I’ve always done it in a Christian community. Mostbeautifully kids I’ve and everything mygethurt Jonathon Hostetlerhad - Dayton, TN - Student Missionary previously ministered to hear the gospel all the crafted time. They boredinto of to through the alwould help Thisgoyear God really spoke to me at camp and also spoke through me. Jesus; He’s old news to them. Coming to Camp advice Macon that and leading kids The(the Lordsacrifice). showed me who don’t get to hear about Jesus very often was inspiring and hearttar TheHis awesome power and love through Pow-Wow or even prevent these and devotions. As a Christian, we often become burdened by our sin, wrenching. Seeing so many young souls as thirsty and yearning for the Holy Place showed us ladies in my cabin from but the Lord showed me this week that I am free from all of it. When Word of God as the little blessings at Calvary were, was a “breath of that the great secret of Christian service is not about what we do, but learning the hard way. My pain and suffering was finally given a purGod looks at me He sees Christ’s blood, not my sin. I also saw the Lord fresh air” kind of experience. about who He is! He is the never-ending source of supply for all who pose. seek Him. And the Holy of Holies was where the presence of God actuThe healing continued as I began getting letters from them. Letally dwelt. The part of this Bible study that impacted me the most was ters telling me they were actively applying everything I had encouraged when we were discussing the Outer Court. them to do, which in return, encouraged me. Not only did that mean Summer 2018 Steve mentioned that most Christians spend the majority of their Camp they had Schedule been listening, but it also meant the Holy Spirit gripped their lives CAMP stuck in the Outer Court; constantly coming hearts and carried it out once camp. Speaker DATESto God with “I’m sorry, (Days) CAMPER AGESthey left Cost completed) I did it again,” and never allowing themselves to advance any further But(grades the healing didn’t even stop there either. Four of the ten girls into the tabernacle. that’s what surprised me (1byst thru coming which was easily one *Kids Camp ItAwas simply wash, rinse, Mayrepeat, 25-29and (Fri-Tue) 7-12 6th) back to Camp $370Macon, Keith Coast st was *Kids true forCamp me. Although I have been in the Christian setting the maof the toughest and$370 spiritually, I experienced all sumB May 30-June 3 (Wed-Sun) 7-12 (1camps, thru 6thphysically ) Keith Coast st jority*Kids of my Camp life, the C reason I was#1)feeling June so superficial was because mer. None of (1 them were but every single day, they would (mini 3-night 4-7 (Mon-Thu) 7-12 thru 6th) in my cabin, $335 Keith Coast any time I spoke to God, sin. And very clearly be very11-18 intentional about me,$370 loving me, andMiller encouraging me. Student Camp 1 it was in reference Juneto 9-14 (Sat-Thu) (5th thru 12thfinding ) Steve th th in Hebrews 9, it says, “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of Whether it was through sweet notes, hugs, or even just a smile, these Student Camp 2(mini 4-night) June 15-19 (Fri-Tue) 11-18 (5 thru 12 ) $330 Gary Permenter rd th many. To those whoDeagerly wait for Him He will appear second time, girls made sure I am so Steve unbelievably Kids Camp (preteen) June 21-25a(Thu-Mon) 9-12 (3 that thru I6was ) okay. And$370 Winger grateful for apartStudent from sin, for salvation.” key part June of that is where it2says “apart them. 11-18 (5th thru 12th) Camp 3 (miniThe 4-night) 28-July (Thu-Mon) $330 Jason Curry th th fromStudent sin”; other Camp versions4have “without reference to sin.” In other words, Through 3 and $370 Camp Macon, July 3-8 (Tue-Sun) 9-12 (5Student thru 12Camp ) Jason God’s Curry faithfulness QUIT^Mission BRINGINGCamp IT UP! Macon Jesus dealt with the sin8-15 issue(Sun-Sun) completely, and was so14-21 visible. He that those girls needed me, but even more so, July (8th knew thru college) $330 Reif/Humston nd of the summer, I got to experience if I believe Him fully, that I(Tue-Sat) am no longer He knew I needed them. *KidsinCamp E I also need to understand July 17-21 7-12 (1st thru 6th) The 2 half$370 Scott Humston st th is when the Holy Spirit speaks through different not only how beautiful it bound by my sin. Instead of living in a state of “I’m not really a good *Kids Camp F(mini 3-night #2) July 22-25 (Sun-Wed) 7-12 (1 thru 6 ) $335 Jesse Joyner members of the also howDennis necessary Christian because the state of pure grace- “The *Kids CampI still G mess up,” living in July 27-31 (Fri-Tue) 7-12 (1st body thru 6thof ) Christ, but $370 Lee it is. With all one reminder beauty of grace is thatEscape it makes life not fair.” LDW Family Aug. 31- Sept. 3 (Fri-Mon) that being Thesaid, Whole Family that God TBDhas consistently Dan Haydengiven me this summer is that there is always more; more to Jesus, more to life, more n n n n Note: Student Camp 2 & 3 (mini 4-night) will be one night shorter than Student Camps 1 & 4; those camps will end after lunch on the last day. to people. I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned during this time and in I honestly cannot believe that at this very moment, I am reflecting ^ MCM student missionaries arrive on Sunday night with registration at 7:30 pm this community and apply it to my life in the “real world”. There is more. back on the second half of the summer, meaning that my time here as * Special program track for ages 7 & 8 included for these camps with extra staff members on hand a counselor is coming to an end.

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CONTENTS

LFR GIVING

Your gift will make a difference at LFR! We hope you will use the enclosed envelope to help with some important needs here. If you would like to give, here are a few options to consider… Capital Improvements Thanks to gifts from friends like you, during the past year we made some much needed improvements to several of our buildings and facilities. There are more improvements needed and future plans are in the works for a multipurpose building that will include, among other things, an infirmary and a new laundry facility. Your gift to this important area of need will help keep LFR moving forward and always looking great. Unrestricted Gifts A gift that is marked “unrestricted” helps us to keep the cost of summer camp as low as possible. About 8% of our annual operating budget must come from these greatly needed contributions. We will work to keep our spending down so that we can also keep our costs to campers and retreat participants down. Please do pray about supporting LFR in this way. It really is a big need and every gift, no matter the amount, helps.

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ADULT LEADER REFLECTIONS

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MCM REFLECTIONS

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SUMMER 2018 CAMP SCHEDULE

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GIVING TO LFR

Camperships Requests continue to roll in and increase each year for camperships. Kids whose families can’t afford the full cost to send their kids to camp

LFR 2017

and families with multiple kids wanting to come to camp but who don’t have the financial resources to do that are the recipients of many of these gifts. Some campers who come with full camperships provided are from group homes or other child-care or orphan-care types of facilities. Lives are impacted every summer through these gifts. The need is real and the opportunity to bless a child immensely and eternally makes it a fabulous investment.

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NICK’S REFLECTION

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STAFF REFLECTIONS

Mission Camp Macon We just completed our 14th year of Camp Macon and many are saying that it was our best year so far. Over 30 kids and youth from Noxubee County were spiritually reborn through this year’s event. Lives in Noxubee County are being transformed each summer through this weeklong July outreach to the children, youth and families in our county. It is in a context of awesome fun too! Our 2018 Camp Macon Intern, Hunter Sherouse, is already planning several fund raising events and strategies to cover the cost for next summer (about $30,000). Any gifts to this vital outreach to one of the poorest counties in Mississippi will translate into changed lives. MCM is “Macon a Difference!” Join us in doing that!

LAKE FOREST RANCH STAFF

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RICH’S REFLECTION

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICH MALONE rich@lakeforestranch.com

ASSISTANT FACILITIES MANAGER CHAD CHAPMAN chad@lakeforestranch.com

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR NICK HALL nick@lakeforestranch.com

HOUSEKEEPING DIRECTOR TINA HARMON bettyharmon@gmail.com

OFFICE MANAGER SANDY MALONE sandy@lakeforestranch.com

FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR GRAY BARNES gray@lakeforestranch.com

BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN STEVE MORRIS

VICE CHAIRMAN RANDY MORRIS

SECRETARY BECKY COWAN RICHARD BARGE JONATHAN CASE HALEY COWAN DAWKINS LAURA COWAN LEONE J.L. MORRIS JESSE MORRIS RICK SHURTZ JENNIFER THOMPSON

FACILITIES MANAGER BOOKEEPER SUMMER REFLECTIONS STAFF 2017 AMY GAUNTT JEFF TROYER Photographer Graphic Design Administrative Assistants CONTACT US jeff@lakeforestranch.com Lizzy Tate Tonya Downeyjaginc@hotmail.com Ashton Ray, Kaitlin Shelton CAMP LINE - 662.726.5052 Mid South Fine Printers & Casey Ranalli FAX LINE - 662.726.4388 LAKEFORESTRANCH.COM

RICH MALONE - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR “Christ IN You IN Christ” Our summer 2017 theme was a mind -renewing and life-transforming message. It was a perfect foreshadowing of what the Father was going to do in many lives at LFR! The staff was continually being filled up and overflowing with the powerful message of the gospel as they further understood the beautiful result of salvation – you are in Christ and Christ is in you! As 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive.” Every man who has ever lived, or who will live, falls into one of those two conditions – either in Adam or in Christ. Kids and students really heard this message this summer and lives were transformed. Just wait until you read more!! The teaching the counselors gave away in Bible study all summer came from the illustrations of that wonderful truth. During the kids camps the campers learned about three boats that helped the message come alive – the Titanic (if you’re in that boat you are sunk), Noah’s Ark (if you’re in that boat you are saved) and the little Galilean Fishing Boat (it was the presence of Christ in that boat that calmed the storm and made everything ok). Also, from the student camp Bible studies on the tabernacle in the wilderness, the message rang out that Jesus came and fulfilled all of the parts in the tabernacle. He fullfilled the message of the Outer Court, the Inner Court and the message of the Holy of Holies. The gospel brings good news to the Old Testament message for the children of Israel that said, “stay out of the most holy place which is in the presence of God.” The message of the Gospel? The veil that separates us from God has been torn from top to bottom and the Father says, “Come on in – Jesus has made a way for you to be alive forever and always in my presence through His blood sacrifice for you.” Awesome! When we believe INTO Jesus’ name we become the children of God (John 1:12).

we are now required to have two staff members in every camper cabin to meet child safety standards. We are grateful that we are having a growing number of those staff members who are willing to work as volunteers. The increase of staff mostly came with our Workstaff with a position we call “Workstaff Counselors.” These college students are trained as both Counselors and as Workstaffers and they would fill in as Counselors as needed throughout the summer. We had 12 Workstaff Counselors for summer 2017 (six each half) and all of them served as Counselors for at least 2 camps for the summer. Why? We had a lot of sickness, tiredness and several Counselors had to be out for a number of expected as well as unexpected reasons throughout the summer. The cabins were wonderfully staffed with strong spiritual leadership so none of that had a negative effect on our summer. Each Counselor had a mature Ministry Partner as a roommate with whom to minister to campers. This kept our summer staff fresh, and our child safety measures strong. God blessed it all so much. Keep reading. You will see …

A Good Summer … A Hard Summer for the Director Doesn’t it usually go without saying, the best works of God come through the hardest times for us. It was a hard summer for the Malones. Sandy’s sister died early in the summer; our daughter, Sarah Tucker, had a baby in mid-July, so Sandy was with her and not able to be here at the camp in her normal strong leadership role for part of the summer; our beloved camp dog, Max, died suddenly during the summer. He was about 10 years old. The summer wrapped up with our Labor Day Weekend Family Escape with me getting sick and later finding out that I had a light case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There was definitely a strain during the summer for us, but I can truly say that God showed His grace and strength so powerfully during summer 2017 and that it was my favorite summer of all RICH AND SANDY MALONE Going into the summer I had a really great feelour years at LFR. God worked mightily in spite ing about the summer staff that the Father had brought us. They were amazing of and even through our weaknesses. It was a good summer because He is a young men and women. Looking back now, I am so proud of them and all of you good good Father! We praise Him for His mighty works. Oh and by the way, I can be too. They really showed up at LFR and gave 100%. Their lives continuhave photos of our granddaughter in case you’d like to see how beautiful she is! ally poured out the love of Christ and that meant that lives would be eternally impacted. So many lives were transformed at LFR this summer. New Creation Report I love getting to tell you about the number of transformed lives during the summer. We had about 1950 campers in attendance this sumI am delighted to be able to share with you in this magazine our “Summer Remer (not including Camp Macon day camp attendees) plus about 320 adult flections” for summer 2017. These are the stories about how your prayers were leaders (children’s ministry and youth ministry leadership). Out of that group answered. Read them with joy over the goodness of God. there were 241 salvation decisions followed up. That’s almost 100 more than our normal number of conversions in a summer. You will get to read about some This is our unabridged version of Summer Reflections. We are printing a few of those sweet stories of salvation in the pages to follow. It was glorious! Oh my! copies of an abridged version. That one is being mailed to a small number and There were weeks that I could not stop smiling even through the night. God was to any others wanting it by request. Thanks for praying and thank you for reading doing grand things in young lives. Eternal impact was happening through all these testimonies. I pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as you read those relationships that were being built. and realize what God our Father has done. He is doing big things and we get to be a part of it as His hands, feet and voice in this world. Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good! Summer 2018 theme has been decided. These words are taken from Psalm 34:8. The verse goes on to say, A Big Summer Staff Many of you looked at the size of our summer staff that “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” This will be an exciting year delving into appeared on the cover of our Prayer Calendar back in May and you might have and preparing for a summer proclaiming the goodness of God. It is our prayer thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of people!” True - it was our largest summer staff that all of our senses will become more highly aware of His beautiful attribute of ever. In our beginning-of-the-summer staff photo there are some good reasons goodness. There is none good but Him and He is good good good. Not only will for that large group. First, for the first time ever we required nearly all summer we taste that He is good; not only will we see that He is good, but let us pray that staff to attend all of staff training so we would not have to repeat long vital parts we will also feel, hear and smell the sweet aroma of His awesome goodness. of it during our very short mid-summer break for second half. And we didn’t want Pray with us as we prepare for summer 2018 that it will be a summer of expeto do an abbreviated training for child safety for second half staff. So all of our riencing God’s perfect goodness with all of our senses and with all that we are. first and second half staff members were present for the photo at the beginning of the summer. The second reason our summer staff has grown is that

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LAKE FOREST RANCH 2017 SUMMER STAFF

Summer Reflections 2017  

Lake Forest Ranch Summer Reflections 2017

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