*above name is changed for protection of the individual*
I have had the amazing honour and privilege of being a part of the leadership team of 2021/2022 Summer camps. God is real man. He comes through on his promises time after time. These past 6 weeks have been some of my best and some of my most frustrating times. Putting the red cap on has always been a “job” for me. I have always viewed it as being something I HAD to do to fill in my time over the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I still valued being a cabin leader, but NEVER really understand the meaning behind it. This summer I have learnt that putting the cap on is much more than a job, it’s a calling. It’s something that very few people are cut out to do. To wear the “Camp uniform” is to be completely sold out for Jesus. I never really saw going to camp that way. But this has been an eye opener for me. I struggled with hearing God’s voice and understanding the Word. It got to the point where I was so frustrated that I just wouldn’t go anywhere near my Bible for months at a time. I always came at it from a “work” based mindset or a chore that needed checking off my list, rather than a relationship with a person. At the beginning of round ups, I was spending time with God down at the hay shed when I heard a gentle voice as clear as day to me “Son, I’m about to do some much needed work in you, don’t resist me just let me do it.” In that moment I knew it was God and replies with a hearty “okay Lord, I’m ready!” Nando was put in my room for majority of the camps and so we had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together and grow in our relationship and faith. I’ve always looked up to Nando and have been encouraged by his words of truth and power. There was one particular time (out of many ) where I had been hanging out with a bunch of younger vollies late at night, Nando had already gone to bed. I came back to my room to grab something when Nando woke up and carefully but sternly warned me about what I was going off to do (nothing terrible) and basically, he was just encouraging me to think and make the right choice. I have always been a guy who wants to love everyone in my life and welcome them all in. Almost like King David being a man after God’s heart.
This is what I got… I am not called, I am chosen. Chosen to take up my cross and follow Jesus & every single kid that comes through the gates of Mill Valley is gonna come with me on that journey. To give my 100% at all times. I love all the other leaders and I unconsciously always go and hangout with them during camp time, but the simple truth is – I am not there for them, I am there for the kids and that is the culture I NEED to set every time I’m on camp. And even outside of camp too. So, Nando was and still is my friend and brother who has kept me from being dragged over hot coals. Because I am a leader, so when I get dragged so do people around me. God has also done some internal healing inside me and helped me let go of some things and to learn to be more trusting in his character even when things don’t seem to make sense to me. So, I am forever thankful for work he did in me and for the miracles and healings and blessings he did on every camp. I know kids came not knowing God and left wanting MORE of him! God delivered kids from sleeping disorders and eating disorders. From darkness and pain and brokenness. Praise God for what he has done.