Chruch Camp 07

January 10, 2010
I was faced with a challenge unrivaled by anything I had ever experienced. I found myself in front of three guys who had a deep disgust for my “goody-goody” ways, trying to share how much they mean to me in hopes of getting them to pursue a relationship with Christ.
It was July 2007 at my church’s youth group’s grand event; middle school camp. On the bus the first day, I came in contact with three boys, Nick, Sam, and Austin. I was excited to see them because I hadn’t seen these boys since third grade, and all I could remember about them was how mild mannered and good natured these boys were. This was not quite the case anymore. The three-hour bus ride was filled to the brim with profane words and terminology I was not even familiar with – until they explained them in vivid detail. The end of that bus ride came as a breath of fresh air to me and I was downright disgusted by what I had come to find. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. But God wouldn’t let it happen that way. I was put in their cabin, and I knew there had to be a reason for this. So that night I set off by myself to spend time in the Word. That night, God put on my heart something I had not considered. I came to a vital realization that is a key to being an obedient Christian. I was looking down on these guys as lesser than me, and ignoring them as a whole. God showed me I must come to them with open arms and love them as I would love my own family. So later that night I approached them to start some simple conversation and get more comfortable so that when the time came, I could work in their lives.
I made a strenuous attempt to reconnect with them as the next day went by, but I was having no luck. I came to my counselor for advice and said, “Roy, I’m really concerned about Nick, Sam, and Austin. I feel that God really wants me to do something for them but I just don’t know how to come about it.” Roy was a guy that always had an answer for everything, and he came through. “How about tomorrow night we come together as a group and you can talk about how you feel for them and why you really want to make a difference.” It sounded good enough to me so I agreed and began thinking through what to say. I didn’t want to come off mean, yet I wanted them to be affected by it, so I was struggling.
Now, here I am. Sitting at a rotting picnic table beneath the setting Texas sun, attempting to share my heart with these guys. “Listen guys, I really do love y’all and I hate to see y’all go down the wrong path. I miss those guys I knew in third grade who were always there to cheer you up, and I’m not in favor of these guys that I know now that are constantly trying to tear you down,” I gasp in a quiet, confident voice. They were somewhat offended, yet they were very alert of their actions and I feel like I had just planted a seed in their lives for years to come.
I would not have chosen it this way, but I came away from this far more changed than they had. I was a completely new person. I believe God drew those guys to camp for two reasons: to use me to open their eyes and to use them to open my eyes. Before this experience I would look down upon anyone who said anything profane or inappropriate, and I would often yell at them for it too. At the time, I thought I was doing my role as a Christian. But how wrong I was. God showed me that we are to be a light to those who are struggling, and that we are the ones who must bring them out of the darkness. For we are not to persecute for these such things, but that we must love on them and show them the all powerful, forgiving, grace of God.





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