Our Leadership Experience week of camp had just concluded. The final worship service had concluded and campers were saying their good-byes to one another. Parents were trying to get their children to leave, but no one really wanted to go home.
After closing programs, I walk around camp, greeting parents and saying good-bye to campers. There is a lot of excitement in the air. I overhear parents asking their children about their week and the things they learned. Campers tell them about the friends they made, their counselors, the pool and other activities, the Bible studies, and more. There is a lot of laughter. Families are glad to be together after a week apart.
Often parents will thank me for the experience their children had. Occasionally I will hear about an improvement we can make. And every so often I have an unforgettable conversation.
A father approached me with a determined look. “He’s killing me!” He said.
I assumed he meant his son, but I wasn’t sure, so I clarified, “Your son?”
“What did he do?” I asked.
As tears came to his eyes, he choked up and said, “I gave him money to spend in the canteen and he only spent a few dollars and gave the rest to missions.”
I know this man to be very generous to the Lord’s work. I quickly understood that his emotions were a release of something greater.
A couple weeks later I enjoyed a meal together with this man. The father explained that his son reluctantly came to camp. During that week, God broke down walls and brought about significant life-change. He asked his dad to sign him up for next year, which his father gladly did.
One never knows how God is going to work at camp, but He does it all the time–and it never ceases to amaze me.
Just as Joshua prepared the people many years ago to see God work, let us get ready today. “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you’” (Joshua 3:5).
Let me know how you have seen God working in your Released Time, at camp or elsewhere: [email protected].
If you haven’t been to camp (or sent a child to camp) consider one of our upcoming events. (See our retreat schedule here.) It will be well worth your time.