Serving for six weeks in the middle of a West Virginian forest, somewhere that’s significantly known as “a place to meet with God” grew me in areas I didn’t even realize I needed to grow in.
It’s a difficult thing to put into words, but it grows you beyond your limits and leaves you with this quiet knowing that if it wasn’t for God my inadequacy would have won out before I could even try to prove the little that I know about life.
Last Saturday, as I rode the three hr drive back to my home in Ohio, I compared the time between my staff training week to last weeks nine day program.
I don’t have much to say about myself, but I do have a whole lot to say about God.
Because in a few, seemingly short six weeks, which at times did feel like they were never-ending, God used a group of people who often felt so disqualified in ways that are hardly explainable to accomplish what He had planned for the summer of 2019.
I can’t speak for the entirety of the staff, but I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say that I’m convinced God knowingly handpicked each one of us to be a small part of His work even while considering the countless times I thought I had failed just to show me that it really wasn’t about me- or any of us really- but about serving the One who has the power to work and move and change people’s lives for eternity.
I learned that growth requires two things:
1) A step of faith.
2) A handful of humility.
Because when your placed in a position where you don’t know anything and everything seems beyond your own comprehension, you begin to humbly realize everything that you’re not and everything that God is and all that He can do in not only your life, but in the lives of those around you as well.
I learned that sometimes taking a few steps forward to see the details is just as necessary as taking a few steps back to see the bigger picture.
I learned that people are a ministry in and of themselves and that watching God touch the lives of even the most difficult campers was one of the most rewarding parts of serving at The Wilderness.
I got to experience a little bit about how to continue to love even when it was the farthest thing that I wanted to do at times, and it made me realize the depth of my Saviour’s love for even me.
It wasn’t building fires each night, going on adventurous overnight camping trips, canoeing down a river or zip lining over a ravine that made this summer one to remember but it was the subtle moments that led to impacting a kids life while walking down the same trail that you had already been down a million times, it was sitting down after an extremely long day and sharing what God had placed on your heart, it was singing the same camp songs over and over again simply for the purpose of praising His name, it was the realization that everything we had poured our hearts into throughout the day suddenly become so clear and right at the end of each chapel service.
The daily fighting against the enemies lies and deceptions were often so real and vivid, but now looking back over the past six weeks I can see that it was only because God was moving in ways bigger than I could see at the time.
I at times may have taken for granted the front seat view of God working in campers hearts day after day, but it’s something I slowly grew to appreciate because it’s such a privilege to have even the smallest part in it and that’s something not everyone has the opportunity to experience.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend six weeks of my summer serving Jesus and to see lives changed because of it.
I’m grateful for the people God brought in my life whether it was for only a week or if it was for six weeks.
I learned that if your intention is to simply be a servant, God will without fail bless you in ways that you don’t even deserve.
To be a blessing, is to be blessed.
That is one thing I know to be true.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who prayed and helped by giving in some way or another over these past six weeks because without you all I wouldn’t be writing this right now, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of serving Jesus, so thank you beyond words.
Love and Blessing,