I was sitting in chapel this last Wednesday night in between songs when I overheard this conversation between two junior campers. We had just finished singing the song “Nails.”
#1: What does it mean when it says, ‘the nails in your hands’? It can’t possibly mean they ACTUALLY put NAILS through Jesus’ hands, can it?
#2: No, that can’t be right. He hung on the cross by ropes tied around his wrists and feet.
#1: Oh, that’s right.
It was at this point that I leaned forward and witnessed the shock of comprehension on their faces as I was explaining that they really DID put nails through his hands and feet. They were silent for the next few minutes as they realized that their sins were what had forced Christ to have real nails put all the way through His hands and feet, to hang until He died. I was surprised how easily 3rd to 5th graders were able to understand the things they were being taught, and they continued to surprise me all week long.
When we were discussing the fall of Achan from Joshua 7 in cabin Bible time, they were less astounded than the 6th to 8thgraders at the fact that Achan was stoned to death for his sin. After all, the Bible does say that “the wages of sin is death”. The weeks with the youngest grades are often the weeks of camp that teach me the most, even as a staff member. I learn more from the campers themselves about taking the Bible at its word, with a simple child-like faith, than I could ever learn from chapel. This is why the younger grades of camp are my favorites. I have the opportunity to be the counselor of Cabin 1, which will be full of eleven 4th to 6thgrade girls. I am so incredibly excited to see what adventures and lessons God has in store not only for the campers, but also for me.
This last Friday, sitting around the campfire in the victory circle listening to kids share their spiritual decisions to read their Bibles more, or to respect their parents, or shyly sharing with the camp that they had joined the family of God- those were the moments that keep drawing me back to camp. This is my 3rd summer on staff here at Camp Gilead, and each year I am amazed at the ways He is able to use the staff to witness to children with varied situations, ages, and home lives.
I look forward to seeing how God is planning on working through the rest of the staff this summer, as we have 4 weeks of campers left to take under our wings and minister to. Please continue to keep us in your prayers for wisdom, energy, patience, and kindness towards these children.
High School Staff- Counselor in Training
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9