Sometimes at night before bed I will ask my girls to sum up the entire day in one word.  Well, the word I’d use to sum up all of last week would be “encouraging.” 

So many things have been said and done this past week that just uplifted my soul.  Laughter and smiles are two of my most favorite things in the world and the Lord blessed me last week with the most smiley, giggly cabin.  I don’t think I went one day without at least one of my girls hugging me with a huge smile on their face!

Singing in chapel is probably one of the most encouraging parts of the day.  Just hearing all the voices sing praise to our great God is so inspiring.  Every once in a while there will be a chorus where only the campers sing and when that happens a surge of pure joy and adoration just overwhelms me.  “Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing, power and majesty praise to the King.  Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your Name!”  Knowing that God is there and hears our prayers and praises is an incomparable feeling.

But Friday night in the Victory Circle … that is the pinnacle of inspiration and encouragement at Camp Gilead.  Week after week I see new faces fill those concrete slabs and gaze with tear-filled eyes into the fire and week after week I’m comforted and blessed by listening to such young voices make promises to God that will forever change their life.  Many times kids come to camp with these big burdens or heartbreaking stories and it seems as if there is not joy or happiness in the world for the upcoming generations.  But when a child of God stands in that circle and calls on God for victory in their life, a new hope is born!

So, although usually a week sum up is supposed to be only a word, I have to add a bonus word!

“Hopeful”

Through all the encouraging and inspiring things that have happened this week, I’m able to look at God’s works and have hope for the next generation of heroes of the faith!

Kayla Emme
Camp Gilead Counselor