I’ve found that, as program staff, my job involves more behind-the-scenes work than actual one-on-one interaction with campers. I’ll admit that sometimes I’m glad to be sorting T-shirts and putting together power points while the counselors run all over camp with a flock of kindergarteners behind them. Sometimes it’s not so much fun, like when I cut out almost a hundred little paper birds and fish for crafts.

But although the different work can be both a relief and a burden, it can also be a distraction. It’s easy to begin thinking that getting all the coloring pages copied and the puppet stage set up are matters of life and death. But they really aren’t. The true matter of life and death is whether or not these little children have a chance to choose Jesus as their Savior.

I got a fresh reminder of this just after chapel today. In previous days, we had talked about sin and how Adam and Eve had been punished for it, and about how God promised to send a Savior. Today the entire chapel lesson was about how God had kept His promise by Jesus’ death and resurrection. After singing a couple of slower songs about Jesus, I told the campers to stay behind with their counselors if they had any questions. I led the campers who didn’t need to stay over to crafts at the pavilion.

As I helped the campers glue birds and fish onto their creation posters, one by one six girl counselors came up to me with smiles all over their faces. “Lily just got saved!” “I just saved Ainsley!” Several of them had never led anyone to Christ before—but if their glowing faces told me anything, they’ll be wanting to do it again.

As campers finished their crafts and ran out into the field to play Red Rover (never mind how many bumps and bruises it delivers! They always want to play it), I stayed behind to pick up the leftover birds and fish and scoop the crayons back into the box. Those campers had taken the first step in a breathtaking journey. And those counselors had discovered the wonder of sharing their faith. I couldn’t stop smiling.

So that’s why I cut out birds and fish until my thumb went numb.

Erika Heins
Day Camp Director