This past week I was privileged to spend a week at camp with our Contact kids. Camp is probably my favorite time in ministry. After all the crazy planning is over with we have the opportunity to get kids away from the junk and focus only on the cross. In the midst of all the craziness there are quiet moments with the kids that light a fire in my soul. This past week I was reminded of how truly blessed I am that God has given me the opportunity to work in ministry.
There were several moments on this trip that I got to see Christ through the eyes of the kids. On Tuesday night we had a bad hail storm (yes we were in Oklahoma). I was checking on all the kids who were having moderate to extreme panic attacks. When I got to a group of boys from my 1st & 2nd grade class I asked if everyone was okay? One of the boys replied, "Yes Miss Kayla. Poppy prayed with us so we wouldn't be scared & the storm ain't so bad no more." In my attempt to keep the kids "calm" I hadn't stopped long enough to hit my knees. Yet a 7 year old little boy did not only hit his knees, but he grabbed the hands of his friends as well.
The next day one of the little girl's began an intriguing conversation about my boyfriend. She said, "Miss Kayla, Curtis doesn't hit you cause he's a good man. He honors God." I replied, "Why should Curtis respect me baby girl?" She said,"Cause God made girls beautiful, smart, & good." In order to understand the depth of this conversation, you have to know that about a month ago I read her Psalm 139 & told her that God made her beautiful, smart, and good. Hearing her not only remember what I had told her, but be able to recognize that a man that honors God respects the woman he loves is unbelievable! Needless to say I was amazed by what God had communicated to her heart through his word.
Another way that I was able to see God at work at summer camp was in the words, actions, and attitude of one of the interns. One of my buddies from college is working at Contact for the summer. He seems to be drawn to the children that require the most attention & the most amount of work. Long story short one of the boy's was continually causing problems. Dillan came to me and said, "Kayla, he's telling me he wants to go home, but if we send him home we failed." Wow! Most people would be ready to quit, rather Dillan's love for HIS Father compelled him to continue loving a kid that was being incredibly difficult to love. Because of Dillan's boldness he is developing a lasting relationship with this boy. His energy & love for the Lord has been such an encouragement to me.
Although each of these experiences convicted my heart, I was most convicted when one of the girl's asked me to study the word with her because she wanted to be baptized. Up until 6 months ago she would not have even thought to ask me. I had tried on a few occasions to spend time with her and it was always the same result.. "I don't know you like that Miss Kayla." Now all this time later she trust me enough to allow me to study the word with her. We read Colossians 1.. I pointed out verse 7, "It's as vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend & close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I could always depend on him." As Christians we should all desire for those words to be what people have to say about us. The legacy I want Jeneva to leave at Contact Church is that she is a great worker for Christ. Baptism doesn't make us perfect... we all make mistakes after we come out of the water, but if Jesus can take a man who denied him 3 times before the rooster crowed & make him the rock on which HE built HIS church, HE can use any of us... our mistakes, our doubts, our fears, our desires... HE uses everything for HIS glory.
After studying with Jeneva, Ron drove down & baptized her. She along with 6 others committed their lives to Christ. Now our job as ministers & friends is to continue to walk with them. The greatest joy I have had thus far in ministry is watching kids I have formed relationships with rise out of the water as a new person in CHRIST. I am so thankful for the many ways GOD was glorified at camp. I am grateful for the hearts that were changed & I continue to pray that those changes are permanent stepping stones to be built on.
2 Corinthians 4:1 "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."