It’s hard to believe that we’ve been back from camp from almost a month now. It seems like we just loaded the bus and headed to one of our youth’s favorite places on earth, Camp Eagle, in Rocksprings, Texas. I’ve often thought about why Camp is such a refuge for our kids, and while I think that the kids may each have their own reason why they love it so much, there may be a common link as well. Third culture military kids have such a hard time figuring out where their root system is. Their constant moves require them to fit into new situations frequently and that may require a different set of norms every couple of years. Camp is a place where they can drop all pretenses, and be exactly who God has wired them to be. They know that they are loved; they can explore their faith, search their hearts, and allow God to strip away anything that is hindering their walk with Him. Collectively, it is an amazing time of fellowship and fun. Individually, it is a time of reflection and personal growth with their Savior, if they are a Christian or a time to hear clearly the call of Jesus Christ on their lives. God meets each of them right where they are, and He brings healing, peace, and a renewed desire for commitment to Him for each and every student that is there. It is truly a privilege to be a part of that.
Craig, one of our students came to Camp Eagle for the first time this summer. I hadn’t heard from his parents about them going, so I called them about a week before camp to see if they could possibly come along. There were some financial concerns, but our chaplain had made it clear that he didn’t want any kids staying behind because of cost. We were able to work it out so both Craig and his brother could join us. Craig had been coming to club all year long. He seemed to enjoy it, but he was having a hard time integrating into the group. His Dad had been deployed all year and his Mom has health issues, so there was a lot of responsibility placed on his young shoulders. Camp afforded him the opportunity to get away, develop deeper relationships with the other guys in the group, and allow God to bring healing to the brokenness he had been experiencing. During a group sharing time, Craig shared how he had extreme anger building up inside of him for a long time. He said that even though he was often times smiling on the outside, he was very angry on the inside. He shared that he had felt his anger being healed over the course of the week, and it was evident in the way he interacted with the others and by the look on him face that he was joyful and at peace. It was an amazing transition, and it was the result of a holy and loving God meeting Craig where he was and doing an amazing work of healing in his heart. Camp is filled with hiking, swimming, zip lining, climbing, repelling, and so many other activities. To me, the biggest miracle of all is watching the way God works in such mighty ways in the hearts of these kids. Thank all of you for your prayers. We covet them. We can’t go forward without them. May God be glorified in every Youth for Christ ministry in the year ahead.
Fort Hood, Texas