The summer after high school graduation I found myself sitting in front of a fire pit. My fellow counselors and middle school students sobbed as Sam’s pit graced his acoustic guitar to strum the early 2000s classic “God of Wonders.” We sat there for hours as he repeated the chorus In between testimonies of what God did for our campers during their week of camp. That was the place where I realized God called me to ministry.
I wasn’t a fan of doing ministry outside of a volunteer or seasonal capacity. I saw ministry as a high-cost low reward situation. Growing up at the poverty line left me with no desire to raise support as many of the faithful ministers I saw doing. I would much rather do something with my life that made lots of money and enabled me to live comfortably. Ministry seemed to oppose all those desires. So, you can imagine I wrestled with God all summer as I watched him work in the lives of hundreds of Cleveland teens.
I was at my breaking point months after that camp experience and shortly after I enrolled in local Bible classes through Moody Bible Institute. Nearly 20 years later I’m still serving the Lord in vocational ministry. It has been a joyful season that has taught me a lot about faith and endurance. I believe that camp was my onramp because it is a redemptive place that has allowed many of us to experience calm moments of clarity. Camp is a place where we see the best in humanity as we face challenges. As our world grows increasingly isolated from nature, camp allows for our connection to God's natural creation. I can give you a thousand more reasons why we camp but I’ll simply say that camp is NECESSARY.
To make this experience a reality for our youth and their leaders to impact the world for God’s glory, we need your support! With a gift of $500, one middle or high school student will be able to attend a week of camp at Kids Across America in Central Missouri. Visit our giving page to make a donation and make this summer a special one for our youth.