Grace and Peace Summer Camp 2018 is officially over. The past 2 1/2 weeks have been spent serving at the camp, now they’re over and we are back home. It was the most amazing, Christ centred time that I’ve ever had.
But what did I learn?
Out there Jesus became bigger. Jesus never failed to show up, Jesus was always front and centre of everything that happened. He worked through the kids, time and time again. He used them in ways we couldn’t imagine and ways that we didn’t think he could.
But personally for me, I learnt that I can’t do ANYTHING by myself, that no matter how good something is going you ALWAYS still need Jesus. No matter how good your day is going, no matter how well the kids are listening, no matter how much energy you have Jesus still needs to be constant in your life. He needs to be your priority, he needs to be put before anyone or anything else. Even more so when things aren’t going good, when you’re struggling, when you have no energy left.
Aswell as that, you need to be open, you need to be vulnerable, you need to talk to those on your team. You need to tell them when you’re struggling, when your heart isn’t right, when something is bothering you. You need to make sure your heart is right before you do anything else. Before you try and talk to kids, before you try to lead them, you need to make sure your heart is in the right place. That you’re going in able to show them nothing but love, Jesus and his wanting to know them.
What about the team/ the people?
I have never ever been apart of a team like it. The people in the team, the love they have for Jesus and the general heart that they have for other people is beautiful. They are people who constantly point everything to Jesus, people who make sure that the kids know that nothing good that happens is of their own glory or power, but it’s of Jesus’.
From the amazing camp directors, to the teachers, the counsellors and anyone else who helped, they’ve all been incredible. They’re all extremely beautiful people. They showed me the love of Jesus, the love that he has for us and the love he has for the kids. In that, it then helped us to show Jesus and his love to the kids so much more. It became gradually more natural to instead of showing the kids that you were frustrated, that you were cross with them, to actually show and tell them that Jesus loves them, that he wants to know them and that he died for them on the cross. To tell them that there’s nothing that Jesus can say to them that he hasn’t already said to us because we are ALL sinners. We need Jesus as much if not even more than they do.
It wasn’t just the camp people that were amazing, it was also the other churchgoers, the local people who also attended Grace and Peace, they were absolutely incredible. Going back to the first time I ever walked into the church it instantly felt like home. I was welcomed in as one of their own. Like I’d been going there all my life. Not one person made you feel out of place like you shouldn’t be there.
I can’t count on my hand how many people came up, introduced themselves to you and went straight into asking you why you were doing the camp and what was your story? How did you get saved? I was mind blown, no one had ever really done that before, they’d never approached me like that. But it was incredibly special. It meant a lot. It showed that they had a genuine interest in us and why we were out there. They are so appreciative of all that we do. They love the fact that we take time out of our summer to serve their kids, the kids in their community. It was simply a complete breath of air.
All in all, the church was incredible, the camp was incredible, the people were incredible. But Jesus was absolutely indescribable. The work that he has done and is still doing, through the other volunteers out there at the minute and the work that he has done through the first two weeks when we were there is just amazing. I truly can’t thank the team enough for the complete and utter legends that they were and I can’t miss the kids any more than I already do. The focus on Jesus, the camp and the people are all absolutely phenomenal. And I can’t wait to hopefully do it all over again.
Grace and Peace Community Church and Summer Camp have a massive piece of my heart. As do the kids and people out there.