My Favorite Place
By Emileah Hawkins, CBM National Intern –
Summer camp is here! When I was younger I went to camp every summer for 7 years, and this summer will be my third year working at a camp. Summer camp played a very important role in my life, both as a child and a teen. It was my escape.
Throughout the school year it was hard to focus on God. There were many distractions, such as school, homework, friends, social media, and exhaustion from day-to-day tasks. However, camp was the one place I could leave all that behind. It took away the distractions and moved the focus to God. During that week at camp I was actually listening for God and hearing Him. The gospel was poured into me every year at camp, through the counselors, staff, speakers, and games. Everywhere I looked the gospel was being threaded into the conversation naturally. I learned how to use that later in life.
Also, camp was a spiritual gold mine. All the staff knew and loved God. They are still some of my role models. As a teen, I saw how they loved God and wanted to tell others about Him. They gave up their summers to work long hours with little pay, little sleep, and lots of bugs. At the time that seemed crazy to me. Summer is when you sleep in, go to cool places, and work to save up money. And here are these college students that were giving all that up because they loved camp and loved God. I could feel a difference at camp. I could feel their love for God and for me. That made an impact on me. I knew that someone was invested in my life, even if it was just for a week. They were focused on me and my spiritual life.
The first summer after I started college was my first time as a counselor. I met some of my best friends there and I fell in love with camp. I didn’t realize how much preparation went into camp. Not only did the camp need to be prepared, but the staff as well. We needed to be prepared to pour into the campers’ lives, and that meant we needed to spend time with God. I have grown so much spiritually since becoming a counselor. I had to really look into God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB) says” Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” How was I going to share the Word of Truth with the campers if I didn’t know what it said myself?
I have had a different outlook on the Bible since I became a counselor. I stopped reading it as a chore and started to read it as instructions. I read to truly understand God and to know how to teach His Word to my campers. I pray to prepare my heart for what He wants me to hear and the campers’ hearts for what he wants me to teach. When I changed the reason I read the Bible, it made a huge difference. I began to realize that His Word is Truth and my focus need to be on God.
I am who I am today because of camp. It was at camp I fell in love with God and ministry. There is no doubt in my mind that He wants me to go into ministry full-time. Looking back over the past two years I see how God has been working. God has brought me through some hard times to prepare me. He also brought me to this internship. I heard about it while working as a counselor at Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go the summer of 2017. I wasn’t sure at first why I was there but God works in ways I could never imagine.
Edited by CBM National
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