Day 6: June 30, 2015
As you may not know, I have been in Asheville North Carolina, a hipster city full of character. While at Penn State, I along with many of my friends in Disciple Makers, a Christian fellowship on campus, have made the drive to Windy Gap, a YoungLife camp nested in Weaverville, a few miles from Asheville. Every Spring break, as a service trip, we travel down South and help serve the campers by working on the property before their arrival in the summer. In the stables, housekeeping, digging, landscaping, the kitchen and so much more. I had the opportunity to work in the kitchen this past trip and truly felt I was to be there. To my surprise, Ray, Brian and Ashton from the kitchen invited me back to serve in the kitchen this week for the hundreds of kiddos who will hear and see all of Jesus Christ. That’s why I’m here.
Today, I woke with a full heart! I have wanted to explore this hipster city, and today on my day off I am doing just that. Sitting in a donut shop, writing this post with fingers full of sugary icing and cinnamon on my lips. Coconut and chocolate glazed vegan donuts, a chai tea, Chacos, large glasses and a funky headband; I fit right in. There is something different about this city, I just kinda fit. Its hard to explain. But I Love it.
My time so far here in Asheville has been full of excitement! I have been cooking and baking for nearly 500 people for kiddos from all over the United States who have come to Windy Gap to have one of the best weeks of their lives. A week full of abundant love. Love from property staff, interns, work crews, leaders and so many who want to pour out love to them, just as the Lord has. This place is beautiful and filled with such beauty.
Everything is so thoughtfully and intentionally planned, from the time the campers wake to the time their tired heads hit their pillow. They laugh, play volleyball, swim, hike, race cars, swim, zip-line, ride horses and they see, hear and feel the goodness of Jesus Christ is. It’s amazing.
On Wednesday morning, unlike any other day, the kiddos heard a talk about sin and how we are sinners. Yes, sinners. They leave it at that. They give the kids the chance to let it sit in, think about, and talk about. Think about the magnitude of sin.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12
On Thursday evening, the kiddos laid under the stars and all of the lights were shut off all over camp. Pitch Black. You could hear a pin drop. Silence. They spent time in prayer with Jesus. Alone. For me, that night, I experienced something that I have never experienced before.
After 20 minutes, sitting under the stars, the campers had the chance to come to the dining hall under candlelight to eat some yummy snacks and talk with their leaders about what was on their hearts. I saw many tears, hugs, laying of hands and prayer. Many of these kiddos gave their lives to the Lord that night. They accepted that they were sinners but they needed the Lord. They were no longer alone. It was a period of time I will never forget.
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:12-16
Though this trip thus far has been filled with laughs, truth, fun and hard work, I have to admit It has had its challenges. I am not like the others here. I’m not on staff, an intern, summer staff, a leader, or a camper I am just here. No title. Yet, the Lord is redeeming that. I’m slowly starting to recognize faces, meeting new people and hearing their stories; I am being called by the name on my nametag and yet most have no idea why I am here. Which is ok. I am here to serve. Serve my God and these kiddos, who have so greatly affected me.
I ask if you are reading this, to pray for the campers this week; believers or not, that they may come to know the Lord who so abundantly provides and loves them and for the believers that they grow more and more in love with their heavenly father.
Until day 10,