I thought it would be appropriate to give a bit of an update on what has been going on at Camp this summer, although I will be posting our final numbers in the weeks to come. In this post, however, I'd like to share a bit about what God has been doing in the lives of three groups of people that come to camp: the children, the counselors, and the staff.
It goes without saying, but God has really blessed us at Camp Ba Yo Ca this summer. We have had a tremendous turnout at each of our camp programs, and we are delighted with the outcome of some of our new camp programs that were created for this summer. No matter the camp they went to, we tried to accomplish two things: to give each camper a fun and memorable experience and to share Jesus with them in a way that they can understand. I have had the privilege to take part in this process and I can say with all sincerity that I believe we have accomplished this goal. I have had the opportunity to see campers grow in their maturity and faith throughout the week, but even more satisfying is seeing campers grow from year to year. I can't count the campers that have come this summer that I have thought to myself, "Wow, I remember them when they were this big!" And looking back and seeing God work in their lives through the years has to be one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
The next group I would like to discuss is the counselors. At Ba Yo Ca, our counselors start at around 15 years old and range anywhere from high schoolers, college students, and even into adulthood. I would venture to guess that our average age of counselors is 17. Therefore, these are young people in the stages of their lives where they decide what type of person they are going to be. Thankfully, we at Camp have been blessed with a group of young people who have decided to devote their lives to serving Jesus. Many of these counselors are receiving the opportunity for a first job. Thank the Lord they have decided to give their work to Christ! Many other counselors are getting the opportunity to share Christ with a child for the first time. Other counselors are getting the chance to create lasting friendships with other followers of Jesus that create a bond in fellowship that cannot be broken. I can honestly say that this group of counselors has been one of the best that I have seen in the recent years. I can sense a yearning amongst them to share Christ and see His Church prosper. Praise God for all that He has done in the lives of these young people that have chosen to serve God at Camp this summer.
And finally, I would like to update you on our summer staff. Almost every member of our staff this summer was placed in a new position, with many of them having little or no prior experience working that aspect of our program. I must say, at the beginning of the summer I was a bit worried about the inexperience, but the Lord assured Alan and me that He was in control. I am happy to say that everyone on staff stepped up and made this a great summer for campers, counselors, and fellow staff. There is a buzz about camp that is creating excitement for camp and our program. Each staff member has contributed in a new way to create a much needed newness and vigor among the rest of the staff. Of course we have had our hiccups along the way (we're still having them, even in the last week of camp) but we have learned from our mistakes so we can be better staff members and people in general.
Thank you for your support of Camp, in whichever way you support this ministry. Without you, and of course those mentioned above, none of what we do would be possible. As we conclude this summer and move into preparation for the next, I would like to remind us of this year's Luke 15 Challenge. We have shown many lost souls the way home this summer, but let us never be complacent with where we are. There are still lost sheep out there.