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Anna Benoit

Counselor

This summer I was so blessed to be given the opportunity to serve as a counselor at Lake Forest Ranch. I was out of my comfort zone, and to be completely honest, I felt very unqualified for the position. I wanted to work here more than anything, but was terrified. God knew I needed to be here, and immediately He began to show His faithfulness. I had been a camper the summers of 2017 and 2018, and now on staff for 2019. I had a slight idea of how to be a good counselor; so I knew what to say, and what to do for the most part. When I had my first preteen camp, I was so excited to get to pour into the lives of some amazing 12 and 13-year old girls. One girl, in particular, stood out to me the entire time. I had her on my heart every day to pray for her and I wasn’t sure why, but I proceeded to listen to the voice of Abba.

One night during devotions, my ministry partner, Naomi, was reading scripture and this little girl walked up to me, hugged me, and when I looked at her in the face, she was soaked in her own tears. I walked out onto the porch with her and asked what was going on. This camper proceeded to tell me about her being homesick, which was a common thing for young kids to experience at an overnight camp. She went on to tell me that she struggles with anxiety, fear, and has panic attacks frequently. As soon as those words left her mouth, I knew why God sent me this sweet child. Anxiety has been something I have struggled with since I was a young kid. I immediately began to hold this child in my arms, pray for her, and speak life over her. After praying for her, I pulled my Bible out and began to show her where in scripture the Lord tells us to not worry, specifically in Matthew 6:25. Fast forward to the next night, She asked me to pray specifically with her before bed. I did, and she woke up that next day feeling and acting like her same self again. I had unintentionally saved our 1-on-1 until the morning that they were leaving camp. Our conversation lasted a whole hour and she told me about her family, reasons why she gets sad, and things that make her anxious. This little girl knew the truth of how to conquer fear in her mind, but had a harder time believing it in her heart. I was able to encourage this little one to continue to grow in her faith but also walk in the light of Christ, a light so bright that the spirit of fear cannot walk into it. A different girl left camp than the one that arrived on registration day. I am not only thankful for the opportunity to pour into this little girl, but the opportunity God gave me to share this burden that I have dealt with for so long. God is so good at using our trials as testimonies to encourage others. Tetelestai!