Ben Jenkins

Assistant Program Coordinator (APC)

What will I think of when I remember summer 2019? Will it be snow cone vouchers and Cabin Cleanup winners? Broken drink machines and lost money? What about Rules Orientation or the Welcome Day Rally or even setting up for Powwow? I think I’ll remember those things for a while, but then they’ll slowly fade. Surely I’ll remember getting calls on the walkie-talkie at all hours of the day; I’ll remember throwing ice cream sandwiches halfway across the Dining Hall, and I’m sure I’ll remember the occasional logistical mishaps that occurred. I think, though, that even those things will someday fade from memory. But there is one thing I don’t think I’ll ever forget. During a Student Camp early in the summer, I got to reconnect with a camper from my cabin from back in 2015.

He was a clever fellow that always had something of a smirk on his face, and he was a gift to be around. One day at the ropes course this summer, he approached me and expressed a desire to be on staff one day! “Workstaff”, he said. I love Workstaff and was thrilled to answer his questions! I shared about the sweetness of Workstaff community and the formative few seasons that I’ve had on staff here at Lake Forest, but as I’m sure you know, being born again is a requirement for being on staff. “Do you have a relationship with Jesus?” I asked him. “Not really,” he said. “Have you asked God to forgive you of your sins and to give you new life?” I inquired again. “No, I guess I’ve never done that,” he replied. From there, we walked through the entirety of the Good News of Jesus together: God’s Kingship, our sinfulness, Jesus’ sacrifice, our response to that, and all the rest. One question led to another, and by the end of it all, he expressed a desire to become a Christian. So I invited him to pray aloud to the Father, and right then and there, he accepted Jesus as the Lord of his life and the Savior of his soul! What a gift it was to be a part of him going from death to life!

Later on, during that week of camp, I saw him again; and the smirk he formerly walked around with had been replaced by a grin that went from ear to ear.  That’s a gift I’ll cherish forever. That’s what I’ll think of when I remember the summer of 2019.