I had no idea what to expect going into the first student camp of the summer.
LFR after Dark rolled around on the third night. As we walked through the stations, I couldn’t help but get frustrated. Some of the girls were whispering, one was laughing, and I was desperately praying for patience. We reached the last station, and I began pulling the girls aside one by one while my ministry partner spoke to the others on the tarp. The reactions surprised me a little: the girl who had been laughing had dissolved into tears, and others had been also deeply touched by the night. Finally, I sat down with one of my campers and began talking to her about the mirror station, where the campers would sit down in front of a mirror on which were scrawled words like “unforgiven,” “broken,” “lost,” etc. and asked to erase them; they couldn’t, which symbolized how they couldn’t change their identity without Christ. The camper told me about how it had made her sad since that was who she was. I asked her if she had ever asked Jesus into her heart, and she replied that she had a little bit. I walked her through the gospel and asked if that was something she wanted, and she said yes. I prayed out loud, and then she prayed silently, and afterward, she looked up at me, smiling and trembling. “I don’t know why I’m shaking, I’m not cold.”
I leaned forward and asked her if I could show her who she was now that her identity was in Christ, and when she said yes, I showed her the other mirror, one with the words “pure,” “loved,” “forgiven,” “rescued,” “alive,” “whole,” “accepted,” “righteous,” “complete,” “holy,” and “in Christ” written on it in Sharpie, which, just like the words on the first mirror, couldn’t be erased. I explained that these words couldn’t be changed or erased because they were her identity; she was crying in joy.
The next afternoon when we had our one-on-one, she told me that she woke up that morning and immediately thought, “Wow,” saying that she felt different and better now that she was saved. On the final morning, as she was waiting to be picked up from the cabin, she proclaimed proudly to her friends that she was in love with Jesus. I am so thankful for the work that the Lord did in that girl that camp, and how I was given the privilege to walk that child into the throne room of God and watch her become a new creation.
Going into the last camp of the summer, I was exhausted in every possible way. I was praying to stay present and focused on the Lord, but it was really hard to fix my mind on Him when so many other things were pressing on my mind and heart. So going into the last LFR After Dark of the summer, I was surprised at how distracted I was by everything—the adult leader who didn’t turn their flashlight off, the storm rolling in, hoping I was leading my group to the right station. I was praying the whole time for the girls in my cabin, two of whom were not saved.
We made it to the tarp, where the ministry partner talks to the campers as a group while the counselor speaks to each individually, and I pulled one of the campers to the tiki torch. She curled up into a little ball, arms wrapped around her legs, and I began asking her about the words she had seen on the mirror, the words that represented who we were without Christ. She replied that she didn’t like them. When I asked why, she paused, and then, shaking her head, repeated that she just didn’t like them. I told her that I didn’t like them either, because they reminded me of who I was without Jesus—but that with Jesus, none of those words were true anymore.
I pulled out the other mirror, the one with life-giving words on it, and showed it to her, explaining that that was who I was now, and asked if she wanted that. She said yes, and said that she wanted to ask Him into her heart. I went to put the mirror down, and she started sobbing. I hugged her as she curled against me, calming her down, and then she asked if she could ask Him into her heart silently, in her head. I said yes, and she closed her eyes tight. A few seconds later, she opened her eyes and threw her arms around me. “Thank you so much,” she said, crying again. She returned to the tarp, still crying—joyfully this time—and was immediately greeted by little sisters in Christ, joyfully welcoming her back onto the tarp and into the body of Christ.
The next morning, she came and stood by my desk, swaying, while I was getting ready. “How’re you doing?” I asked. She sighed, dreamily and at peace, “Wonderful.”