At the beginning of the summer, I had all of these expectations of what being a tribe leader was going to be like. I do not know why I even came into the summer with expectations because I should have known that no matter how I wanted it to go, God had His own plan. I thought that being here for three weeks was going to be fun but restful. Little did I know that finding time to spend with the Lord was going to be challenging, and although being a tribe leader is so much fun, it is also exhausting. I think it took me all the way to the last camp to realize that I had to rely on God fully to be able to greatly impact these kids so that they could see God’s love through me. Being able to love the kids as God loves them was the absolute highlight of my summer. Though sometimes things might be hard and a kid may be testing my patience because they are just being a typical kid, in the end, it’s all worth it.
On the first full day of the last camp, one of my campers came to me and asked if we could have a one-on-one. Of course my answer was, “Yes, let’s go.” We went and sat on the dining hall porch, and she told me, “I sinned today.” I told her that we all sin every day because we’re all sinners. I got to talk to her a little about forgiveness before she ran off to tell her friend she was sorry for what she had done. This same night at Pow Wow there was an invitation, and she accepted Christ. You could tell that all throughout this day and week, she felt super convicted about what she had done, but she was super curious about the gospel. This week was by far the hardest because all of my girls had sassiness that got them into trouble, but at the end of the week, it was all worth it. On the last day of camp, this camper looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Kyleigh, I don’t want to go home.” These kids might not understand why we tell them to “Be quiet” or “You can’t go over there,” but they do understand our love for them because we get to let God’s love shine through us.