meg baylis

senior counselor

“Newness.” Father, that is the word that has been spoken and prayed over me. Would you allow freshness over the entire ministry that I get the opportunity to be a part of this summer at Lake Forest Ranch? Would you use me in a NEW way? Your mercies are new every morning. I know that to be true.” This is an excerpt out of my prayer journal that I asked the Lord to do after completing Kids Camp A. My desire was to see with fresh eyes all of the girls who walked into cabin two every week. I wanted my love for them to be new each and every week, day, hour, and moment. Unknowingly, I began to feel burdened by a standard that I had set on myself to be the perfect counselor, or the messenger to “save every camper.” It wasn’t until after Student Camp 1 that I realized that I was attempting to live under this standard.  My heart was to be all I could be for my campers so they would meet Jesus, instead of allowing Jesus to meet them where they were at. When Kids Camp D approached, I was at a dead end. I thought that I had no more love to give. I was physically drained and so very emotionally drained. The enemy typically loves to attack me right before the creative worship night that we call “LFR after Dark” happens, and he definitely did that week too. Four out of the six girls in my cabin already knew Jesus as the Lord of their life, and the remaining two did not but had not been as open or talkative previously in the week. As I had previously, despite the lies that the enemy was throwing, I began to pray and ask the Father to do a new work in each and every heart of my girls for the week. I prayed that He would go over the top to show off His love for each of them, especially my two girls who did not know Jesus. We went through all the stations and I could begin to tell that the Spirit was moving by the solemn look on the faces of these eleven year old girls. They were being hit with the truth that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We moved on to the final station before we, as counselors, got the opportunity to talk to each of our campers individually about their experience. At this station, we are sitting in front of the cross with the words “It is Finished” written on it and hold a paper that says “Yes. Yes. Yes.” stating that we have sinned in the past, we sinned today, and we will sin tomorrow. While Papa Rich was talking, multiple strong gusts of wind blew in so strong that the flames of the fire burning behind the cross were blowing far out of the fire pit. The wind didn’t cease for at least an hour. I leaned over to one of the campers and whispered to her that the Bible compares the Spirit of God to strong winds. Because of the wind and the possibility of rain, we were directed to go back to our cabins after our campers threw the representation of their sin on the piece of paper into the fire. During the one-on-one conversations with the campers, my two campers, who didn’t have a relationship with the Lord previously, told me that they had both accepted Christ as Lord in their hearts that night during LFR after Dark. It happened at different times for both of them, but both of them crossed from death to life that night. Not only was I overjoyed at this life change, but I was overjoyed because I got to watch God bring back two of His children. There was nothing that I had to do, or could do, to save them. Psalm 68:20 says “Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.” I was able to rejoice with my new sisters in Christ that the Father had brought them back into His arms. I learned that this was the newness that I was seeking. A new outlook on the good news of Christ is that when we are physically, emotionally, and mentally at the end of our rope, He is not. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.” Lamentations 3:22-23