will chapman

keeper of the grounds

Mission Camp Macon is such a cool and interesting combination of ideas from inviting young hungry hearts and minds to a place where there are people to constantly pour into them the Word and Spirit that is so apparent in this place; to bringing the youth of Noxubee County to a place where they can hear this wonderful news of grace offered by Christ. This year I met a student missionary, this person had heard my testimony and told me that she related to it so much and would love to talk about it. So one day after a day at the ladder at the zip line talking to an awesome student missionary about some cool things about his life and plans, I went to the dock to swim for a few minutes. There I saw this person again and she began talking to me about the things in her life. Now this girl is 15 and she has things happening every day that most functioning adults would not be able to juggle. Those hardships brought on things that she was having a hard time letting go of. I knew that she understood that Jesus had died for her but was mistaking the heavy weight of conviction with something else. Condemnation and fear had her locked in a circuit of sin that seemed to be an inescapable prison. This was real spiritual warfare happening in a very young person and it was such a gift to be invited into this with someone from the Body so eager to learn and with such a bright spirit. I wrote a series of Bible studies and gave them to her to read and to encourage her throughout the week. Each time we interacted I did not probe but I simply asked, “How are you?” She would respond, “Amazing.” So, at the end of the camp, I found that not only did this person completely thrive but she received “The Heart of Macon Award”, an honor given to the student missionary who truly shone for Christ and shared that spirit with everyone she saw. She truly changed the way I see the Body of Christ and how helping someone so young in Christ grow is one of the greatest purposes I could ever fulfill. She found me at the end of camp and told me how the verses had helped her with some things she had been trying to work out. She told me no one had ever sat down with her and gone through the importance of studying the Word of God and finding the answers and the encouragement we all need to make it through these hard days. I saw someone who was hungry find the food of the Spirit and grow into a more mature, learned, confident, creation. From this I see that my heart is for those who are hungry, but are not being given the chance to eat. My wish was granted from so long ago, I was once asked, “If you could ask Jesus for one thing, what would it be?” I said, “to have an audience who would hear me and know that my heart’s desire is to teach the Word as it is written. I was given this chance and, through it, reached people in ways that changed their lives. I know it has nothing to do with me, but changing lives through the sharing of the Word and the study of His heart of love for us makes me excited for what He has in store for me. Keep the Lord first!