Drip…Drip…the sweat beads are falling. The sun is beating down, and the heat is cranked up. We are running, laughing, competing, and building relationships. God is moving in this place. I have no doubt He is surrounding this ministry. At times we are exhausted, and it is unbelievably hot. But it doesn’t matter….this is NOT about us! We are doing our Father’s work. A week at Summer Bible Camp is hard. I have to remember to die to myself over and over again. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. The only thing that truly matters is that I am shining the light and love of Christ.
In a conversation, someone shared with me that those of us here at Light of the Village are the first genuine people she has known, that when we say we love her, we mean it, and that our love is a testament to God’s own love. The statement caught me like a punch to the gut. It was a sobering reminder that the world does not display true love. In reality we have made a mockery of the word. Christ and Christ alone is our true source of understanding the context and meaning of pure love.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
I have fallen in love with the kids at camp. The boys in my group are complicated, unique, loving, full of energy, and most of all, full of potential. I am lucky to get the opportunity to work with the 12-15 year old boys. And, yes it has its challenges, and the guys can be a little rough. I feel as if these boys have the most to lose. They, like the rest of us, know all too well the reality and challenges of being a young man in this community. They are surrounded by noise, negative influences, and a world that is telling them that money and power are the ultimate goals of this life. These guys even with this rough facade have hearts that I believe are seeking. I pray that they find the peace and grace that only salvation through Christ can bring. So my hope and prayer for each of these young men is that they develop a personal relationship with Christ.
I am always struck in wonder and completely at a loss for words when trying to explain the sheer magnitude and grace of the free gift of salvation that God chose to make available to us. He did more than any of us could ever ask for or repay.
“Jesus more than humbled himself when he came to earth. He emptied himself.”- Beautiful Outlaw
So, if I recognize that Christ is willing to sacrifice and humble himself to pay for the debt of a simple sinner like myself, it should be my joy to empty myself for Him. I pray that this remains in the forefront of my mind, not only each day of summer camp, but in all my future days.
God is showing me so much about His character through this ministry. The character and love of Christ is staring right back at me in the faces of these kids. He is teaching me that He will use us if we are willing to sacrifice ourselves to His will. I am astonished each day how God shows me a new insight to His personality. I just need to make sure I leave my own agenda at home, and remember that it is not about me but Christ. He is the one who lights the way.