Why are you here? This is a question that you hear almost every day at Light of the Village. Whether you are an intern or TeenLeader, a volunteer, or a kid that comes through our doors: Why are you here? The answer to this question is different for each person, but each is equally important. The truth is that God has called each person that sets foot on the campus of any of our camps there for a reason. We might not know it right away, but it will come to us when we least expect it.
When I started my second year at Camp Hope this summer, I thought I knew what my answer was. It was the answer I found last summer. I simply said to myself that I was at Light of the Village because God was calling me to spread the love of God to kids of this community. This answer was not wrong, but I found as the summer went on, there was much greater depth to be revealed.
To put it simply, I was at Hope to not only love on children and be a vessel for God’s Word, but I was there to learn. To say that I went into camp distracted this summer is an understatement. I had so many things going on outside of camp that I struggled to stay focused, and it showed in my actions everyday. I was frustrated when Bible study didn’t go well, when I couldn’t get the Littles (6 & & year olds) to settle down in art, when any of my Older Girls gave me an attitude, and I couldn’t find the energy to push myself through these difficult times. It took me feeling completely drained to ask God what I was doing wrong, and He showed me by reminding me where I was and how I needed to stay focused. I was at Camp Hope in Prichard where children seek attention that they do not receive at home, children seek love that they are without, children release anger because they are hurting, and children act out because they have no structure. I was at Camp Hope again this summer to remind me that these children need love, attention, structure, and a person that truly cares for them in every second of the day.
After God redirected my focus, when I went to camp, I forgot about everything that was going on in my personal life, and I turned everything over to God. I asked Him on my drive to camp every day to keep me focused and to help me spread love and life to these children. From that moment on, I found so much joy at camp, and I felt my heart exploding with love for these children. My Bible studies went much better and my girls’ curiosity to learn more about God drove me. Art began to run more smoothly and the kids enjoyed every craft they made. And mostly, I built relationships with children that I love dearly and will miss now that camp has come to a close.
So why was I at Camp Hope? The answer isn’t as simple as me learning, but God called me back to camp this summer for me to learn how to fall in love with these children for who they were and who they have now grown to be in a very short seven weeks. I wouldn’t have made it through this summer if God had not shown this to me, but in the end, he didn’t reveal this to me for my sake, but for the sake of all of the kids at Camp Hope. What they need is far greater than what I need, and I can only continuously thank God for allowing me to give my love, teach His Word, and receive the most beautiful kind of love from His children this summer.