A “Wild” Summer-
Ever since I was a seventh grader, my church has taken a week during summer vacation to head down to the Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center in Brevard, North Carolina. From my first visit to the Wilds, I couldn’t wait until I would be old enough to work there. Having graduated this past May, this was the first summer that I could become part of the Wilds staff…and what a summer it was!
Going into my time at the Wilds, I really didn’t know what I should expect. My position there was called “Housekeeping,” and I had never really heard of it before. However, it didn’t take me long to figure it out. The moment I arrived at the Wilds I started cleaning. That’s right! Housekeeping is like a janitorial position…only better. In addition to cleaning public restrooms and inn rooms where sponsors and speakers stay, I had the privilege of working the famous giant swing, running the super-slide, scooping ice cream in the snack shop, and getting partnered up with a counselor and cabin to pray for and get to know each week.
All summer I was given wonderful opportunities to counsel girl campers on various sin struggles, such as anger, bitterness, a lack of devotions, and poor friend choices, to name a few. But I had a strong desire to lead someone to the Lord, so I started praying that God would send me a camper that needed to get saved. Weeks passed and everyone that I counseled had already received Christ as their Savior.
One night after the evening service, I went out during the invitation to see if there was anyone that needed someone to talk to. I saw a thirteen year old sitting by herself just sobbing. After talking with her, I found out that she came out because she bad friends that were influencing her in negative ways. Before I started showing her verses about getting good, godly friends, I asked her a simple question. “If you were to die tonight and you were standing before God and He asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my Kingdom,’ what would you say?” This girl just started weeping even more and told me that she didn’t know.
Here was my God-given opportunity that I had been praying for! I took her through the Roman’s Road and had her read all of the verses out loud. As we went through the Bible verses, I noticed that she struggled reading and processed things uncommonly slow. So we took our time and came to a point where she decided she wanted to pray. She said, “Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner….” and then she looked up at me crying so hard and said, “Oh no! I forgot what I was going to say!” I explained to her that it wasn’t about the words that you say, it is simply a belief you hold tightly to in your heart. She went on to repeat the same things, and I wasn’t exactly sure if she had understood everything that we had talked about. But when she filled out her decision slip, she wrote, “Tonight, I got saved.” Praise the Lord! That night, He used a wicked sinner to lead a wicked sinner home. I was overwhelmed that God had answered my prayer and used me in that way.
The next day, her counselor came up to me and told me that this camper had an extremely bad case of epilepsy, (which explained her difficulty reading) and she had a hard time understanding and remembering things. Her condition was so bad that she had to bring a laminated card into the shower reminding her of everything that she was supposed to do. This whole time, I was thinking to myself, “Great! She probably didn’t even understand a word I said to her, and even if she did, she’s most likely forgotten it by now.” But God is patient with me, and He rebuked my disbelieving heart. Her counselor interrupted my doubts and went on to tell me that she was able to have a one-on-one with this camper and ask her about the decision she had made the previous night. And do you know what she told me? This girl explained with confidence that if she died that night and she was standing before the King of everything and He asked her why she should be admitted into heaven, that she would say, “Because Jesus died for me.” She got it!
…it was God’s Word. It’s quick and powerful, and able to be grasped by any and all who hear it.