Finley is one of the sweetest little girls I know! She is 6 and spunky, has a big personality, and loves horses. She’s also shy and bashful. When I speak to her and ask her a question, she often grabs her mom and hides behind her legs! This summer, Finley came to Day Camp at New Life Ranch Flint Valley. At the end of the week she came home ready to declare what she’d learned about REAL PWR. “Mom! When I’m weak, God is strong. You just say it out loud and the Spirit will give you strength when you need it!” Getting a text from Finley’s mom with these wise words was a real highlight of my summer! We believe and trust that lives will be impacted by the Gospel each week of camp, but I am never not amazed at God’s work in the lives of our campers, even our youngest ones.
Each summer we see campers enter our gates facing all kinds of challenges at home, and being kids during a global pandemic has certainly challenged them in many new ways. So a summer focusing on and celebrating God’s sufficient strength and power was a relevant need as we proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ each week this summer at New Life Ranch. Our staff at Frontier Cove experienced this firsthand about halfway through the summer. During a tough week of camp where their exhaustion levels were high and so were camper needs, they were doing their best to keep their energy levels up and to diligently show the love of Christ with these campers. And then, they saw an overwhelming response to the Gospel when 16 campers professed faith in Jesus Christ within just the first two days of camp!
At Sr. Camp Testimony Service a camper said, “Don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses, because they will show you how powerful God is!” And another said, “His grace makes me stronger!” Still another said, “My weaknesses aren’t a problem anymore. I can cast my burdens on Jesus!” Focusing on the life of Peter, campers from every program this summer were able to see how God invites us into his story, into his plan of redemption for the world. Peter wasn’t perfect. Peter doubted, denied, and failed. And yet, God chose to use him for the glory of the Kingdom of God! In this, we find hope. Not that things will be easy for us, not that we will be perfectly faithful and obedient, but that God’s power and God’s grace is sufficient for us, too! In a world that says to be strong, be independent, be all you can, we have a God who simply invites us to surrender to and rest in his goodness and grace.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9