Friday, June 21, 2013

One Step Closer to Jesus

Last Thursday, dad and I left at midnight to drive up to Santa Cruz for me to work at Mount Hermon Christian Camps this summer as a junior high and high school counselor at Ponderosa Lodge. Dad and I drove all night, stopped and slept in a random hotel for a few hours, and then continued driving. When we pulled into Mount Hermon, it was so beautiful and I couldn't believe that I actually get to spend my entire summer here!! For the last 8 days of training, we have been doing ropes course, skate park, paint ball, and lazer tag training as well as going through our daily bible studies for the summer and learning about how to work with students and what our ministry will look like this summer. It has been so much fun getting to know a phenomenal staff of 50 people! We've laughed a lot, done some crazy things, and prayed together a ton! Almost everyday since I have gotten here, I have been moved to tears at how amazing this place is. Yes, it is beautiful, but on one of the first nights we were here, we got together with the rest of the summer staff from the other camps at Mount Hermon and took communion together and had a time of worship. A few days ago we had the opportunity to meet the board of directors for Mount Hermon and pray with them. Such a moving experience! Each Sunday, the entire summer staff meets at one camp site and worships together and then prays with members from other staffs. It is so cool to see so many eager people excited to serve the Lord and meet the campers that are coming just a few hours later. Not only have we been be learning about how to help students move one step closer to Jesus, we have been able to and been challenged to move one step closer to Jesus. I really appreciate how important our personal relationship with God is so valued here at Mount Hermon and is a crucial part of our ministry. Each morning we have 30 minutes of alone time to spend in the Word after we start our training off with worship. Side note: the band for the summer is AWESOME!!!! Each night, we listen to one of our leaders give a talk about this summer and what it will look like and are challenged to talk to God and given time to sit alone and listen to Him and then end the night in worship.
Students arrive on Sunday afternoon! We have 195 high school campers coming to Ponderosa Lodge for our first week of camp!! Our summer theme this year is UPSIDE DOWN, Live Like You Belong To a Different World. We have decorated the entire camp with bright colors and fun decorations to make the Upside Down world come to life. It is kind of an Alice in Wonderland look. Last night, we all dressed up in crazy clothes and went to downtown Santa Cruz and had a scavenger hunt looking for our leadership staff who were dressed as people on the street. As we were running around, people would stare, laugh, and ask what the heck we were doing. We would tell them wer are camp counselors and they would just nod their head and laugh. This definitely helped show me what it's like to live the Upside Down life and that as followers of Christ, we do not belong to this world and we live our lives like we belong to another world, the Kingdom of Heaven. As we teach students how to live the Upside Down life, our goal is to help students move one step closer to Jesus. This one step looks different for everyone. This week you can be praying for our students to receive what the Lord has in store for them, for the staff to have energy as they serve the campers, and for all of us to learn more and more what it means to live the Upside Down life!

Learning what it means to live the Upside Down life,