I have to say to no surprise of mine, camp was a huge success! I wasn't surprised because I have known for some time that this was God's camp, not mine, yours or theirs! And when God does something it never fails!!
I was so thankful to all the pre-camp, during camp, and post-camp people that gave their time, money and hearts as God prompted them. Thank you to my family that sacrificed me, as I prepared for camp, or sacrificed fun, so they could stay home and help work, or sacrificed a quiet summer to have a loud camp. Thank you to my husband that said, "Yes," and then added his expertise. This reminds me that we are a body of believers, and the eye can't do it alone, nor the hands...we need each other. GWAP has been my passion for some time now, but sharing it with all those that were able to be a part of camp was just as much of a blessing as camp itself. To see young adults work and care for young girls, to hear testimonies, to benefit from others sacrifice, to see older adults work unselfishly, to witness the wonder and amazement of my GWAP girls learn and experience God...well if I had a waterfall of beautiful words it wouldn't correctly describe the emotion. So a meager "thank you," was all I had to offer them. However; I know my Father in heaven has so much more to give than I, and He will take care of those that love Him.
To continue to share the blessings that have poured forth since camp I have to tell you that I've had moms share that their daughters are using the Virtues Book to teach siblings about the names of God, the correct kitchen utensils, and who Jesus is. Some have told me their daughter hasn't missed a quiet time yet. Others have expressed the fun their daughter has been having as she searches out verses in her bible. I watched as one of our girls gave evidence that she is absolutely a new creation! My daughters were able to serve and see the love of Christ in many different styles and ages. My mind, once it untangled, has reflected and just been so humbled that the Lord would give me charge over His word to such beautiful souls.
Not many of you knew that several times, as I could...I would hide in a closet or bathroom and weep. I would weep because I just couldn't believe what God was doing in my own house. The joy and thankfulness would overwhelm me and I had to get to a place to praise Him. I had to fall down and thank Him. So many prayers were answered. So many lives were touched and so many lights were shining. I'm still getting texts and messages telling me how camp made a difference to them. How Jesus showed up for them...right in my living room. I'm getting people eager to help next year, speakers willing to come, donations being prepared. It's kinda blowing me away. That leads to my human-ness and how quickly we can change lanes.
Camp brought a lot of attention. And to be honest it panics me at times. I know that growth and getting bigger is usually wanted, but I have several reasons why I'm hesitant for GWAP to grow. They are all sinful, human-sighted reasons and I know that. So I quickly rebuke myself and ask forgiveness, but let me share them so you might pray for me.
1.) I don't want to lose the tight bonds I have with each girl. I don't want to turn loose of any of them and the sweet hearts I get to share because I can have time for each one as they need it. They are seriously mine in my mind and I want to see them grow. Getting bigger means I might not get that. There may be other leaders that share that special-ness with them.
2.) How will I afford the time, money or effort to get bigger? So I know immediately, that God is the one providing my time, strength and sustenance for this ministry, but my human eyes still deceive me at times.
3.) My biggest worry: I see so many ministry leaders that get off track as the ministry grows. I take very seriously the impact I am making on the lives of these girls. I take very seriously that I am representing Christ to them so often. And it scares me to think about what I know in my head, which is: I'm a giant sinner and can do something very un-Christlike in the blink of an eye, and that I could hurt what these girls think of Christ. I know the only way not to fall in this pit is total dependence on God. We all KNOW that, but living it all the time is a different story. I know I don't have to be perfect, because I've already failed at that. But to think I would inflict the slightest injury to the love these girls have or will have for Christ makes me want to throw-up! And bigger means more attention...more people to rebuke or lift up...more hard decisions...more time in prayer...more surrendering myself...harder battles with pride and other sins....being more watchful of the enemy...more....more....more. So you see why my OCD nature screams NO! It's good like it is, don't change it!!
Famous last words, right?
Yeah, I know. Every time I get comfortable He decides to shake things up a bit. And thankfully He has taught me that He is trustworthy. He will provide for anything He asks of me. It's always me that has to get out of the way and remember I'M not doing anything really; providing a warm body, maybe.
All that, and yet I don't know where this is going...maybe Jesus rescues me in the sky later this evening. Maybe I die and my girls carry on, as I see the sweet face of Jesus. Or maybe He lets my growing pains pull me, stretch me and bless me. Whatever the case, I'm on board with Jesus...and He can calm storms, walk on the water and silence the sea...so who or what should I fear?
I pray, if you were part of camp in anyway, it touched you with the beauty of Jesus. And if you are headed our way, get ready! He's never failed us yet!!
Much love to all of you that choose the narrow gate. You that get up everyday and face your circumstances with joy because Jesus is your King. You, who when life is hard, refuse to be a victim and instead ride the coat-tales of Christ as a victor. And to you that love on my GWAP girls and help to show them that their value is through Christ, that their hearts are best placed with Christ, and their actions must be approved by Christ...God bless you every one!