Bible Camp and Faith Like a Mustard Seed
A Bible Camp can be a great place to learn about God. However, Carol shares about a Bible camp experience that required faith like a mustard seed.
Preparations for Bible Camp
I arrived at a small Bible camp with about forty-two campers to begin a week of speaking at chapel services twice a day. I had never been to this camp before and rarely spoke to the twelve to fourteen year old age group of campers. I had prepared my messages and object lessons. I had recruited a group of ladies to bathe the campers, staff and myself in prayer. I trusted God to give me wisdom, not only as I spoke but in all the interactions with campers and a very young staff who worked at camp that week.
After only a few hours in camp, I sensed difficulties but nothing I could put my finger on. At chapel that first evening, one cabin of girls, the oldest girls in camp, sat on one side of the building with their cabin leader and her junior leader. Those two leaders, still in their teens, were not much older than the campers. They had their hands full with eight girls who made a point of letting me, as the speaker, know they had no intention of listening in chapel. They giggled, passed notes and pointedly looked at me so I could see what they were doing. The two leaders tried to quiet them and focus their attention on the Bible story and modern day illustration I shared that night but had no success.
Too Cool for Chapel Time at Bible Camp
I prayed, asking God to keep the girls from disturbing everyone else and to help them learn to listen to what he wanted them to hear. The rest of the campers seemed oblivious to the eight girls who thought they were too cool for chapel time.
After chapel and a time of prayer with the director, office staff and cooks, I composed a lengthy text to my prayer circle, begging them to pray harder and longer for this camp. Dysfunction, young leadership and the cabin of cool girls and their young, both in age and Christian maturity, leaders topped my list of prayer requests. Pray they would listen in chapel and hear God’s Word and how it applied to their lives. Pray for the leadership – to and strengthen their faith and lead strongly, relying on God to help them.
I hit send and nothing happened. No cell service. Now what – how did I let them know. One of the cooks found me out walking and showed me where on the campsite I could get a bit of service and then pray it actually went through. Things I took for granted like phone and internet service could not be counted on at this camp. Service was only hit and miss at the best of times, even in the office. I walked beside the cook and chatted until we found a bar or two on our phones, lifted them high in the air and hit send. God could get the message through.
Prayer for Bible Camp
The next couple days of chapel services continued much like the first night and I spent much time in prayer for the entire camp as turmoil seemed to multiply each day. The cool girls’ cabin continued to sit off to one side of the chapel, whispering, giggling and passing notes. They told everyone they only came to camp to have fun but not to listen in chapel or cabin devotions.
On the third day I had a very simple object lesson planned. In fact, it was so simple I asked God more than once if I should change it but He just gave me a peace to use it. When I asked for a couple of campers to help me with it, the leader of the cool girls volunteered. I hesitated, said a quick prayer and wondered if she offered to help so she could sabotage chapel.
After a brief pause, I called her to come and be a helper, trusting God to have her help and not hinder. She did exactly as I instructed and seemed to enjoy being part of the lesson. As it finished and I made the analogy, she looked at me, shook her finger in my face and said, “I get it! I understand what you are saying!”
Bible Camp Thank You Prayer
I breathed a heart-felt thank you to God and continued with the morning message. In the evening those eight girls began to listen. My heart cheered and praised God for answered prayer. I found a place to send an update to my prayer circle but urged them to continue to keep the camp in their prayers because it felt like darkness descended and things began to go off the rails even while I saw God at work in the lives of some of the campers.
By the last evening chapel, I felt weary physically from the heat and busy schedule of camp. I was drained from the conflicts, the blatant disregard for rules and the help the staff desperately needed. Spiritually I felt like I had been in the battle zone all week. Yet I thanked God for some answered prayer including how the cools girls now listened.
I Am the Way
That night in chapel I presented the gospel message. John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” I reminded the campers in the object lesson and Bible verses that Romans 3:23 says “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But there is hope. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
I shared a bit of my own testimony of how I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and trusted him with my life. Then I gave them the opportunity to talk to their leaders or myself if anyone had more questions or wanted to invite Jesus to forgive their sins. As we closed chapel with a song and filed out, this cabin of girls and their leaders remained behind, sitting quietly together. By the end of the evening, all eight girls accepted God’s gift of salvation for themselves – one by one they chose to pray with leaders.
I wept with joy and thankfulness. I also wept when I realized how small my faith had been when I prayed those girls would simply listen and not disturb other campers. God had much bigger plans than I had for that week of camp.
Matthew 17:20 Jesus told the disciples, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there and it will move”
What are you praying for today? Have faith – even if it is as small as a mustard seed just like mine was that week at camp.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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