By, Zeke Zimmerman
Camp Hebron is a wonderful place. It’s full of beautiful forests, hikes, mountains, and amazing people. As a counselor, our job is to be with campers 24/7 and show them the love and Lordship of Christ. This summer was full of scattering seeds and spiritual growth for campers and staff alike. This summer held both my favorite weeks and most difficult weeks that I had ever faced.
The first week, I was assigned to the Explorers camp (ages 8-9). It soon became clear that I had the cabin missing father figures. One mother told me that a camper had lost his father that year and been bullied at school. Another mother informed me that this other camper “was an addict. He came out of the womb an addict, just like his mother.” The medical/psychological history that I was handed by the nurses still told other woes of abuse in all categories, depression, and ADHD. In my ‘infinite wisdom’, I decided I was going to be the best counselor and father figure that these campers would ever had. I decided with my status of returning counselor, I was best for these kids and had “infinite strength” to get the job done.
It was terrible. I was drained by Monday, the kids were cranky, and no visible progress had been made. My pride and arrogance had done its damage. Normally, I’m a morning person. I struggle to fall asleep before noon. I took counselor relief and was passed out at 10. In the midst of my rest, I heard the LORD speak.
“I AM the father of the fatherless. You are not. Just show them My son. I’m your strength; you’re not My strength.”
Thanks be to God for being my strength and energy! He carried me through the rest of the week. I was able to talk and get to know my campers and show them Jesus. Some of the kids who could be extremely stubborn and poor listeners started to listen, not only to what was said, but to the story of Jesus. I pray that they will grow to know Him more. This is done not on our own power, but by asking God for His strength.
The rest of the summer, I continued to rest in God’s strength and not my own. Week 3 began I was back on the hill with Frontiers (middle schoolers).
This week was amazing. The kids showed incredible spiritual growth---they didn’t just take head knowledge of Christ, but they lived it out. (I’ve never seen Christ in the gaga pit more than with these kids) They enjoyed having fun, but also really learned from the Vespers sessions and Cabin chats. They asked deep questions, beyond the surface. This week was one of my best weeks ever, as Christ moved and caused growth in everyone of my campers. These weeks of spiritual harvest are rare, but fulfilling.
The job of “Summer Counselor” is full of scattering seeds. We very rarely ever see this kind of growth. Instead, we pray that the kids will remember some nugget of Christ---from the Vespers & teaching times, from nature and the activities, or how we as a staff live reflecting Christ. Our prayer is that these campers will follow the LORD all the days of there life, continuing to get to see His face better, and that they will spread out showing Christ to the places where they return. All we can hope for is Christ to do His work----and praise Him because He does work.
Now more than ever, youth need to disconnect from electronic and connect with nature. 2018 marks Camp Hebron's 61st anniversary and we need your help Today to finish the year strong! In keeping camp affordable to all. Please partner with us in a year-end gift to camp! Your gift will help camp continue its ministry and reach the next generation of campers. http://www.camphebron.org/donate
Psalm 28:6-9 “Blessed be the LORD, Because He has heard the voice of my supplication. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. 8 The LORD is their strength, And He is a saving defense to His anointed. 9 Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.”