By: Olivia Robertson
As the last student camp came to an end, I started reflecting on all that God had done in the last nine weeks and then began wondering what He would continue to do in the upcoming kids camps. This past week especially, I have seen a different side of camp, a more behind the scenes side, as I worked utility with a few other staffers. In the mornings we would clean the common areas of the property and then in the afternoons we would head out for POI’s and to be with the students. The mornings of cleaning gave me time to talk with many group leaders about what had been going on in their students’ lives during the week. I sat and listened to story after story, my heart became overwhelmed with joy with all that God was doing in just one week. Now think about all the other lives that have been impacted – and still have yet to be – this summer!
Specifically, I got to speak with Bart Martherly from Shively Baptist Church. He shared the story about how he and his wife first got involved with youth ministry and how he simply knew he had to be obedient to the Lord and that it would all work out. The Lord has been faithful in making it work out as he is now in his fifth year as a youth minister. When I asked what God was doing in his youth group this week, he started telling story after story of how students were realizing they were dead in their sins – he watched 8 of his students cross of from death to life!
Another group of students, he said, were already Christians, but were starting to go deeper in their walk with Christ and grow as leaders in the youth group. They saw the importance of what being a Christian meant and how you need to show love to one another.
Then I asked him what God was doing in his life this week. He said first, he was learning the importance of accountability and how it has to be a top priority. This is something that is incredibly valuable for these students as they head back home. Second was the discipleship process and how it has to be a mindset for Christians. “Discipleship is not just reading the Bible,” Bart explained, “but doing life with them and taking the initiative to be a part of their lives.” He began to tell me about our Crossings staff and how it was encouraging to see them be so intentional with the students. He said it was neat that they would come alongside of the group leaders while at camp and help them in that.
This past summer, I have been able to watch many broken students walk through the camp gates at Jonathan Creek, dead in their sins, only to watch them leave alive in Christ. Sometimes I think, “Why me? I’m definitely not qualified for this job.” But then the saying comes to mind that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. So as student camps come to a close and we get ready for the first kids camp, I along with all the other staffers realize that our job does not end when a camp ends, but it continues for the rest of our lives.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.”