Today we brought Isaac up to Sioux Falls, along with his friend Brent, and put them both on a bus headed out to Hill City SD - destination Camp Judson! Isaac was really excited this morning - he woke up early, and was talking about all of the things that he loves about camp. The bus ride is all day, something like 9am - 4pm...and God bless the people that volunteer to drive a bus full of 4th - 6th grade boys and girls for that length of time. Two years ago (Isaac's first year) the bus broke down on the way home it - was over 100 degrees that day and the 2nd bus ended up overheating and they had to get a 3rd bus to come and rescue them. That bus ride was over 10 hours long. We have prayed ever since that a repeat of that situation would not occur!
Getting Isaac ready for this week at camp has caused me to reflect back on my experiences at Lake Shetek when I was his age. I remember also being so very excited, but yet nervous at the same time about camp. I usually went alone and so it was always a little scary anticipating who my cabin mates would be, would they like me, would I fit in? Would there be any cute boys in the cabin across the field?? :) Although initially my thoughts weren't always in the right "place" for bible camp - I always left camp having had some sort of spiritual experience.
It is difficult not to see God in the beauty of the countryside where Lake Shetek and Camp Judson are located. It seems that in places like those you can just feel His presence. Then add to the scenery - Bible teachings, worship songs around the campfire and counselor testimonies - bible camp is just one of those places that regardless of your heart condition going in, you will often find yourself changed coming out.
I enjoyed my camp experience so much at Lake Shetek that I went back as a Junior Counselor - never made it back as a full time counselor and sometimes I regret that, but even the Junior Counselor experience helped to shape a part of my walk with God. I realize that He has always been pursuing me, finding ways to make Himself known to me. I often have chosen to put my blinders on - to just get by in life, or do what is easiest, or just get lazy in my walk. But regardless of where I am - He has not changed as I have - He is always there ready to provide for me that "camp-like" experience of love that I felt so many years ago. But I have to be willing to seek Him, to ask for Him and to receive Him.
We will miss Isaac this week - Gabriel is not the same when he is gone. But I am glad that he has been interested in this opportunity, willing to start his journey of faith. I know that God is pursuing Isaac just as much as He is the rest of us. I hope that this week Isaac can experience God's love in an amazing way.
Isaac our prayers will be with you all week - we love you and miss you.