Saturday, August 1, 2015

Brother Bear

For 9 weeks now I have had a radio clipped to my backpack. I answer to the name Brother Bear, and I love it. For 9 weeks I have answered to many different radio calls.

"What's your 20?"
"Brother Bear the honey is here."
"Brother Bear we need ______ (fill in the blank with anything and everything)."
"Brother Bear do you have time to wash my jeans for Outcamping?"

What I love the most about my radio calls is the person on the other end. The boys, or should I say men, that call me have truly become my brothers. I have spent nine weeks with six men of God. Our friendships have grown as we have learned to work together. Our friendships are based on a foundation of a common love for God. We have spent countless hours together in prayer both early in the morning and late into the evening. I have become desensitized to bodily functions such as farting and poop, because as the lone girl in a wolf pack I learned early on to accept it. I have laughed more with these boys as we all have learned to navigate new leadership roles this summer.

Have I mentioned that these men of God spend every day loving on children and leading groups of 40 of them towards Christ? It isn't easy being a leader for children, but I would argue that it is even more difficult to lead your peers. My brothers aren't perfect, and neither am I. We have all stumbled as we do our best to navigate a path that isn't always easy. Some nights I am brought to tears with my frustrations, but through it all we have each other.

I know how my brothers love their hamburgers packed. I know when to expect a bad mood based on the day's circumstances. I know when to speak and when to listen. I know what they like on their pizza. Heads up the next one is gross: I even have come to know what their farts smell like.

So I've established, I know these boys like my brothers. Working with them this summer has been a major blessing, and most definitely a highlight of my summer.

This summer my title is the Head Women's Counselor. I have "counseled" 30 Proverbs 31 women this summer. I have been their friend, their mentor, and their advocate. I plead their cases and feelings to boys who sometimes just don't understand emotions. I pray for them and with them daily. I take care of their needs, and try my best to make their job easier. I help them with difficult campers, deal with homesickness, and a number of other little things.  I get to have fun with them, bring them necessities at Outcamping, and build relationships with them. Sometimes I even get to kill snakes with my best friend. 

"Was this in the job description?" 

This is a question I laugh about frequently. For a number of reasons I'll find myself in a particular situation wondering how I could have even prepared for whatever I am doing. Through it all, I find myself praising God that I am able to work at camp. Whether I am washing loads upon loads of laundry, or cleaning the kitchen every night, praise God that I am able to humbly serve Him through it all.

This summer has been an incredible one for me. I have been humbled and I have seen so much growth in my spiritual walk. I have been convicted this summer more than any other summer. Living in the world is a difficult task for a Christian, and I haven't been doing the best job I could be doing.

Saving souls should be a natural part of our lives, and I have never taken that with such seriousness as I have this summer. This summer one of our themes was to build up the body towards Heaven not Hell. Just in the past two weeks alone, we had 24 baptisms. In one day we had 18! While numbers are not relevant, I found myself in tears. Children are coming to the Lord, and are putting Him on in baptism. The joy of coming to Christ was contagious. Tears rolled down my face as I watched many children make the best decision of their life. 

This is what working at Camp Deer Run is all about. Serving one another in love and sharing the good news. I contribute most of my spiritual growth to Camp Deer Run, and to this day I will be forever grateful that I have had the opportunity to continue this mission. Since 2002, camp has been a part of my life. While I don't know what the future holds, I look forward to finding ways to always give back to a little church camp in the middle of the piney woods of East Texas.