I have done a terrible job keeping my blog up to date this summer. I realized just this week that we are halfway done with the summer. It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly time flies out in the piney woods.
Coming back to Camp Deer Run for a 5th summer was a no brainer for me. There is nowhere else I would rather be the summer before I begin nursing school than in these holy woods. God's presence is so easily felt here, and I knew without doubt that God had called me back for a special purpose.
As I have said many times before, every summer is unique. As a 5th year staff member, I am "incredibly old in Deer Run years." The majority of the staff is 18-19 years old, so at a whopping 22 years old and as a college graduate, I am definitely the grandma. However, I love my grandma status, and will gladly keep it if it means more time out here.
This summer has been very different, but very special to me. As the Head Women's Counselor for the second year in a row, I had a better idea of what to expect in my position than I did going in last year. With that said, I also came in with a stronger game plan so that I could be very intentional about spending time with God, so I wouldn't "burn out." As a mentor to 32 college-age women, you will face many challenges. This season of life is one filled with many difficulties, hurts, and insecurities. Before the summer began though, I had decided my goal was to be very specific and strategic in my prayers for my women's staff, and in my own prayer life too.
Prayer, in my opinion, is our strongest, and most potent weapon against Satan. Even in this Christ-centered place that I love dearly, I can recognize that we, at Camp Deer Run, are not free from Satan's attacks. In my years on staff I have seen how sneaky the Devil can be by attacking morale, by using comparison, magnifying insecurities, and mixing up strife among the staff. We are not immune to Satan's attacks, and I have made it a personal mission of mine to call Satan out when I suspect he is up to no good.
GOD IS SO GOOD! I will boast gladly because God has been answering prayers in some very unique ways that I would like to share with you now.
One evening I spent some time praying with one of my staff that Satan could no longer use the outside world to ruin her day, her mood, or her attitude. After a few days of receiving bad news during her hour off, we prayed that God would protect her, and not let her receive bad news so that she could focus full-heartedly on the mission at hand. (For those of you who don't know, we only get one hour off a day to check our phones and make contact with the outside world. We enforce this among the staff by keeping cell phones locked in cell jail) The next morning I woke to a frantic staff. Cell jail was locked and they were technology thirsty, and ready to check their phones during their hour off. Thinking that all I had to do was use my key to unlock cell jail, I made my way into the canteen. To my surprise, my key didn't work. Strange, right? Because my key had worked every day prior to this moment. Naturally, I used my radio to call Cason, but his key DID NOT work either. Getting more weird right? At that moment I looked over at my women's staff member, and when our eyes met we couldn't help but think of the prayer we had prayed only a day before. A prayer of protection from the outside world. We ended up calling Drayton, our maintenance man, and he tried EVERY SINGLE key in camp. None of them worked.
NOT A SINGLE KEY WOULD UNLOCK CELL JAIL. We finally ended up cutting the lock off with bolt cutters.
Some would just call this coincidence, or a strange circumstance. Some of my staff think I was out to get them by preventing them from getting their phones for their hour off. To me though, it was an answered prayer. An awesome way that God made himself known to me and to that women's staff member.
Even after she got her phone from cell jail, she didn't receive a single text bearing bad news for the rest of the week. I hope you can feel my excitement here, because our God is alive! Our God answers prayers, even in the form of a locked cell jail.
This is just one example of how God had been answering my prayers this summer. I have so many more that I would love to share. I have been brought to tears and have been chilled with the way prayers are being answered this summer.
Satan can't touch this. I have actually been humming the song in my head most days, because it is a helpful reminder to be to be on guard against the Enemy. In John it speaks of how the Enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. Well let me tell you, I'm done with letting the Enemy win. So I'm praying more, praying fervently, and God is answering. I've been sharing this theme with my women's staff too. I tell my 32 girls almost daily that the condition of our knees *figuratively* is a representation of our hearts and our lives. When girls come to be overwhelmed with problems that I can see may be a result of Satan filling their head with lies, I send them to the woods.
It's become a thing actually. Staff left and right are going into the woods to pray and to be with God. It has been an incredible thing to watch, and extremely humbling to me. As a "fixer" I have learned to relinquish the power to God, the ultimate fixer, and I love how he is healing my women's staff. I have loved watching them come back from the woods overwhelmed with God's faithfulness and eager to tell me how he has given them peace or answered a specific prayer.
Satan has tried to interfere with our mission this summer. He has used death, insecurities, comparison, drama, and many other targeted sins to try and distract us from the real mission: letting campers see the light of Christ. So as I tell my women's staff, and as I leave you now, remember Satan Can't Touch This. God has already won the war. Be on guard, and recognize when the Enemy is craftily attacking.