Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Diary of a camp counsellor [guest post from Natalie Murphy]

My daughter Natalie spent a week in June working as a camp counsellor for at-risk kids from East Austin.  I asked her if I could share a few excerpts from the journal entries she  sent her prayer and financial supporters after she returned home.

I hope her stories will encourage and turn your face toward hope like they did for me....

Let your light shine before others that they may see the good things you do and praise God!
Matthew 5:16
Day 2: Sunday

In and out of training sessions all day, we played games and decorated cabins and ate meals together. The training that happened this evening was perhaps the most powerful since it focused on our heart places and spaces as we share the Gospel.... Worship on Sunday was one of the most powerful things I've ever experienced. The spirit showed up in BIG ways! He called me away from our chapel and out by the lake, where a small wooden cross stands alone. Right before I reached the cross, my foot hit a root and I tripped, landing painfully on my knees in front of it. My knees hit the ground so hard, they bled. But I could not get up. What I saw was a clear sky, filled with the brightest stars. The only thing that blocked my view was the cross, spreading out in terrible glory right before me. I began to sob, only to be interrupted by gasps as I cowered before the Great King. What a wonderful, frightening, beautifully awful moment that was.

Day 5: Wednesday 

LICE. With around 20 confirmed cases among campers and counselors, the whole camp was buzzing with anxiety.

Though I did not have lice, I was so anxious that one small conversation drove me to a complete meltdown somewhere in the afternoon. It wasn't until that evening that I realized what a gift it really was, and remembered the God that works everything together for the good of those who love him. The nurse's station got transformed into a "beauty shop" where girls with lice got special forms of love and affirmation. I've never seen a camper as happy as the girl who came back to my cabin proclaiming she had "the best day ever!"

Day 7: Friday

It is possible that I have never known anything richer than the gifts given to me on Friday. The highlight was bedtime on the last night, when many of the girls asked to be prayed for. A camper asked me to sit next to her and hold her hand and pray over her. I ditched my normal prayer routine and simply thanked God for specific and unique things about her. After the prayer I whispered "Goodnight, I love you." As I walked away, I got pulled back by her little hand wrapped around my pinky finger. She pulled me back and before I had time to ask her to let me go, she wrapped herself around me, clinging to my arms. "I love you," I told her. "I love you," I said two or three more times. I squeezed my eyes really tight, focusing all of my energy on asking for her to know that she is loved. She didn't say anything, but when I looked into her eyes, I could see that she understood. 

And if all that comes out of this week is that one single look in her eyes, it would be more than worth everything.

Visit Natalie's blog, She Can Laugh at the Days to Come

Learn more about Mission: Possible! Austin online

Camp Nikos on Facebook

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...