Executive Director at South Mountain Christian Camp in Bostic, NC reflects on life at Camp and how the ministry makes an impact through Summer Camp, Weekend Retreats, Outdoor Environmental Education, and Challenge Course programs.
“Give it one more try, Pastor Steve!” Even though I was getting a little tired at 10 pm on the fifth week of summer camp, I consented to the voices of the campers who were in the gym with me.
Basketball in hand, I took my stance at mid-court. I bounced the ball three times, glanced over my shoulder, then flung the ball backwards toward the goal 50 feet behind me. Swish! The ball dropped right through the hoop, and the campers erupted with excitement, undaunted by the fact that it had taken me ten tries to make the shot. “I knew you just needed one more try!” one of the campers shouted above the commotion.
Indeed one more try can make all the difference in the world. Just ask Denise, one of our campers from this past summer. Denise had come to camp several years ago, and things had not gone so well for her. At age nine, she had already developed a violent temper which sadly resulted in her being sent home from Camp.
This year, at age fourteen, she had decided to give it one more try. She arrived nervous and anxious about how her week would go. When she asked me if I remembered her, it took just a few moments before the images of her reddened face screaming foul language at me returned to my mind.
I smiled and said, “I do remember you. Are you ready to give Camp another try?”
She smiled and nodded. She seemed a little embarrassed, but I could sense that things would go better for her this year.
As the week progressed, Denise did seem to be having a much better experience. She was respectful to her Cabin Director and developed good relationships with the other girls in her cabin.
Then on the fourth night of Camp, God got a hold of her heart. She prayed to surrender her life to Jesus, and she was born again! On Friday morning, she was baptized in our pool. She went home at the end of that week, forever changed by the love of God.
Many times we face challenges that seem impossible. Past failures (and even repeated failures) may make us feel like giving up. But sometimes we just need someone to encourage us to give it “one more try.” You never know what might happen.
We do know that God never gives up on us, no matter how many failures we go through. He has a great plan for your life. Just like the campers on the basketball court, He us undaunted by how many times you may have messed up. He just wants you to give it one more try.