Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turnaround

I wiped my sweaty brow with an even sweatier forearm, frowning at the futility of the action as I made eye contact with one of our Cabin Directors. It was the end of the week, and we were both feeling fatigued. He gave a slight smile and spoke over the combined noise of the gym fans and the noisy campers he was dutifully supervising.

This has got to be the biggest turnaround I’ve ever seen in a camper,” he said.

Suddenly he had my full attention. This Cabin Director was speaking from four years of experience, and I had to know to whom he was referring. He pointed out one of the campers playing basketball 20 feet away, and I shook my head is amazement.

The camper he indicated had been a handful of trouble all week long. On more that one occasion, the Cabin Director had brought him to my Assistant Director for discipline issues. Multiple times they’d had serious conversations about his behavior problems and the resulting consequences.

Sadly, there had been no improvement. I had wondered if the nightly chapel services were having any impact on him at all. But something had occurred on the last night of Camp. It wasn’t accompanied by any dramatic, outward display of emotion, but that camper had awoken Friday morning thoroughly changed.

“It’s like a complete 180 degree turn,” the Cabin Director said. “You’d never think this was the same kid.”

Now it was my turn to smile. We both knew that there’s only One who can turn a life around so dramatically. Only One can transform a teenager from the inside out. His name is Jesus, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this camper had a personal encounter with Him.

You played just as important a role in that encounter as any of our staff members. Through your prayers and support, you enable this ministry to continue to operate by faith, making encounters like this possible, not only for that campers, but also for many more just like him.



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