Ryan only came to camp to get out of his house. He didn’t really want to be here, and he certainly didn’t want to hear about Jesus. He had five siblings (from five different fathers) living in the same home with him, and they all got on his nerves. Camp was just a chance to get away from them for a while.
During the first part of the week, Ryan amused himself by pushing against the rules to see how his cabin director would respond. The results were not what he was expecting. Rather than exploding in anger as most adults in his life had done, Ryan’s cabin director, Eli, continued to correct him with patience and love.
So, Ryan pushed harder. This earned him a talk with the Assistant Director and a stern warning, but still no explosion.
Then, one morning during cabin devotions, Eli explained how Jesus died to take away sin. Ryan tried to tune it out, but he had to admit, it was an interesting idea. When other campers starting sharing how Jesus had changed their hearts, Ryan’s chest began thumping loudly. He wondered if he was missing out on something.
Then Eli explained that this salvation was available to anyone who would surrender their life to Christ. The news was overwhelming. Could this be real? he wondered. Is this why Eli is so different? Ryan began sobbing. He’d never heard about a God who loved so much.
The small group gathered around to pray for him, and there in that small huddle, Ryan gave his heart to Jesus and received the free gift of eternal life. He left camp at the end of that week changed forever.
This is what South Mountain Christian Camp is all about, and this is no isolated incident. Stories of young lives that have been changed have been pouring in all summer long, and we give glory and praise to God for each one!
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