Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I love a good success story—especially when it comes to our campers. It’s amazing to watch these untamed, grubby cyclones of sweat and laughter develop into productive members of God’s kingdom. Buddy Robinson is a good example of that.
When Buddy first came to camp at age seven, his contagious, gap-toothed smile and enthusiasm spread to everyone around him like a cool breeze on a steamy afternoon. He absolutely loved camp. That summer was life-changing for Buddy because he gave his heart to Jesus. He announced his decision to the whole camp at the end of the week, and I had the honor of baptizing him here in our pool.

As he came back to camp each year after that, I watched Buddy grow from a tiny ball of giggles to a big, strapping football player. After he aged out of our summer camp program, God enabled Buddy to attend Rutherford Early College High School where he earned both his high school diploma and his Associate’s degree by age 18. Buddy’s heart contained a light that shone in everything he did. He was greatly admired by his classmates and teachers for his joy and crazy antics.
From there Buddy went on to Western Carolina University where he played football and earned his Bachelor’s Degree. He had big dreams, and he wasn’t done yet. Buddy went back to WCU to take graduate courses, and was working toward his master’s degree, when he was shot and killed last spring.

Wait a minute. I thought this was supposed to be a success story. How can that be the end? Well, it’s not the end. In July of 1998, Buddy’s spirit was transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ and his forever life began. I grieve because I miss him, but I know I’ll see him on the other side. Then we’ll relive our favorite camp memories like when he raced my daughter on her tricycle and the summer he finally beat me in a game of foosball. And we'll worship God together again. In this life, Buddy did experience some failures; but in his forever life, it’s just continuous, ongoing success with Jesus.

Now, here’s the kicker: Buddy came to camp on a scholarship. That’s right, his life-transforming experience happened because someone decided to invest in a child’s life. Now Buddy is reaping eternal benefits because someone cared enough to write a check to sponsor a child that they didn't even know. That's what I call success.

If you would like to sponsor a child to come to South Mountain this summer, you can make your donation through the button below, or visit our scholarship page for more details.