Camp ministry changes lives. It allows students to experience freedom within God’s creation, surrounded by staff who want them to encounter Christ. I’ve felt this firsthand – I dedicated my life to Christ as a sophomore in high school at Camp Tadmor. I’ve served for three summers at Camp Tadmor and grew so much during that time. I could have never imagined how God would use that week in 2015 to shape the rest of my life.
During my first full summer in 2016, God uncovered my servant’s heart. The SWAT team serves as janitorial staff – kitchen work, cleaning the facilities, and helping with landscape projects. It was this summer that truly opened my eyes to who God is and how He wants us to live. My team spent every waking moment serving and looking to God for strength. But my summer of service transformed my heart from seeing God as a last resort to the One who comes first. That switch gave me a newfound joy, one I was willing to go “all in” for.
To remain faithful and follow God’s call, I served again in 2018 and 2019 on the program team. As the staff responsible for running the summer program, our duties ranged from video, skits, games, and all things thematic. It required so much of my time and heart that I could not do it alone. In my moments of energy and the ones of exhaustion, God led me to surrender to Him. Just as I had given Him entire summers of time, I needed to give Him small moments of joy and ones of weakness, too. This posture of surrender has followed me out of Tadmor and has opened my eyes to God’s power and control in every situation.
My experiences at Camp Tadmor have radically impacted my faith and life. When I began my time with Tadmor, I had no direction. But God spoke through my lead staff and mentors to affirm and reveal His perfect plan. My time at Tadmor has given me a desire to serve, so I presently serve in my local church. It also prepared me for future ministry opportunities. In five short months, I will be embarking on a missionary internship to Slovakia where I will do programming for high school summer camps. God opened my eyes to my passion for camp ministry and how He has uniquely designed me for serving creatively. So, I’m looking forward to serving wholeheartedly, using the skills I sharpened at Tadmor in a new and exciting way.
I believe God can move in powerful ways through camp ministry. My entire faith journey has been saturated by Tadmor and the work God has done in me there. Campers come back summer after summer to be immersed in a loving and God-centered atmosphere. Staff return to serve because they see lives change and feel the Spirit’s transformation power in them, as well. When we surrender our time to God, He will respond and stretch us in unimaginable ways.
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