Wrapping Up Summer 2015

Camp Grace, Relating Publicly, Travel

I can hardly believe that over two weeks ago we said goodbye to our last campers at Camp Grace New York. I had a great month helping to serve nearly 100 kids on 150 acres overlooking the Hudson Valley. The property and view were amazing, and the staff and kids there were even more incredible

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Many of the kids we served in New York were from Operation Exodus and had been to camp before. I love watching returning campers because they are so excited about coming back. It is obviously one of their favorite weeks of the year. We were also able to serve a new ministry partner called Born Again Disciples. I also love to see new campers experience camp for the first time. The two weeks of camp were full and exciting.

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As much as I enjoyed doing camp again, it was not always smooth sailing. I was absolutely exhausted from eight weeks of camp in Georgia and even got sick for a short period. The Lord definitely taught me about leaning on Him and pushed me to really die to self during exhaustion and weakness in order to serve. It was challenging, but seeing the fruit of everyone’s hard work was worth each second I struggled. Praise God for growing me in every circumstance!

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We saw 27 first time salvations within two weeks! The majority of the 100 campers who attended accepted Christ last year and experienced more spiritual growth during camp this year. Seeing the joy and knowledge gained within just six days was incredibly rewarding.

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I was also fortunate to visit NYC three times during my stay. I had not been in four years, so I enjoyed walking around and seeing new parts of the city I never experienced. Several of the staff had never been to the city, so I had a lot of fun being able to share their first experience with them.

Spending time in the city and working with summer staff who are from the area really helped me realize how much camp is needed for the kids. So many of them need to get out of the city to have a change of setting and a gain new perspective. They face many temptations and hard circumstances in such an overwhelming, busy setting, and having a place to escape to and grow in is huge for them.

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Roadtripping up with my #MediaTeam was a blast, and the boys did an incredible job capturing camp in just two weeks. You should definitely check out the CGNY Facebook and watch the video at the bottom to see some of their hard work! I’m so thankful for them.

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Since my return almost two weeks ago, I have been easing into my duties for the off-season while also recovering from the 14 weeks of summer camp hours. I still have a lot of support raising to do on top of my fundraising, social media and design duties. If you would like to join my support team, click HERE. I could not be a part of this ministry without you!

Thank you for your prayers and support! I am so excited to see what God does next at camp.

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June Update

Camp Grace, God
Forty-one. The number of days since I started working at Camp Grace full-time. They have easily been the 41 busiest days of my life, but also some of the most incredible. This morning I spent a few hours just being with Jesus and meditating over the past six weeks so I could gather my thoughts for this update. There was much needed filling up after weeks of pouring out.
 I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have at camp. I love my job. I love watching kids with heartbreaking stories join a family with eternal hope. Witnessing heart changes makes 16 hour work days worth each second. I’m tired, and Galatians 6:9 has been a reoccurring theme for the summer. Although I am called to work hard, I also know that there is a time for everything, especially rest.
 I have felt overwhelmed lately with the amount of roles I have at camp. Publicist. Designer. CIT director. Social media strategist. Supporter of leadership staff. Camera(wo)man. Head of the #MediaTeam. I would be lying if I said I never grow weary. However, I am reminded that I am nothing without Christ, and my true identity is in Him. When I fall short in my jobs (which I often do), I’m reminded that I’m free to fail because I’m defined by Christ’s actions, not my performance.
Some days I am still discouraged, but God is faithful to remind me what a gift it is to serve here. My favorite reminder was given to me on Friday. I had just finished shooting an interview with an urban partner, when my boss, Carrie called me over to the high zip line.
“Michael is about to conquer his fear. I want you to film it.”
I sat on a platform for 30 minutes while several of us encouraged him to jump from the top of the tower. It was not pleasant. The heat index here has been around roughly 110 degrees, so sitting with my camera aimed up was uncomfortable. Lucas, our camp director, sat on top of the zip talking to Michael. Things got quiet. Carrie looked at me and I realized that the child was praying a very important prayer on top of the tower. After he was done, he jumped, and I gained a brother in Christ as we all sweated at the high zip. I was also able to interview him right after, and it was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had behind a camera.
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I wish I had time to type all of the stories of life change that we witness each day. It’s surreal and an honor to help be the eyes of Camp Grace that show the public what we do. Thank you for your support!
  • Please pray for the hearts of the hundreds of children who will come through camp in the next month.
  • Pray for this next week, as we will host over 90 foster children. Pray for the staff that they will show grace and love amidst brokenness.
  • Pray for the strength and energy of all of staff as we enter the second, more difficult half of the summer. Pray that we will always remember the ‘WHY’ of camp and that we do everything for Christ’s glory.

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