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God Brought Me to This Camp

This has been my third summer working at Camp Wakonda. In 2021, I must admit, I wasn’t very close with God (even though I grew up in an Adventist home). I didn’t pray about coming, and I didn’t feel “impressed” to be there. Somehow, I still ended up having a decent summer, and at the end I was seeing God in a way I hadn’t seen him before.

Fast forward to my second year of working here in 2022. I had grown in my faith and gotten closer with Jesus over the winter. I still didn’t know completely what I was doing and wasn’t the most consistent in my devotions or prayers. But I prayed about going back to Summer Camp. And wonder of wonders, I came back for a second year. The second year was a trying one, with Satan throwing things my way no matter where I turned. But Jesus still found ways to reach me, and I felt Him working in my life in a way like I hadn’t experienced before.

Last winter, after returning home from camp, I slowly sunk down to a low I’d never been in before. Satan tried his hardest to shield me from seeing who God really was and why He was so important in my life. But I eventually continued to persevere, reading more from God’s word, and praying that He would reveal to me where He wanted me to be. I didn’t plan on going back to Wakonda for summer 2023, but I prayed over it. I remember saying, “Lord, if you want me to go back and minister at Camp Wakonda again this summer, then they must reach out to me. They need to ask me in an email.” I thought this was highly unlikely, as usually the process is applying and getting hired again that way. Not long after, I was super surprised to find an email asking me to be the camp's Horse Barn Director this summer.

This summer so far has been a smooth sailing one, for the most part. There are rough patches in every job, and this one is no exception. But I have felt closer to God this summer then any summer I’ve been here so far. Thursday night of Tween Camp, I felt compelled to make the choice for baptism. Pastor Drew, my home church pastor, was there for the week, and he was proud of my decision. Because I’m a bit older, and have been through studies before, he and Pastor Zack told me if I wanted to, I could be baptized the next day. I said, “no…that’s too soon.” I arranged to do it at my home church later in August, feeling like I could do it then, and feel more prepared. I felt too nervous about it.

Fast forward to Teen Camp, and I felt again compelled to come up when Pastor Myoung called for decisions for baptism. This time, I felt something in my heart. But I wasn’t quite sure until the next morning, when I heard Pastor Drew was coming back, just to baptize my brother. I told Pastor Zack then and there I wanted to be baptized that day. It all worked out perfectly and I was baptized Friday of Teen Camp. It is the best decision I have ever made, and I continue to choose Jesus in my life each day.

I may have ministered to hundreds of campers. I may have shown Jesus to one of them in a way that they never saw Him before. But I also feel in my heart that God brought me to this camp knowing that He would be able to connect with me more closely. Without God, I would never have had such a summer like I have so far. I praise God for the strength He gives me every day and I pray, as we finish our last week here as a Summer Camp staff, that He will pour His Holy Spirit out over us in a way like never before so we can finish strong and show His word to these wonderful Family Campers.

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