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The Power of One

Lexi Hamilton is a summer pastoral intern at The Shepherd's House SDA Church in Wausau, Wisconsin, and is going into her second year as a Theology student at Southern Adventist University. This is her reflection on her time as Teen Division speaker at Wisconsin Conference Camp Meeting.

To call this experience anything less than phenomenal and life-changing would be a severe understatement. Going into Camp Meeting, I had no idea if it was going to be a positive experience. I had been gifted the intimidating task of being the guest speaker for the Teen Division: a task which I felt neither qualified nor prepared for. Though I had spent months pouring over my Bible and asking God what He would like me to say, I still had many doubts. One question that was on the forefront of my mind was due to the fact that I had only preached once in the last year. How could I possibly speak eleven messages straight? In addition to this, I knew that my audience was going to be difficult to connect with and I had little experience speaking to this specific age group. I didn’t know what to expect: would I be able to adapt to their needs and interests?

I cannot adequately put into words the level of anxiety that I was fighting in the hours leading up to the first night. However, through a Spirit-guided interaction with a very wise mentor, I was reminded that all I had to do was try my best to communicate the love of Jesus and remember the value of one. One person brought even one step closer to God is worth it all. I held tightly onto that message and desperately clung to promises in the Bible that reminded me of the help that God provides. Needless to say, God did not let me down.

Every night that I spoke, I knew that it was not me. Words would pour out of me that I had not planned and had not even run through my head. Power and passion was behind my voice, when normally it would have been timid and quiet. When I would need to reconfigure a message to reach my audience better, all of the details fell into place perfectly. When I felt too tired to say a word, I would walk up to the front to speak and God would give an abundance of energy to me so that I could make it through. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It is one thing to feel God carrying me and His power running through me once in a while, it was quite another thing to see that happen every single day.

Not only did God bless the messages, but He also blessed my interactions with the teens. I was able to hear so many of their stories, struggles, victories, and defeats. I was able to learn from their individual perspectives and had the opportunity to point them back to God and His love when they were hurting. Though I had prayed for it fervently, I had not expected them to feel comfortable opening up to me. When it turned out that they did, I again knew that God’s hand was moving. In the end, I hoped more than anything that every one of the teens was able to hear something from God that would help them grasp His radical love and build a personal relationship with Him. But I knew that if just one person left that place with a little better understanding of God, all of the work would have been more than paid off. Even if it was not any of them that experienced that change, I know that I did.

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