A Tough Lesson

6 or 7 years ago we had enjoyed another great week in Sweden and were having our last evening of the week with all the kids. Late in the evening, one of the campers, who had been to the camp for a number of years prior, began crying uncontrollably. Several of us went over to her to see what the problem was. She was one of the kids who come to the camp who was already a Christian. That's usually around half the kids.

She confided in us that she was crying because the camp was almost over and the next day she would have to return home. We had gotten to know her parents over the years and knew she was from a good home so we were perplexed. She went on to tell us that her school had 2,000 kids and she was the only Christian. She spent all year feeling like the outsider in everything she did and this week was the only week of the year where she could relax and really explore and invest in her faith. The rest of the year, everything socially for her peers revolved around parties, drinking, drugs and sex. We had been to Sweden 5-6 times before this particular year and had always had a blast but had never learned that tough lesson. It was like getting punched in the stomach to realize what many of these kids were going to try to work through and how much they would be looking forward to the next year's camp.

Our travel home, usually spiced by a lot of humor and joking, was very solemn that year. Another kid told us "I really don't like golf at all but I look forward to the camp every year just to be around other Christian kids for a week. I just tolerate the golf for the week." It was at that very moment that the entire scope of the trip changed for us and we began to learn more of the importance of discipleship.

Since that time, we have made a concerted effort to include discipleship into the camp on a daily basis. It has been amazing to see kids that were campers when they were 12 years old, now in their early twenties now still part of the camp only as leaders. Seeing discipleship take place right in front of our faces has been a blessing beyond my ability to explain. This year will be our 15th year of the camp. It's still a blast but now, it's much more intentional and focused. We appreciate your support in whatever form it takes.

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