Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pure Joy - by Jessica Cooper

I have never experienced a greater joy than to be overtaken by the power and love of the Lord. There is truly nothing like it. Here at Camp Gilead, these moments of splendor happen on a regular basis, at least for me. The Lord blessed me with an incredible cabin filled with 12 lovely ladies. I had no idea that I was capable of loving newfound friends so quickly. We built relationships, friendships and bonds that I pray will last a lifetime. It was my first week of being a counselor here at C+G, and I totally enjoyed all of it.

On Friday after morning chapel all of the camp spread out and had some silent solo time to reflect on the week, pray, read the Word, and just meditate on what we learned this week. Directly following, one of my campers came up to me and said, “Well, I was bored for part of it but the other half I made some decisions. I am going to try hard to live to glorify the Lord in all I do and work harder to please Him. Also I realized that this is the first time I have ever had true joy.  I just love camp! I am surrounded by strong Christians teaching me in the way I should go, wonderful friends, good food and all the activities are so much fun!! I don’t want to leave tomorrow!”

I was blown away! This came from the silent girl in my cabin, and it was like she read my mind perfectly! I felt the same way about Camp Gilead! The experience here literally is the best. I have been majorly encouraged by the testimonies and friendship of my fellow staff and the leaders. I have only spent three weeks here but it feels like months have gone by. We are a family. I feel so blessed to have 5 weeks left here at camp, and dread the day when I have to pack it all up. But God is good and is moving and changing lives at this camp. One of my favorite things here at chapel is to just stand in the middle of chapel and listen to the kids sing around me, praising the name of Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful sounds.
Jessica Cooper
Counselor - Cabin 0
Isaiah 55:12 says: "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

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