Saturday, August 25, 2012

Morning Fog - by Tyler Wells

This summer was my first year working on staff at Camp Gilead.  Words cannot describe how much of a blessing the last eight weeks have been.   I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with such a great team, and the chance to see the Lord work in so many ways. 

Before I started working at Camp Gilead, I had a fairly negative perception of fog.  It keeps you from seeing what you want to see, and usually when it’s foggy it’s cold and damp outside.  Being at Camp Gilead has changed that for me.  Despite the negative effects of fog, over the years, the staff has noticed a pattern.  In Carnation, fog in the morning is a good thing.  It means the sun is going to come out and burn the fog away and leave us with a beautiful and sunny afternoon.  For some reason, that’s just what always happens…every time!  Looking back on the summer, it was interesting how excited we all would get when we saw fog in the morning.   

There were times when my circumstances seemed a little foggy throughout the different weeks of camp.  God brought challenges my way and there were times that I couldn’t see what was going on.  Through those challenges, God taught me that I really need to rely on His strength and the encouragement of my amazing coworkers to stand firm, even when things started to get foggy.  It was through some of the foggiest moments that the Lord was shining His radiant light through to reach the hearts of my campers.  Getting through those difficult or foggy times, and being able to look back and see all the ways God was working all along is so encouraging to me. 

I am learning that just as we rejoice in the morning fog that leads to a sunny afternoon, we should also rejoice in our trials, which lead to being able to see God work through them and cause noticeable growth in our lives and the lives of others.   


Tyler Wells

Counselor – Cabin 14

Monday, August 13, 2012

Encouraging - by Kayla Emme

Sometimes at night before bed I will ask my girls to sum up the entire day in one word.  Well, the word I'd use to sum up all of last week would be "encouraging." 

So many things have been said and done this past week that just uplifted my soul.  Laughter and smiles are two of my most favorite things in the world and the Lord blessed me last week with the most smiley, giggly cabin.  I don't think I went one day without at least one of my girls hugging me with a huge smile on their face!

Singing in chapel is probably one of the most encouraging parts of the day.  Just hearing all the voices sing praise to our great God is so inspiring.  Every once in a while there will be a chorus where only the campers sing and when that happens a surge of pure joy and adoration just overwhelms me.  "Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing, power and majesty praise to the King.  Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of Your Name!"  Knowing that God is there and hears our prayers and praises is an incomparable feeling.

But Friday night in the Victory Circle ... that is the pinnacle of inspiration and encouragement at Camp Gilead.  Week after week I see new faces fill those concrete slabs and gaze with tear-filled eyes into the fire and week after week I'm comforted and blessed by listening to such young voices make promises to God that will forever change their life.  Many times kids come to camp with these big burdens or heartbreaking stories and it seems as if there is not joy or happiness in the world for the upcoming generations.  But when a child of God stands in that circle and calls on God for victory in their life, a new hope is born!

So, although usually a week sum up is supposed to be only a word, I have to add a bonus word!


Through all the encouraging and inspiring things that have happened this week, I'm able to look at God's works and have hope for the next generation of heroes of the faith!

Kayla Emme
Camp Gilead Counselor

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mountains, Valleys & Glue by Sara Gardner

"Ask and it will be given to you, and you will find, knock and the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8

Camp is a place of dependence.  It is here that we must rely most heavily on each other.  It is also here that I feel God is most benevolent in giving us those "mountain top" moments.  Or to phrase it better , it is here that we are most willing to let our hearts experience these moments.  Even though there are days when we are not willing to ask, not willing to seek, and not willing to knock, God is still waiting to give, still waiting to reveal and still waiting to open the door. 

The funny thing is, the more that is asked of you, the more you have to ask of the next person.  This is why camp is a place of dependance.  The more a camper tires you and tests your patience, the more you need that encouragement from the next staffer, and the more you need that time with God. 

We, as a staff, are the binding glue that holds the tools together that God uses to carve away at each camper's heart. 

I have seen some tough campers in my short days here, and it is often difficult to hold together.  Because the demands of us are great, our demands are even greater.  Yet no matter what our demand, God will still give, He will still reveal and He will still open the door.

You see, camp is not a place of mountain top moments just because God decided to let them happen more frequently here.  These moments happen because people only come here if they are willing to risk the moments in the valley.  A moment in the valley is the beginning of a mountain climb.  Each step you takes you closer to God and anything in His will, he will surely give you.  One day, you may realize and look back to realize that you are standing on a mountain top of blessings that God has given you.  Everyone that you asked for, however demandingly, was given to you without hesitation. 

If you ask, it will be given you, if you seek, you will find and if you knowck the door will be opened.  So I challenge you, ask for a mountain top, but be ready for the climb! 

Sara Gardner
Camp Gilead Counselor In Training (CIT)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

God is MOVING! - by Jessica Cooper

God is moving!  He is here at camp and changing lives!  Campers are turning to Him and giving up their lives for His sake.  Struggling individuals are trusting HIM and letting go of entrapments.  Those who have walked away or gotten distracted ar falling at His feet and worshipping their Creator once again!  Kids are surrendering areas of weakness for HIS glory!

A lot of campers come from really tough lives at home, but they are putting their faith in Christ.  They are not asking God to change the situation, but to change their attitude towards it.  Lifetime commitments are being formed.  Lasting friendships are created.

God's followers are creating bonds that may last a lifetime.  We worship HIM throughout the day:  in chapel, while waiting in line, on hikes, while eating lunch and when we go to sleep!  Encouragement is on the lips of every staff member.  I'm sure there is always someone praying.  I can look around and witness God's glory, love and power.

Troubles do arise though.  When 12 girls spend all the time together (eating, sleeping, playing, etc) drama will surely begin!  But God uses the strengths one has to build up the weaknesses of others.  Forgiveness is asked.  Lessons are learned.  Friendships are strengthened and life goes on. 

Life at camp is incredible.  Nothing can compare to all that happens here.  It's a time where you are encouraged, challenged, strengthened, enlightened and get to have FUN!!!  I promise you after just a week at camp your life will never be the same. 

Jessica Cooper
Camp Gilead Counselor