On the final night of YFC Camp, I stood in a bathroom with three other YFC women from all over the country picking hundreds of lice out of Sami’s hair. This is how I met Sami; truly the Gospel being played out as I met her right in a vulnerable mess. Throughout the week, some of us leaders were critiquing the quality of the camp food while Sami was asking for seconds. Though we were aching in camp beds, Sami slept better than ever in a bed of her own without her parents arguing. She had found a new level of home all week at YFC Camp. As she packed up her things to load the bus home, we checked in and asked her what her favorite part of camp was. She began proudly playing with her newly braided hair and said, “Spa Night!” This was the night we treated and picked the lice out of her hair! Even as the speaker talked about Jesus all week long, it wasn’t until three strangers surrounded Sami in her mess, humbling ourselves as we picked the bugs off her head that she SAW Jesus.
That’s what I love about YFC Camp. I once learned of a psychological principle that says someone can’t be concerned with achieving their full potential, much less spiritual belonging, until their basic needs are being met. It may sound strange, but this is why I love YFC Camp. Each summer, as a national organization, we take thousands of students to YFC Camps all over the country. Back home, some students have to share beds or couches with their siblings, but YFC Camp gives them a bed of their own! Whereas some of our students are tasked with cooking for their families and fasting for much of the summer, YFC Camp serves students three meals complete with dessert and all of the seconds their stomachs can handle! While many students are forced into adult responsibilities and anxieties, YFC Camp surrounds them with leaders to take care of them and love them so they can just have fun for a week.
It is through all of these needs being provided we start to see students like sweet Sami let down their walls and be the
teenagers they are meant to be. Here even students who were hardened towards the Gospel all year soften as they are not only hearing it through the speaker, but experiencing it all around them. I don’t know where Sami left YFC Camp as far as a relationship with Jesus, but I do know she didn’t just hear of God’s love for her, but she saw and felt it because YFC Camp truly is Where Everything Changes.
Huntington MS Campus Life Director