YFC Camp 2022 was my first Camp experience as a Campus Life Director with YFC, and it was spectacular! It wasn’t just the delicious food made by our program team. It wasn’t even ziplining from 40 feet into the beautiful Pelican Lake, or the first night cabin activity, “Protect Your Leader,” or the epic dance parties, pool games, trips to the ice cream shop, and not all the competitions, crud war, or funny skits by the program team. All these experiences are memorable, and in part capture the joy of YFC Camp, but in times of reflection, it’s clear that the experiences that make YFC Camp so life-changing, occur in unexpected, simple, Jesus-filled moments.
It was talks around picnic tables where you sat face to face with a teenage girl, Hannah, who was hurting, broken, and surrounded by a mess of life and sin encamped around her. Throughout the week, we had several conversations in cabin time or around camp about our brokenness; and how it qualifies us for Jesus. We don’t need to have our acts together before coming to Him, and it’s okay if right now we aren’t ready to let go of our messes either; He is with us and He loves us. At YFC Camp, we shared our messes and we shared our stories.
There is power in stories. Being able to sit with Hannah and listen to her share about her past, present, and her hopes and dreams for the future has been powerful. It’s a beautiful moment when you get to share your story, too, and an even more sacred and holy time when you get to share what Jesus has to say about their story and how He has redeemed yours and can redeem theirs, too.
At YFC Camp, the story of the woman at the well was shared. Throughout the passage, we see how the woman’s perception of Jesus changes; first she sees Jesus as a Jew, then a prophet, then the Messiah. She is stunned that He is willing to associate with her, and later, that He knows about her relationship history. The woman realizes that He is no ordinary man. She was deeply impacted by her conversation with Jesus and was eager to share what she has learned.
From this story, Hannah was able to relearn what love actually is as God defines it, and to rest in what it means that God knows us, loves us, respects us, and cares for us. Camp is just the beginning for Hannah who is saying yes to Jesus in faith. She’s ready to continue growing as she is in a discipleship focused, authentic-Christ sharing relationship back home with her YFC leaders. She is excited about learning more of who Jesus is and what His Word says, and is wanting to share that with others just like the woman at the well.
I’m excited to see how God continues to redeem Hannah’s story as she boldly confesses to her peers, her family, and all those she encounters, as she lives a life of being fully known and fully loved by Jesus.
-Bailee Glass, Columbia City High School Campus Life Director
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our students.