Dear Camp Berachah,
Words cannot describe how much you’ve done for me.
In your presence, I gained a family, mentor, faith, and, most importantly, a love. A love for kids. A love for Christian camps. A love for God.
I came to you as a girl, who was only at camp because of her family and I was lost in sin and rebellion. When I came to you, I wanted to be part of the “cool” group and made that my priority. That same summer, I fell in love with you.
The next summer, I came back excited for what was going to happen, yet I didn’t know my world was going to be flipped upside down. That was the summer I gained family, faith, and a mentor.
June 17th, 2014. I stood in your chapel, the same place my parents committed their lives to each other through words of “I do.” and God opened my eyes to what I was missing. Tears poured down my face and moments later my life was devoted to the King.
Same place, a week later, God used me. I became a vessel that impacted another girl’s life.
You watched me cry the next week, as I felt broken and incapable of what was ahead of me. Yet, the fire reignited and you watched me serve Him as a new creation.
You watched me come back one, last summer, expecting the greatest summer of my life. You didn't cease to amaze me
You watched me reconnect with the people I loved. The people you brought together as family. You saw the joy around the campfire, the long talks in parking lots, and ultimately 10 weeks of fellowship amongst people who loved kids, each other, and God.
You saw my struggle with pride, as I learned to let others shine.
You saw God open my eyes to His plan, not my own. And I learned as much as those 10 years old did that week.
You saw my promotion and the joy of living with my best friend.
You saw the first ignition of my joy for adventure that summer.
You saw the gospel open the eyes of the girls He placed in my group that week.
You saw the prayers of salvation and recommitment amongst those girls, whom He touched.
Finally, You watched tears stream down my face as my last day in your presence come to a close. You witnessed my heavy heart as I hugged the family you created for the last time. You saw me filled with hope for another summer as I left the tree lined road.
Yet, I didn’t get another summer with you. I didn’t get to feel the joy you brought me again. I didn't get to see the kids I promised another summer. And now all Im left with s memories.
Memories of carrying water jugs, daily devotions, camp songs, laughs, messy games, cabin bunks, long talks by the creek, campfires and smores, and the endless lanyards made in the craft room.
Thank you. Thank you for giving my parents a home, my sister a home, and me a home. Thank you for being a vessel of God’s love for so many years. Thank you for never ceasing to show me the blessings found in your valley.
Berachah, you are missed.