I’m sure many of you reading this have wondered from time to time what camp does during the non-summer months, and that is a logical question. The summers are packed with fun weeks of summer camp, lots of kids, exciting activities, and studying the Word of God. But what about the fall, winter, and spring? You may have guessed that there are groups such as youth groups, family camps, and church retreats that come in on the weekends to use our facilities and activities, but most of the time during the week, the camp is pretty quiet except for the office where lots of planning, meetings, and registrations are going on.
Almost exactly two years ago, I found myself joining the Full Time staff out at Frontier Camp and was encouraged by our Director, Matt, to find a way to use some the wonderful resources that God has given camp, the horses, during the quiet weeks of the fall, winter, and spring. Knowing how much horses can be used to build confidence in kids, we partnered with a local church and found a few girls who have grown up with either rough family situations, or are currently going through tough and trying times in their lives, and started what we now call “2:42.”
2:42 got it’s name from Act’s 2:42, a verse that I feel is a great summary for what the ministry is about. In Acts 2:42, it talks about how the new believers who had just been saved after hearing the truth from Peter’s teaching, were “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. Our ministry with these girls is centered around this verse, as the girls come out and spend time together with other believers, study God’s word together and pray for each other.
Throughout the year, it has been encouraging to see the girls grow in their horseback riding skills, gaining confidence in themselves, and even bonding with their horses, but even more so, they have been growing in an even more important relationship with their Heavenly Father. Throughout our Bible Studies, I have seen the girls realize what Christ has done for them on the Cross and the way they should respond to what He has done for them. As a sinner, my response to a perfect, holy Savior dying so that I can live and have a relationship with Him should be to desire to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Even though Satan throws so many temptations at us and sets snares for us, we can overcome it. God will not let us be tempted by anything too much for us to overcome, but has given us His Spirit, His Word, and other believers to help us. We have been focusing a lot the past few months on how let the Holy Spirit guide our actions, how to spend time in the word, memorizing scripture, etc, and to be able to use that to fight off satan, and how to have accountability and fellowship with other believers to help us stand strong.
This past week, I asked one of the girls to teach a lesson on something that she is passionate about. She did a GREAT job, even though her fear of talking in front of others caused her to shake a bit. She drew from two main passages: Psalm 139:14 and Ephesians 5:18. Her main point was that we need to realize who God made us to be, something special, beautiful, and useful for His purposes. We should allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and control every aspect of what we do. She shared about a previously Alcoholic father and the hardships that her family had faced, but her experience with that allowed her to understand exactly what was meant when Ephesians 5 talks about not being drunk but instead being filled with the Holy Spirit. Then, she went on to talk about her mother who had gone to rehab for eating disorders, and how that had affected her. It is so sad to me to know that this young Junior High girl has had to experience so much hardship in her life, but it was encouraging to see that she understands that what her parents resorted to is not the answer. She passionately shared with the girls that they all are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God fashioned them to be exactly who they are, and encouraged them to glorify the Lord in everything that they do. Praise the Lord! That was encouraging for all of them and for me to hear!
Don’t let fear stop you from encouraging others in the Lord. I challenge you to share about something God is teaching you with someone you come in contact with this week. Maybe you will be an encouragement to them, just like the young girl in my group was an encouragement to me and the other girls this week.