Saturday, August 4, 2012

This God, His way is Perfect

Last week when I wrote, camp was ending and I was facing what I thought was going to be another intense time of raising support. Today, camp is over, and God has rained down support in ways I never dreamed possible. For most of the summer, my support level had increased slightly from about 60% to around 65%. I have to admit that faith is not one of my stronger gifts, and so when I originally arrived home in June with my support level was in the negatives, I wondered if I should even go to Csehy. I prayed earnestly that my support would reach 90% before I left for camp. I kept saying, "God, you know how difficult it is for me to focus on two things at once." As if He needed reminding :)"This God--His way is perfect" (2 Samuel 22:31...amazing chapter!!) Throughout the summer, I prayed and waited, asking God to cause me to focus on the campers and not be distracted with things I cannot control. I had done all I knew how to do, and all that was left to do was wait. Looking back, I know that I could have worried more, and honestly there were some dark, lonely moments. However, I am amazed at the focus which God gave, and the relationships He caused. It was such a joy to sit and pray with campers as they rededicated their lives to Christ. To be able to sit with them and talk about their futures. To see in them so much of myself. I think the thing which impressed me the most (and I think I mentioned this before, sorry!) was the tenderness of heart towards spiritual things. During Sing and Share time each night (it's exactly what it sounds like!), at weekend bonfires, and in individual conversation, so many campers poured out their hearts, about problems in their lives which they knew needed to be changed, about a desire to know more of God and become more like Him. Some were keenly aware that their lives were not sold out to Christ, and desperately wanted to change that. What precious rebukes! With each encounter, I felt a pressing in my spirit, "Lauren, how much do you love Me?"
I also want to take a second here to acknowledge my counseling team. Words fail to do justice. This group exemplified the servant hearts of the early church. Acts 1:14 says that "with one accord [devoted] themselves to prayer" I wish that you could have been with this group when they prayed. Each was sensitive to God's leading, and the blessing of praying with and being prayed for by this group was incredible. When there was a need, they instantly responded. To any of my fellow counselors reading this: I know your sacrifice, and of the love you had for each other, the students, faculty and staff, and for our God. Thank you for the privilege of walking with you through this summer. To both Csehy counselors and campers, if any of you read this, know that because I knew you, I am closer to my God. I hold you in my heart, I love you, and I am praying for you.

So what happened with my support in all of this? Literally, when camp ended, the gifts, donations, and monthly commitments began to flood in. Starting on the final Friday of camp, I began to hear of people giving, and desiring to give. At the concert on Saturday, A family friend told me she had already sent a check and wanted to support me regularly!! Affirmation? Absolutely! By midnight Saturday night, I was at 80%! I couldn't have planned it that way if I had tried. So many stories, and so little space. So much blessing. Today, I am joyfully (elated, really) able to tell you that I am at 100%. So many have sacrificed for me to go, and I do not take this lightly. If you have given, and are reading this, I want to say a huge thank you! I am so grateful for the way in which you have responded to the Lord's leading and for your partnership in the ministry at Black Forest Academy. Lord willing, I will leave next week, and am able to use the return part of the round trip ticket purchased this spring. My heart is full. Great is Thy faithfulness!

Aren't they gorgeous? Some of the reasons why I came home this summer.
Handsome, no? Some of the many reasons I am aching to go back to BFA!

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