Dear Friends and Family,
When I think about this last summer of camp, three words come to mind: evangelism, discipleship, and worship. I would like to share several stories with you that represent all three.
Evangelism. Three boys from my cabins accepted the Lord this summer. At the testimony fire on Thursday night during teen week, one of my guys shared how he had been coming to camp for three years and had finally accepted the Lord. One sows, another waters, but God gives the increase!
Discipleship. A lot of the young men in my cabins this summer were already believers, so we focused on what it means to be a Christian man. I think of a young man named John, who was in my cabin last year. I had the privilege of having him in my cabin again this summer, and the change in his behavior was amazing! There was abundant evidence that his confession of faith the previous summer was indeed the real deal! I think of the discipleship that happens with the Jr. Staff as well. During one of our “Sunshine Camps” for mentally and physically handicapped, all the counselors in the cabin where I was head counselor were Jr. Staff young men that had worked all summer long. It was such a joy to see their genuine love for the campers and an honor to serve with them.
Worship. One of the great joys of my life is the opportunity to lead the people of God in worship of Him in music. This summer we were so grateful to have Caleb Carlson (Steve and Diana Smith’s nephew) with us. Caleb is also a worship leader, and a very gifted one. We worked together a lot this summer, backing each other up, and assisting Diana when she led. One of the most extraordinary experiences of a worship leader’s life is seeing the looks on fellow believers’ faces as they worship our Savior. Whether it’s the face of a camper or worker, I am always delighted to see someone engaging with God. One week, Caleb and I both noticed a young lady, who had come with her church from Texas, interacting with God in worship in a way that was one of the most moving things I have ever seen. Caleb later filled me in on some of her story. She had been scheduled to go to college the previous year but had gotten sick. In the midst of her changed plans, God gave her the opportunity to teach piano to a surprisingly large number of students. It is often in the wilderness experiences of life that God’s truth worth is seen. I am so grateful for our chapel services where the worth of God is taught and the people of God are given the opportunity to sing to Him of His worth!
I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I am in the midst of an “interesting” season of ministry. On August 20, my tonsils were removed. They were so large they were interfering with my breathing whether asleep or awake. Upon removal, an ongoing infection was also discovered. I am so thankful for my surgeon and his team. A week later I started hemorrhaging and had to be rushed to the hospital. The Lord’s timing was amazing! That was the only day of the week my surgeon was in town, and we arrived just in time for him to be able to work on me immediately. The recovery is a bit of a process. Right now, I can hardly talk and am under Dr.’s orders to stay away from crowds. I’m not supposed to sing for a month and then will start vocal rehab exercises that my Dr. prescribes. As you can imagine, this is kind of frustrating for someone who uses his voice so much in speaking and singing, but I am trusting the Lord. In the mean time, I have plenty of work to keep me busy as I am able. I am studying for an upcoming ordination and sermons, working on correspondence, and am seeking to write some follow up material to use with campers who have chosen to follow Christ. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for a quick and full recovery. I am very eager to get back on the road, visiting churches to play music and speak, telling folks about KMM and finishing raising my support.
Thank you so much to all of you for your prayers and support which made such a fantastic summer possible! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for you, my teammates! You are never far from my thoughts and prayers!