Friday, June 17, 2011


Well, I'm home from my eighth WydlLife summer camp, and this year was truly spectacular.  Too many holy moments to include in a few brief words here, but there is one unforgettable experience I'll share.

I had the joy of leading a cabin of five energetic, hilarious, and beautiful seventh grade girls, two of which attended a bible study I led second semester. All of these girls are familiar with the Gospel, most of them have church-going families, and all of them were hungry for an encounter with the Living God. And encounter Him they did.

On the third day of camp, kids were confronted with the truth about sin, and it struck these girls hard. As difficult as it is to process the reality of our separation from our Creator, they got it. They understood, after a very lengthy cabin time, how much they need Jesus. When it was time for the message of the Cross that night, they were anxious to know how to have a relationship with the God who loved them enough to conquer the power of sin Himself. 

The next day, the girls kept telling me during our one-on-ones (leaders try to spend one-on-one time with each kid in their cabin to help process the talks and the week of camp) that they had never heard God talked about that way, and they wanted to know more.  The entire camp went on a grueling (but short) hike that reached a peak with beautiful views of Pike's Peak and the surrounding mountains.  And, as we gathered in our group with the Father's masterpiece as our backdrop, the girls all agreed: they wanted to be sure of their salvation and begin a relationship with the God of love.  I led them in prayer, and that morning, the Kingdom of God was greater because five beautiful young girls gave their lives to Jesus.  Whether they had prayed this prayer before, or for the very first time, that morning marked the start of a journey of faith for each of them, and I was honored to be present.

This photo is of the girls at the top of the hike, just after they entered the Kingdom! Praise God for calling His sweet daughters to Himself this week! Now the real work begins: after I get back from my summer assignment at Crooked Creek, we'll be starting up Campaigners bible study again and working through the book of John.  Can't wait to show these girls how to follow the King!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

I had the gift of heading home to Steamboat over Memorial Weekend for the wedding of one of my best friends from high school, and I was reminded of how much I adore that place.  And not simply because it's one of the most beautiful places in the country, or because it's a resort town, or because the people are so laid back and easy-going. Steamboat is where I grew up, where I learned about faith, and where God laid the foundations of who I would become.  Steamboat is home.

When I first left for college, I would have laughed in your face if you told me I'd want to move back someday. I couldn't wait to leave small-town life and discover something new. Moving to Colorado Springs was an act of God itself, since I was utterly convinced that I wanted to leave Colorado and go to a private Christian college in Minnesota. Instead, the Father led me here, where I went to a smaller state school, got a degree in English, and became a WyldLife leader at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High. And here I am, three years after graduating from college, on staff with Young Life because God whispered a calling into my ears, and I answered with a "Yes." And, truly, I am convinced that there is no better way to spend my life than loving kids and welcoming them into the Kingdom of God. I am so grateful for the way the Father has orchestrated the events of my life, so humbled that He would choose me for this. 

Thinking of my journey on staff has caused me to remember those experiences and relationships that He used to form and shape my heart around His own, and so many of those are because of people in Steamboat.  When my dad passed away, our church and friends cared for us and, I've no doubt, spent many hours in prayer for us.   My life is dedicated to following Jesus because so many people, from my youth pastors and leaders to family friends to my peers, taught me how to read Scripture, how to pray, how to love people, and how to trust steadily in the Father's deep, unfailing love for me.  Because they loved Jesus so deeply and loved me so well, I love Him too, and I am able to teach Young Life leaders and kids how to do the same. I owe many of you a great deal of gratitude for that, because I don't think I'd be here without those prayers, conversations and discipleship.  Thank you, Steamboat friends, for that gift! You are a part of what the Father is doing here in the Springs, and your legacy of faith continues on. 

As my sister and I were driving up Rabbit Ears Pass on Sunday afternoon, leaving a day early to make it back in time for Cheyenne Mountain High School kids' graduation parties, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of sadness. It's always hard to leave home, but I left knowing that I was coming back here to the Springs, to continue to follow the Spirit's voice and to give to others what Steamboat gave to me.  Steamboat will always be home, but I know that God Himself has called me here.