My assignment at Crooked Creek Ranch was nothing short of exhausting, but I saw the Father move in powerful, and often extraordinary, ways. My role at Crooked Creek was to serve as a head leader, which included everything from caring for volunteer leaders and staff to making sure kids were where they needed to be. Three other incredible folks made up our little team of head leaders, and I was truly blessed to serve alongside of them all month. We attended every event, ran leader meetings, hosted meals in the dining hall, took care of emergencies, prayed and cried with leaders over their kids, checked in with every cabin at night, and were glued to our walkie-talkies at all times. If kids got caught with drugs, we handled the discipline. If kids were sneaking out at night, we swept the camp to find them. If leaders were stressed out or exhausted, we encouraged them to keep fighting for their kids. If a kid was throwing up in the middle of the night, we showed up until the camp doctor arrived. I was stretched and challenged in every way possible, but it was a beautiful month!
One of the beautiful pieces of being a head leader was having my fingers on the pulse of what was happening in the lives of kids and leaders while at camp. I saw lonely, abused, broken, angry, and even defiant kids experience the life and freedom of Jesus Christ each week. And I watched their leaders experience it with them. I am changed because of my month at Crooked Creek.
I now have a rejuvenated perspective on the year ahead, as well as an intensified passion for the kids in the city of Colorado Springs. While at Crooked Creek, I read this quote from Henry Drummond:
"Believe in your city. What else? In Jesus Christ. What about Him? That He wants to make your city better; that that is what He would be doing if he lived there. What else? Believe in yourself -- that you, even you, can do some of the work which He would like done, and that unless you do it, it will remain undone. How are you to begin? As Christ did. First He looked at the city; then He wept over it; then He died for it."
I have been ruminating on this quote for the last several weeks as I've thought about what this year will bring. To believe in this city -- in the leaders and staff that God Himself has assembled to share His love with hundreds of high school and middle school kids, to believe unswervingly in the power of Jesus Christ, and to believe in myself and what the Father has called me to -- that is my hope for this year.