“I remember walking into chapel that night and feeling like God wanted to tell me something.”
Covenant Pines Bible Camp is a place where God shows up. Covenant Pines isn’t just a place to grow closer to Christ, it is a place to be transformed by Him. Eyes are opened to an infinitely powerful God, and an eternally loving savior. God works in unique and obscure ways, whether it’s speaking through a staff member, through a captivating sunset over a serene, peaceful lake, through worship, or through the God given words of a speaker.
For me, that transformation took place a couple of summers ago at Junior High Summer Camp. The summer of 2013 was a time period of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. That summer was the transition from middle school to high school, and I was terrified. Since I could not accept who God made me to be, I didn’t think anyone else would. For the longest time, I had felt that God must have made a mistake when he made me. In August, I hopped on the bus to camp, excited for a week away from my worries and fears about the ever looming freshmen year at high school. While entering into camp, I had no idea that God was going to transform the way I look at myself, the way I view Him, and also transform my relationship with Him. The first major blessing God gave me that summer was my counselor, Katie Gullickson, my second year of having her as a counselor! God’s love pours through everything she does; she is a living testament of God’s love and compassion. Katie was kind, she was encouraging, and she genuinely cared for every one of us. As the week went on, Katie showed us the importance of having a relationship with Christ, and she showed us this by living it! God not only showed up through Katie, but also through chapel.
It was U-Turn night, a night to focus our attention on what God is trying to tell us. I remember walking into chapel that night and feeling like God wanted to tell me something. The night began with worship, and I started to notice that most of the songs were about surrender. Then the speaker, Joel Johnson, spoke about the importance of surrendering. The whole evening, God was poking at me, focusing my attention on the mysterious idea of total surrender. I was confused as to what God was trying to tell me. Finally, Joel prayed for us and gave us a minute to pray individually. I closed my eyes and I asked God, what is it that you want me to surrender? I kept my eyes closed, not expecting a clear answer, but a clear answer came. He responded quickly and clearly saying, “yourself.” I was taken aback, hearing God’s voice, so clear and powerful was incredible and overwhelming. In that moment, I was not only granted the answer to my question, but understood that God is more powerful than I could have ever imagined. God showed me that I have no reason to worry, because He has my future in his hands. The all powerful, all knowing, loving God holds my future in His hands. That week at Covenant Pines I understood the impact of total surrender, and I went home changed. I was changed by the presence of God, the beauty of camp, and the love shown from staff members. That week at camp still impacts me today. Without covenant pines, my relationship with God would not be where it is now. I have learned how to really live a life of faith and the true impact Christ can have on my life and on the lives of others around me. I’ve formed new relationships and strengthened old relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Through covenant pines and the work of God, I formed a friendship, and then mentor ship with the one and only Katie G 🙂 I am continuously amazed by the overwhelming impact camp has had on my life!