As a child, the highlights and growth spurts in my spiritual life took place at camp, so now I take advantage of every opportunity I have to provide a camp experience for our children and girls.  This year, while many were enjoying Spring Break vacations, our older kids were experiencing a survival camp in the mountains hosted by YWAM (Youth With A Mission).

A few years back, my daughter, Helina, along with New Hope intern, Corinne, participated in this camp and it was such an amazing experience that they wanted our girls to have it as well.  This year Helina went as a leader and was able to be a fly on the wall, watching each group challenge and bearing witness to much personal growth in each participant. 

There is something about being pushed beyond what you think you can possibly do, taking you past your limits, allowing you to discover where your strength comes from and how strong you really are. 

I wondered if a few of them would talk to me or look me in the eye when it was over, as I knew it would stretch some even more than others. Being stretched can be more than frustrating. It can make you mad! 

Another special dynamic about this trip is that it always takes place during holy week --the week that stretched Jesus to the point of sweating blood.  The hardest week in history.  

Jesus is always our example to follow and if we choose to walk with Him in His resurrection we too will be called to times of stretching, suffering, death.

They were so excited to go.  Excited to buy the equipment.  Excited to be going on an adventure for the week.  But they had NO clue what they were getting into.  Lol!  Do we ever truly know what we are getting ourselves into? 

And yet God uses our excitement,

our initiative,

our obedience,

and He fills us with His power, strength and perfect peace. 

By the way, they all did talk to me and look me in the eye upon their return.  Some confessed they had never been so happy to see Vidal and Grieci as they picked them up!  They were thrilled to have had the chance to learn how strong they are and how faithful God is! We are already looking forward to next year and praying about some of them returning as leaders. 

May God continue to open doors of opportunities to be stretched and grow into our best selves!