This past week, I had the unique experience of bringing my world with Heartsong and my life back home together. It was a surreal experience driving the van from Connecticut, through Massachusetts, and then into the familiar scenery of New Hampshire. As I threw the van into park in front my house and stepped out into the ridiculous 95 degree weather, my two worlds suddenly collided into one. The whole team was able to hang out at my house on Saturday night before leading worship at my church the next morning. I was thankful that everyone I have grown so close to on Heartsong got to spend time with my family, as well as for the members of my church that I grew up in to be able to see firsthand the ministry that I do with Heartsong all summer.
After playing at my home church, we quickly make the 40-minute jaunt to Camp Berea and set up for a chapel service that evening. Leading worship at Berea was a cool opportunity because of the fact that during my senior year of high school, I had attended a winter retreat there as a camper. At that retreat in high school, God brought me to the point where I just told Him that whatever He wanted me to do with my life, I would do. Since then, it has been amazing to see God guiding me and drastically changing my priorities in life.
God used my time at Camp Berea to once again to challenge me to see what is truly important. The entire time we were at camp, the weather was blistering hot and humid enough to drown a donkey on dry land (despite my prior promises to teammates of cool New England weather), yet I never once heard any of the staff at camp complaining about the heat. Many of the staff had been working there for years, and all of them were excited to wake up each day and serve, whether it was taking out trash or working in the kitchen/sauna. One awesome guy that introduced himself as Grandpa Bill had been around Berea over 40 years, and he was still overjoyed each morning and afternoon to teach the campers riflery. More than anything, he just wanted to show campers the love of Jesus.
We were able to connect with Deryl Reininger, the speaker for the week, and spend time talking and hanging out with him. It was awesome to see him interact with campers all day, and he challenged us all to trust God with our whole lives. Deryl had been through a lot in his life, and he has experiences a lot of really difficult things. On Wednesday night, Deryl spoke about Jesus and our need of Christ. Without Him and His grace in our lives, life would be pointless. That night, about two-thirds of the campers stood up to either accept Christ or to begin a fresh start in their relationship with Him. It was so awesome to see the Spirit of God at work! We were shown that He is not restrained by anything, even hot, humid temperatures, despite any hang-ups we might have about the weather!
In regard to the staff, at first, I found myself thinking how I was thankful that I wasn’t spending years of my life working at a camp that doesn’t really pay a whole lot. Throughout the week, however, I was challenged to reevaluate my priorities. I slowly began to realize that nothing in life is as important as what each of the staff at Berea was doing daily—working to share the love of Christ with others. Whether or not I ever make much money or live in a certain area or am working in a particular field, it all pales in comparison to the souls of the kids coming to camp. I was reminded this week that nothing in this life is as important as serving Christ, in whatever capacity that may be.