Pure Joy

Posted: June 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

I am filling in a few posts this week that were missed last week while I was working at something that is pure joy for me. I served as the teacher for a week of Haven Camp, a camp for adults with developmental disabilities held several times a year at Delta Lake Bible Conference. I did my usual preaching, teaching and speed painting with this amazing group of people. It is beyond a doubt the most interactive thing I do all year. These people are a blast to work with. They are totally uninhibited, with no fear of being wrong. They answer questions, ask questions, and sometimes share some pretty deep things. I love working with these people. I might as well admit it. I just plain love these people. Their hearts are open and honest, and they truly are pure joy.

I love the fact that they keep me honest. They have no problem at all with slamming the brakes if I say something they don’t understand. They shout out their guesses on what I am painting, and they love on each other like virtually no other group of people I have experienced. They are vulnerable and at times even raw, but their love for each other and for Jesus is palpable. I love this camp.

But there’s more. I will confess that there are times where I get a little depressed these days. It feels like the whole world is going in the same direction at times, and I fear for the next generation. Then I go to Haven Camp. My “co-workers” for the week are the counselors. Most of these people are very young—high school and college students. These young people have no idea how much they bless me. They restore my faith in humanity. They work with these folks and guide and bless them and more than once this past week my eyes welled up with tears as I witnessed their grace, compassion and love for the campers. One example of this was with one of the new campers. His name was Paul. Paul is blind, and the smile never left his face once the whole week. One of the games the campers play is called grid soccer. It is a game where the gym floor is gridded off with cones and the object of the game is to stay within your square, and kick the ball as it comes to you. You might think a game like this would be reserved for sighted campers, but no, Paul’s counselor, led Paul to his box in the grid, and then stood there just to the front of Paul. Every time the ball came toward Paul, his counselor would stop the ball and position the ball where Paul could kick. Every time he made a kick, every single time, all the campers and staff erupted with applause and Paul’s smile got eve bigger. I am convinced that these young counselors are some of the best people God has made and they touched my heart time and time again.

The staff at Delta Lake are phenomenal. Their leadership is visionary and this camp is a vitally important ministry. I love this ministry and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves someone with a disability. If you happen to be in leadership with a camp, you really need to make contact with Delta Lake. Ministering at Delta Lake over the last six years or so has been life changing for me. Contact me if you’d like more information.

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