I just got back from my 4th year at Lost Canyon Camp in Arizona and once again I am blown away at the way that God works. The first time I went to camp, I went as a guest with my husband, Yousef. We were just starting up YoungLives in Orange County and we wanted to check out what camp was all about before taking girls the following year. As we watched cars, vans, and busses of girls arrive that first year I remember watching with tear-filled eyes, praying that someday I could come back with some of the young mamas that I had left back at home.
We have now taken 3 trips to Lost Canyon for summer camp and each year is different and more amazing in its own way. Being pregnant, I was worried that this year would be the hardest one yet for me but surprisingly it wasn’t. We took a group of 7 girls, 8 of their children, 3 leaders, 3 childcare volunteers and 2 committee members came as guests! By the end of the week we all felt like family!
The first few days of camp are super fast paced and the girls had a blast despite having to stay up until midnight several nights to bathe their children, shower, re-wash and prep bottles for the following day, pack diaper bags, and put their kiddos to sleep. These ladies are incredible! Kylie and Bri were amazing leaders. They jumped in to rock babies, clean up vomit, talk to a mom, and troubleshoot whenever needed. I was so blessed by their servant hearts and the way they loved on each of the girls throughout the week.
Kim and Jim, two of our committee members and two of the busiest people I know, took the time to spend the full week at camp with us as guests! To the girls and babies it felt like they had loving grandparents there to cheer them on throughout the week. They attended all of the events and photographed and filmed pretty much every waking moment! As the week progressed we got to hear the Gospel message at our daily club meetings and then engage in a discussion back in our cabin. Each year I am blown away at how God begins to work in each person’s heart – He steps in and speaks, heals, renews, and strengthens in a way that is just right for each girl, each past, each story. This year was no exception. We talked, watched, prayed, and listened as the girls grew closer to God or had an encounter with Him for the first time. I am so grateful that Kim and Jim were able to capture some of the girls’ stories and thoughts on film throughout the week and I look forward to sharing some of them with you in the near future.
I had an exciting personal moment at camp when I felt Baby Elijah kick during the first club talk. At the end of the week Yousef and I were taking this “pregnancy pic” when the girls decided to jump in. I can’t help but smile when I think of the experiences our little one has had already. I pray that he will grow to know the Lord and experience Him in ways like these girls have this week.
Thank you to everyone that prayed for us and contributed financially to make this trip possible- it has made an eternal impact.