We spent last week with 22 of our High School youth out at Camp Barnabas. It is a camp for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Our youth are partnered with a camper and are their 23-hour a day caretaker. They wake them up, help them eat, groom, and do activities. This year we had kids give you their testimony and we will share a couple over the next two weeks. They were asked three questions: (1) What does camp mean to you? (2) How do you see God at camp? (3) How has Camp Barnabas affected your faith? Here are the first few below!
Camp Barnabas is the happiest place on earth, what I would call a thin slice of heaven. On the surface is a camp for kids who have special needs to experience camp, but I believe it is something much more than that. It is a place where people are truly allowed to be themselves, and a place where God is seen in all places.
Camp has allowed me to experience love like no other, which is what makes it so magical. I believe that is this place is what enables God to really be seen, and it is through the campers that my faith has grown stronger. Most people would think that at a special needs camp I’m the one helping the camper, but in reality they’re the ones helping me.
To me Camp Barnabas is a place full of love, acceptance, and faith. As soon as I enter the gates I am encompassed by God’s presence and love. Being there, among the campers, I understand my purpose as a Christian: to be selfless and kind to the people around me not matter what they look like or think like.
Every time I go to camp I see my relationship with God strengthened especially by being a missionary; watching the other campers; and worshipping with the whole community at Barnabas. I truly believe that Camp Barnabas is a beautiful place or a slice of heaven on Earth.
Rachel Muttiah (1st time counselor)
To me Camp Barnabas means growing up a little, and letting go of all of my needs, and focusing on someone else.
I see God in the kids that are coming to accept Jesus in their life.
It has helped me grow a little more in my faith, and become more open to what my faith means.
More to come next week!
Grace and Peace,