It isn't just the campers that are impacted deeply at camp. Coaches come away from serving at camp changed too.
Brady, a Camp Travis coach, is not ashamed to say, "Elliot made me cry in front of parents." He will also be more than glad to tell just why his heart was changed through Elliot and each camper in his cabin Session Six.
In High School, Brady excelled in sports. It was his desire and plan to play on the colligate level. But, through a tough injury, God began to rewrite Brady's story. Even coming into camp, Brady wasn't at what he felt was the top of his physical game. He was battling a broken ankle... and the broken pride that went with it.
But Brady pressed on and made up his mind to serve as Christ would serve. He knew being at camp wasn't about him, but about the kids. He desired to see campers grow and excel and become the men Christ wants them to be. What he didn't know was just how much God would use the kids to grow him.
The young men of Black Fork gathered like every other cabin on opening day... a little uneasy as they shook hands, exchanged names and engaged in the various ice-breaker games intended to bring them together. Regardless of the nerves within, each of the Black Fork guys showed a readiness for adventure ahead and whatever the week had in store for them.
We know that each camper brings something unique to the cabin... something more than their sleeping bag and trunk. They bring their personalities, their stories and their perspectives. And the cabin of Black Fork quickly saw what they each brought would come together to make a life changing week!
One Camper, Elliot, does life in a wheelchair. His perspective is easy to pick up on. He is hard working, lives life well without wasting fun, and expects no special treatment, a perspective he has chosen to thrive in.
The other cabin mates... it is as if they were handpicked to all be together. The Black Fork Coaches will quickly tell you that they out served each other in ways that blew them away. To see sixteen year old boys walk and talk like Jesus set the stage for a week that changed them all.
For Brady, God taught him great things through these young Black Fork men.
He witnessed them experience God's goodness on earth. By working physically hard together all week, this team of campers tapped into an eternal strength they now knew they had access to. It was obvious God had orchastrated this group of young men thousands of years ago in order to to show them His own faithfulness. And in that one week, of one summer, in a small camp in South Texas, God used those campers to reveal a lesson to Brady through Elliot.
As Brady struggled with bitterness about his injury and inability to run as fast as he knows he could or should, his heart began to change into one of thankfulness because of the attitude he saw Elliot choose every single day.
We can't plan these things. We can't write these stories. We can't handpick the people that will shape our lives. But we can be completely willing to let God do this in us. At T Bar M Camps, campers and coaches and families alike experience God work in life transforming ways.
But camp isn't the only place where God moves mountains, when we take time to 'Think Twice' about how God is orchestrating the people, situations and circumstances of our days, it is evident He is doing greater things to reveal His truth to us.