The Power of Camp
- Friday, June 08, 2012
"They helped me grow. I thought if they could help me, then I could help other kids,” Zach says. “I thought it’d be an opportunity, a new step in my life to help people.”
As a high school junior, Zach is eager to become a counselor at Jumonville once he’s 18, and he aspires to work full-time someday at a camp, perhaps as a director. “It’s hard to believe he was the same kid I met who wouldn’t shake my hand or look at my face,” Ree says.
Back at Grace Adventures, Foday Cole also returned to serve as a counselor in training, a role he proved to be a natural for. “He was phenomenal working with younger students and building into them,” Ben says. “His fun-loving spirit and relational side really came out once he was able to experience that love himself.”
The 19-year-old refugee still faces challenges. He finished high school and is attending a technical school, but reading remains difficult. Still he is working to write a book about his life experiences, and he dreams of returning to Sierra Leone as a pastor who brings God’s love and hope to his homeland. Those who remember him there may not recognize the young man whose life is marked more by joy than anger. “Maybe there’s a purpose for me,” Foday says. “My purpose will be to go back home to tell others what I learned.”
Who knows? Maybe Foday will start a camp in his homeland someday. “Camps of all shapes and sizes across the country experience the same kinds of results,” says CCCA’s Gregg Hunter. “There’s just no denying that God uses the unique environment of camps to powerfully change lives.”
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