The first time I had the opportunity to serve as a counselor at Camp Joy, a special needs camp,
it was an amazing and humbling opportunity. I wanted to experience the camp from a
counselor’s perspective, and I’m so grateful that I was able to do this. My eyes were opened to
what it means to put my own faith into action.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). The great King of Kings and Lord of
Lords showed us a marvelous example of true service. This stands in stark contrast to the world
we live in, where we hear, “Be all you can be” and “Because you’re worth it.” We take “selfies”
and want people to know our accomplishments on social media. Children want to be at the
front of the line, and for many children, one of their first words is, “mine.”
When I first met my camper at Camp Joy, I thought to myself, “This could not be that hard,”
because I had a fairly easy camper who could take care of himself. I soon learned that that was
simply not the case. After a few days, though, I realized that I was the one who was learning
from my camper. He began to care and serve me, and he showed me what it was like to follow
Jesus. His simple, childlike faith was such an example to me. I may have had all the Bible college
and seminary knowledge, but he had the heart of Jesus. His great faith and love for Christ were
evident as he sang, read his Bible, and served all of those around him.
I remember one particular time at camp when the rains poured down outside. This kept us
inside where we ate supper, and because of the rain, we had to have our chapel time in the
same place we ate supper. All the campers and counselors were sitting in their chairs as the
staff worked hard to figure out what to do and how to change the schedule. Our worship leader
decided to play some music while all the confusion was going on, and he began playing a few
hymns as we waited. As the hymns played, we noticed the campers began to sing and worship.
One camper stood to his feet and walked on stage. After the hymn, he looked out over the
crowd and said, “God loves me, God loves you.” Sermon preached!
Jesus showed us what it means to truly serve. He looked out not for His own interest, but for
the interest of others. He showed us what it meant to serve and love unconditionally, and, like
the campers at Camp Joy, we, too, should follow His example.