Faith in Action – Day 12

June 12
Jackson Lyda
Covenant College
(Greenville ARP Church)

How often do we associate true, unhindered joy with our worship? Often times we overlook the
jubilant predilection of what we do every Sunday and hopefully every day in between, but the
essence of worship is true, unfettered joy in the Gospel. Thankfully, I’ve had the privilege to
work somewhere where joyful worship is nearly constant.

This place is appropriately named Camp Joy. Campers at Camp Joy are individuals, each with
their own array of talents. While the world may consider them lesser, they are able to truly shine
when involved in worship. Every worship service begins with a series of songs that a lot might
consider simple. The Bonclarken chapel fills with the sound of singing that is borderline shouting
as each camper puts their whole self into singing every word of the simple camp songs. One
camper in particular sings loudly, epitomizing ‘making a joyful noise’. (Psalm 98:4) You can hear
in the way he sings that he believes the redemptive truths in every song. Reading Scripture is
also met with eagerness from campers, and praying aloud and publically is met with
unparalleled zeal. There is one camper who always volunteers to pray, and he makes sure no
blessing or gift is not accounted for. He is so happy to have the ability to talk directly to God, in a
way I have scarcely witnessed anywhere else. But most of all, in any Camp Joy worship service,
there is an understanding for many campers that their worship is a microcosm of heaven. My
special friend this past year embodied this understanding. He is essentially paralyzed, and it’s
difficult for him to speak, much less sing. But every opportunity he gets he reminds you that his
condition on this earth is temporary, and in heaven he will be able to ‘love God like everyone
does here’ (his words, not mine). My special friend’s heavenly-mindedness creates a joy that
transcends his struggles on this earth. Every year he takes the stage at the Camp Joy talent
show to sing “I Can Only Imagine,” and it never fails to move the counselors to tears.

It is this joy that makes Camp Joy not only a place for people like me to witness to those with
special needs, but to be witnessed to a little bit myself – witnessed to about how I can better
glorify my heavenly Father, about how to better use my talents, about being joyful in any
situation. We can all benefit from singing a little more boldly, being more excited to delve into
Scripture, and being more ready to pray. And of course, we can all grow ourselves
tremendously by adopting a jubilant and heavenly-minded attitude. This is why Camp Joy
matters so much to me and why I will continue to come back for as long as I possibly can.