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“Yes to Jesus”

Middle school camp was a challenge and joy from beginning to end! We kicked it off with a 10-hour bus ride to the Blueridge mountains in Virginia. The camp was so spread out and full of hills that even the kids complained, which actually turned out to be a blessing because they could only move so fast up those hills, offering me opportunities to relate to them and just chat. Of course, all the usual middle school drama followed us down BUT, God was there in those Blue Ridge mountains and He worked in the lives of these young ones in spite of the challenges! There are two girls in particular I want to tell you about, Aria and Moriah.

Aria was an add on to camp at the last minute and I’m so thankful that she was! She openly shared her pain and sadness about her Dad who has been in prison and unfortunately will be for years. She broke down many times at camp because she just needed someone to hug, love, and reassure her that she was going to be ok. She accepted Jesus there at camp and on the long bus ride home downloaded a bible app on her phone and excitedly asked which book she should read first. She’s making her way through the book of John and has good questions about it and what it means to “accept Jesus”. She is such a joy! Aria and I have spent a little time together since camp and she is still motivated and excited to learn more about Jesus and His story. We went to Jumpin” Jacks for ice cream, sat along the river and just talked about things going on in her life and how she was feeling. It was such a sweet time and I’m so grateful to God for sending Aria to us at City Life. I can’t wait to see her each week at Club and watch her grow in her faith!

Moriah is a kid from a Christian home who also responded yes to Jesus for the first time. She said in our small group that she had never heard the gospel explained to her that way, so she never had an opportunity to accept Jesus before. As she sat on her bunk telling us this, she broke out in tears and said she had never felt so loved and accepted before in her life. Moriah was just so overcome with presence of the Holy Spirit in her and her emotions showed it. How beautiful is that?

I’m in awe each year as we take our kids to camp and see God begin to transform their lives, it never ever gets old. He is sovereign, praise God!

-Cherie Vedder
*Names have been changed