Monday, July 31, 2017

Camp Joshua NC 2017

This past week was Camp Joshua North Carolina!

We were at a different campground this year as the old place shut down. The location was beautiful. 

I was honored to spend a couple days with a fabulous group of hilarious, passionate, interesting teenagers (and counselors and staff). This was the 5th consecutive year that I've been a part of Camp Joshua and it's always a highlight of my Summer. :) I've been involved since the first year here in NC. There are Camp Joshua chapters all around the United States. With each passing year, it's been slowly but surely building up here in the state where I live.

What is Camp Joshua? It's a pro-life camp for high-school students, where they learn how to defend the sanctity of all life in a culture that does not value life. Through workshops, games, and interacting with others, it's a jam-packed couple days. They are also able to connect with others who become lasting friends. There are workshops on abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, stem-cell research, adoption, etc.

From the website: "Joshua is a model of a young leader that took action. Just as Joshua took down the walls of Jericho, the young men and women of Camp Joshua will lead their generation in bringing down the walls of the culture of death. They will be Joshua to our world in need."

I have been blessed to lead "The Impact of Abortion" workshop each year, where I share my story and how abortion impacts the women who have them, as well as other family members and the culture as a whole. The kids are respectful and receptive and I am thankful God gives me this opportunity to make an impact on their lives. As I share with them, being pro-life is not inherited and passed down through the generations. It is encouraging to me to see young people caring about these issues and educating themselves, as well as learning compassion and empathy. They are learning to have a heart for everyone impacted by these issues. Being pro-life is not just about the babies, as many people opposing abortion like to imagine. Being pro-life is about loving the moms, dads, babies, those affected by the laws surrounding assisted suicide and euthanasia. It's about treasuring each day of our own lives, appreciating the beauty of God's creation, holding our grandparent's hands. What it truly means to be pro-life cannot be captured in a mere few words or thoughts.

It is my hope and prayer that through my sharing my story, these kids will carry the importance of the sanctity of life and the value of walking in purity. Who knows where they themselves may one day end up or where one of their friends or acquaintances will end up and how they will be able to speak into their lives. It's a ripple effect that we will never be able to measure. I know God brings the specific teens there that He wants to be there and I am humbled to be a small part of Camp Joshua. I'm excited to see how God continues to grow it in the future!

These teens keep me young at heart. ;) We have a blast with playing games like "Animal Call" and "Signs." We joke and have serious discussions and get to know each other over good food and bonfires.

If you have a teen in your own life or know someone who does, please check out Camp Joshua (there could be one in your state)! Most the kids love it so much they choose to come back year after year to be involved with the leadership team. It's great to meet new friends each year and to see several familiar faces as well. :)


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