At Camp Elama in Russia we served with a team from Austin, Texas helping run a camp for at-risk mothers and their children, then we were at Camp Gideon in Estonia with a team from Athens, Georgia helping run a camp for children with disabilities (above). It was great to have so much time with our friends – Russian, Estonian and American. (I also very much enjoyed helping build picnic tables for camp Gideon.)
These days are very clear examples of the unity of the body of Christ. It’s a great comfort experiencing how the Lord unites us, as we love Him and serve others in His name.
My primary role is to help others do what God is calling them to do, so I’m particularly gratified serving in these situations. One camp staff member said that the team from Athens was one of the best she’s ever seen; they served selflessly with joy and unity. What a pleasure to help them serve.
I had several very good conversations with team members and one or two may intern with Stoneworks next summer. In our talks, we often returned to the truth that we must surrender our lives to Christ in order to receive life from Him:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
What we DO should be the fruit of our relationship with Christ, His life expressed through us. We don’t work to earn God’s favor, we work because He has given His favor as a free gift and we want others to be comforted with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.