Written by Bethany Norris, Summer Staff Counselor from 2021
My experience as a Camp Counselor at Shepherd’s Spring not only grew my prayerful dependence upon the Lord but also stretched me outside of my comfort zone. I had been a homesick little girl at camp many years ago. When the Lord began nudging me to apply as a Counselor for the summer of 2021, I was hesitant at first. However, I was eager to walk by faith knowing that the Lord could use my past experience to help campers.
As a Counselor this past summer, I genuinely loved helping to lead Bible studies, worship, and various fun activities including caving and crafts. My co-counselors and I enjoyed many laughs together! The child-like faith of my campers greatly encouraged my own spiritual growth, spurring me on to know the Lord deeper as I sought to answer their many questions. Having the opportunity to communicate the message of salvation each week was truly a transforming experience.
But one particular camper’s testimony comes to mind when I think back on my time as a Counselor. In the midst of her great homesickness, Annalena and I often sought the Lord together in prayer and in the Word. Psalm 91:4 became a source of peace on emotionally difficult evenings, as the Lord allowed Annalena to spot fluffy, little feathers. This verse states, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” Annalena modeled a life of faith over fear and prayerful dependence upon the Lord to all at camp.
After the morning devotion the next day, I invited all cabin girls to ask questions about salvation in Christ. Annalena expressed interest in discussing the gospel further. Later that evening, we sat at a nearby picnic table with Bibles in hand, reading through the
“Romans Road” passages which outline the message of salvation. These passages teach that all of us are sinful, all of us are in need of a Savior, and Jesus is that Savior. He suffered, died, and rose again to make a way for us to be forgiven for our sin. So, by His grace alone, through faith alone, and not by good works, we can receive salvation which is eternal life with God in heaven and enjoy friendship with God even now, here on earth. After Annalena recalled the truth of what Christ had done in her own words, we prayed together. She was beaming with joy,
grinning from ear to ear, as I offered her a new Bible of her own. Annalena now hopes to be baptized to publicly declare her faith, to tell others about Jesus, and to grow in her understanding of the Lord. Today, her once-found feathers serve as a bookmark in her leather Bible.
Counselor. Comforter. Compassionate Friend. God has so lovingly demonstrated that He is all of these and more through my experience at Shepherd’s Spring. What an incredibly fulfilling opportunity!
This story is published with the knowledge and blessing from Annalena and her parents.