My first MK Camp came at a difficult time in my life. A couple years before my family had moved to a new area of the country, and the ministry was very busy and challenging. I had left school and friends behind and started an on-line high school program. Loneliness as well as spiritual struggle were a painful reality for me.
So, I viewed MK Camp as a "get-away" with the potential to be fun. I didn't know that it would be a great source of encouragement to me -- so much so that now twelve years later, life's current struggles seem less overwhelming as I reflect on the encouragement I received from my experiences and from the leaders at camp.
The first encouragement I received was the somber lesson from the life of King David, about how important it is to study God's Word. If a man like David, a man after God's own heart, could stray so deeply into sin because of his lack of focus on God, then it was important for me to unfalteringly read and obey God's Word. The theme of camp that year was "One step closer," and I desired to trust God and to know Him more.
The second encouragement was when I approached and talked at length with an older and more experienced MK. She was a missionary and a mother of MKs, and she listened to me. I remember the stars were bright the night we sat outside and talked, and I was able to open up about some of the deepest feelings in my heart. We prayed together, and my loneliness started to seem much less overwhelming, especially in comparison to the life I was being called to live.
Finally, on the last day of camp as we were packing up to leave, the director, Uncle Steve, said to me: "Jacqueline, I've been watching you this week, And I think you have potential of being a leader. So, if you ever want to come back here, just let me know." I think those words are pretty accurate, because I wrote them down in my journal after camp -- and even more, they left a permanent imprint on my mind and heart. I really needed to be affirmed that I was a part of God's plan and that He thought I was worth training for His service. I later had the privilege of serving at MK Camp for two consecutive summers, and that time also molded and guided me in other life decisions.
I wish I could say that life instantly became easier right after that first year at camp, because it didn't. In fact, on the drive home from camp that year, I was informed of some painful events that had taken place in our ministry at home which would greatly alter our lives. My circumstances had not become easier, more difficult in fact, but I had a reassurance in my heart of God's faithfulness and love for me. You see, God used MK camp at a critical period in my life to show me that He was using my circumstances to bring about His redemption work, even when I did not always understand the pain. He used MK Camp to strengthen my relationship with Him.
Thank you, Lord, for MK Camp.