And they’re off!
So many thanks to long-time (since childhood) friend Rick Seavey! He drove down from Washington to pick up the boys and take them to Silver Lake Camp to film this week’s video.
Of course, the boys are super excited! Two things they particularly love: video projects and camp!
But this is so much more than that.
I grew up going to this camp. In fact, Rick and I both did, but I especially did. I was 6 years old the first time I went to 7-and-8-year-old camp (thanks for talking them into letting me come, Mom and Dad! There are perks with being “mature for her age”), and it quickly became one of my favorite places in the world. Not only was it hilariously and uniquely fun (it really was!) but God met me there every time I ever went (which was every summer all the way into high school).
I received foundational Bible teaching that sticks with me to this day, witnessed miracles, and saw extraordinary specific visions of my future (which have all come true, by the way). I experienced the presence of God in profound, transformative ways there. I am who I am today and thousands of lives have been touched over our years of ministry in part because of that camp.
Truth be told, my boys have grown up at camp. I do mean that. Having been to camps every summer of their lives as youth pastor's kids, a district youth director/camp director's kids, and lead pastor's kids, those boys are about as much "camp veterans" as kids can get!
Yet I’ve been wanting my boys to get the chance to go to that camp. I’ve been watching it from a distance through Rick’s reports and recaps each year and seeing good fruit—fruit which I’ve wanted my kids to taste.
I know it’s really not “the camp” but God who does the deep, lasting work, and that God can do anything anywhere, but a deep desire had grown in my heart for my kids to get to go to this camp, specifically, for at least a handful of years.
This year the desire intensified dramatically.
I started to feel frustrated: “I wish my kids could go! Too bad we don’t live in Washington!”
Then I started to feel curious: “I wonder if there’s a way I could get my kids signed up anyway?”
But the cost…
It’s not a cheap camp.
And we’ve had to be especially strategic with our expenses this year.
Even if I were to manage to talk a random church in Washington into including my two Oregonians, we’d be on the hook for another big dip into savings. (This entire year has been a big dip into savings already.)
Then I made a determination: “God has been answering so many prayers lately. It seems every time we submit something to Him, He acts on our behalf. He’s not my genie. He’s not my vending machine. But I’m gonna ask on this one!”
Suddenly I was filled with faith! How could I not be? One instance after another of answered prayers and God’s faithfulness (just from this year alone!) flooded my mind, and I knew this is something I could boldly request of God.
Hebrews 4:16 says this:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
This wasn’t exactly an issue of mercy or grace (Maybe? Kind of? I guess?), but it was about the desire for my kids to experience God in a place where God has met me so many times. It was about looking to the same God who says,
“You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2)
“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
It was about asking the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and who gives the desires of hearts to those who delight in Him (Psalm 37:4).
I delight in Him, and I knew He could do it…So I asked!
“Lord, you can do anything. Would you make a way for my kids to go to Silver Lake Camp? I don’t know how to figure this out, but before they graduate next year—this year—would you please figure it out for me? Please make a way. In Jesus’ name, amen!”
Wouldn’t you know…but three days later I received this precious message from my friend:
“Hey, I wanted to see if it would be ok with you and Joel if I asked your boys to come help our summer camp with some video work and editing for our camp video. We have a guy leading the charge but we need some extra hands to record and edit. I can't really pay them, but we would cover their camp registration and cover all of the cost associated with coming… Let me know what you guys think. [No] pressure at all. I just thought of them and their giftings.”
[Insert stunned face.]
Let me just pick my jaw off the floor, throw my hands in the air, and PRAISE THE LORD for answered prayer!”
My eager response:
“YES!!! Rick, I have been praying that God would open up a door for them to go to Silver Lake. That would be amazing, and they would love to help!”
Friends, God is good!
Psalm 37:4 says,
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I have always interpreted it to mean that God both gives us (places within us) desires and gives them to us (fulfills them). I know that is what He did for me in this instance, and I believe I have no choice but to trust that He’s going to use this camp this week to accomplish something special for my kids and for those they are serving while they use their gifts for the Lord.
God cares. He wants the best for His kids. Don’t be afraid to bring your needs and desires before the throne of grace.
Mark 11:24 says,
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
You, like any Giant, can trust the invitation God extends in His Word because He is faithful.
To God be the glory!
***** UPDATE: Want to see how the video turned out? Here ya' go!
[Videography: John & Andy Morris; Video Editing: John Morris; Logo Animation: Andy Morris]