Ah Ha Moment
While attending a retreat last October, I had an “Ah Ha” moment—you know, a light bulb went off. I finally understood why I enjoy spending so much time in nature and love so much serving in the camp ministry. In my early childhood I moved from family to family, often wondering, “Who do I belong to?” “Who would really miss me if I wasn’t here any longer?” Well you know what? When I am in the woods, running or hiking a trail, floating down a river, swimming in a lake, standing on a mountain ridge, sleeping in a tent, watching a camp fire, or working at camp, I don’t wonder about this. You know why? Because it is there, amongst the trees, the animals, insects, the breeze, and the very earth I was formed from, I truly feel CLOSE to GOD. It is in those places—removed from the chaos, stressors and influences of the world—that I know WHO I belong to!!!
And only HE alone can make me whole.
HE formed the earth, trees, flowers, sun, moon, stars, lakes, rivers, oceans, animals, wind—all this for us to enjoy. This world, is not a result of some extreme change in temperature or atmospheric pressure, nor was it created through some humongous explosion! Oh my gosh—this is so much more beautifully and wonderfully complex than that! Every last intricate detail in nature was planned by The Creator…PERIOD!!!
Camp really is a part of me—a part of who I am and what I was created to do!
When serving in the camp ministry, I feel I have purpose—I somehow, feel complete.
Besides being drawn by its nature, you know what else draws me back to camp? Relationships! New and old—the relationships formed as we live, breathe, eat, sleep, play, worship, study, pray, grow, struggle and serve along side one another…are—PRICELESS!
This you can’t get in your living room!
with excitement and anticipation…
of what the next summer at Camp…
holds in store for me.
Both GOD’s Creation and HIS Word reveal HIS greatness—HIS Holiness! I believe we walk on HOLY GROUND every day.
Psalm 19:1-6 says:
“The Heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
Night after night they make Him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
Their voice is silent in the skies;
Yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to all the world.
The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.”
We are constantly surrounded by a glorious display of GOD’s craftsmanship. Nature provides dramatic evidence of HIS existence. I thank HIM for sharing such magnificent beauty with me!
What does this have to do with the camp/retreat ministry? Well, I believe the great outdoors is a “burning bush”—”holy ground.” I am continually drawn to be in its presence—because when there, I feel I am in HIS presence. But I also have a strong desire and passion to lead others into a relationship with GOD, our Papa, The CREATOR, through such a relationship with HIS nature. We do indeed have a relationship with HIS nature—HIS hands formed us from the very earth HE created—then HE breathed HIS own breath into us. Now that is a relationship!
I think that is why I like dirt! I love the smell of it, especially after a rain. It’s as if I can smell the nutrients—that in so many ways, give and sustain life. Again, all provided by HIM because of HIS loving relationship with us.
So, I continue to study, grow, prepare, stumble, grow some more, stumble some more, love HIM and love others so that each day I may be molded into something a little bit more like who HE would have me to be. Camp has been, and hopefully will continue to be, a part of my growth—my journey. I humbly ask for an opportunity to serve you through this ministry. I am just Elaine, but GOD can use me, my relationship with HIM, and HIS nature (HIS holy ground) to lead others into their own personal relationships with HIM.
HE does exist and I desire for others to know what I know!
I desire to build relationships that will ultimately lead others to the GREATEST relationship of all!
Elaine E. Foster
For more info about Elaine please visit her website here.