Julianna and I were paired to work with a church from Oklahoma. To be honest, I was a little uneasy about them at first. After all, they were OU people, and I attend UT. So, I naturally was expecting some sort bickering, but that was not the case. I'm pretty sure Julianna and I both feel like our week would not have been as incredible as it was had we not been working with that church.
The first day, we went to the park where the camp was to be held, and we planned for the week and prayer-walked the grounds. I got to talk to one of the girls in the Oklahoma group, and she opened up to me.
She was about to enter her senior year of high school, and she reminded me so much of a friend I had in high school named Erin. She was in student council, lots of sports, honor classes, and was very involved in her church—exactly like Erin. The difference is that she had been through so much medically and just been challenged all of her life. But she had a fire for the Lord unlike any I have ever seen. She longed for people to come to know Jesus Christ, and she was an encouragement to everybody.
Throughout the week she was leading the group of younger kids, ages 3 to 5. She never complained. Instead, she treated the little ones with so much kindness their parents went to her after the day camp was over and wanted to talk with her. It was incredible.
As we got in the van, she told me about all the things that she was struggling with back home. She didn't complain to me—she was just craving advice and guidance. This was totally a God thing, because some of the things that she is and has been going through I've already been through and conquered with Christ. I shared with her some of my experiences and how I got through it with Jesus. I gave her some Scriptures that I relied on during those times, like Jeremiah 29:11 and pretty much the whole story of Job. I just reminded her about the love God has for her.
She looked at me and said: “I just don't feel like he's been around lately. I don't know what to do.”
I looked at her and walked her through the day and all that had happened, telling her that God was everywhere she was today. I saw it. The parents of the kids she was working with saw it. When she finally thought about what I was saying, she saw it, too.
She was stuggling, but Jesus was still with her. He was giving her a love that she showed others all week—a love that the people didn't understand. It's the kind of love that can only come from the Father above.
I love that God can be with us and even though we are so human and don't see him, a lot of the time it's just because we forgot to look. God is so faithful in all that he does, even if we don't see it. We just have to trust that he's got it all worked out.
Caitlin Campbell, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, is serving with Go Now Missions in Philadelphia.