Dear Camp Arnold Summer Staff of 2009,

It’s been one week.
It feels like it’s been a lifetime.

Were you all ever really here?? I know you were.. but it seems like it was some really awesome dream or something.

This summer you all taught me about being part of the body of Christ. We cried for each other, we laughed, we encouraged, we shared and taught.. without your faces, this camp seems incredibly lonely.. and even despite the groups here, it feels empty.

The other day I watched the Side-by-Side staff laughing and I declared “all of these people here, and none of them are my friends…”

I appreciate all of you, and I’m so blessed to have spent the summer alongside you, sharing Christ with campers. Even if you didn’t always feel it or recognize it, you made a difference.

Thank you for putting up with my loud laughing, thank you for sitting next to me when I cried, thank you for singing songs with me, thank you for laughing at my stupid jokes, thank you for the kind notes and the encouraging hugs. Thank you for knowing when to leave me alone and when to push me. Thank you for your smiles, your prayers, your heart and your faithfulness.

My life? Forever changed. I look back at all of you with nothing but a warm heart and a deep fondness. While it saddens my heart that in our brief time on earth we will probably never all gather together at once again.. I anticipate a reunion in heaven. It warms my heart to know that our friendships carry over into eternity.. makes the distance a little easier to bear.

The Apostle Paul said it best when writing to the church in Philippi. Glad to know I am in good company as my heart yearns to be with you all again..

3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

 

I love you all. Let’s stay in touch forever.

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