Camp Talmid is one of my favorite things we do while we are here in Brisbane. For me, it is the time in the trip when I see the most significant growth in relationships. We spend 24/7 with each other attempting high ropes courses and experiencing God. I can confidently say that many of the relationships I have made at camp will last a lifetime.
Being my second year at camp, I had high expectations for all that was going to take place this year. The first night, we are all paired with a “buddy” (or “buddies).” This is who you room with, have small group with, and spend the whole week with. Being that Camp Talmid is a discipleship camp (Talmid is Hebrew for disciple), this is a very important aspect of the week. As the older Lipscomb students, we are to disciple our budd(y)ies. I was lucky enough this year to have 2 buddies – one of them was my buddy last year, Laura, along with Emma, who I became close with last year as well. These two girls are significant blessings in my life. I do not think they realize the impact they had on me this past week. Here I was, supposed to be pouring into them, but I left feeling more full than I could’ve imagined. I saw Christ, not only in Laura and Emma, but in all of the campers. Their willingness to do any activity and eagerness to learn was so encouraging.
It can be intimidating going into camp knowing that we are supposed to disciple these teenagers. I had many times throughout the week when I wondered, “How in the world am I supposed to lead these kids? How do I know enough about God and the Bible to minister to them? There is no way that I am prepared to take on this role.” Like I said, it can be intimidating, but this is when I am reminded that God is the one who brought me here; He will not give me something I cannot handle.
Throughout this trip, we get a lot of feedback on how much of an impact camp makes on those who come; how we have encouraged them so much; but I don’t think that people realize the impact that camp has on us as a team. This is the week where, as I said earlier, relationships grow. This year, I walked away with closer friendships within our team and deeper relationships among the Aussies. I find myself wanting to spend every waking hour with my friends from camp. I think this is the part of the trip where it becomes impossible to imagine the end.
During one of the days, we spent three hours in silence. One hour, we had different stations to participate in, another we spent journaling or meditating, and another we spent on a prayer walk with our buddy groups. Each year I am surprised by the campers eagerness to participate in this. How in the world can they stay quiet for three hours? It was very daunting to me, but once again, God showed me how much He can do if I just listen. My favorite part was the prayer walk with Emma and Laura. Standing there with our hands around each other listening to them pray over me is one of the most fulfilling things I have experienced. Here were these two beautiful girls who I was supposed to be pouring into and mentoring this past week, and they had their hands over ME, praying for ME. Humbling is the only word I can think to describe how that felt. I am humbled by this past week.
My thoughts feel very jumbled as I write this post. I know what I feel, but to put it to words that adequately explain it all is next to impossible. This past week, I learned that even when you are feeling as though you are in a distant spot in your faith, God is right there in so many ways. These teenagers and this team have showed me Christ. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for filling my heart and soul with so much love and encouragement. This past week was so much more than I could’ve asked for.
Taylor Smith, Senior
Family Sciences Major