When I reflect on Camp Talmid, the first word that pops into my head is encouragement. Our camp is designed to make disciples of God, hence the word Talmid (Hebrew for disciple); however, without encouragement, discipleship cannot fully grow. Throughout our entire week at camp, the teenage campers and the American uni students lift each other up through both words and actions. The first form of encouragement is in the relationships we form with our Aussie buddies. For the past two summers, my buddy has been Tom. Our friendship began and has grown because of this camp, and he has shown me God by his infectious joy for life. My other buddy this year was Leo. Leo came to camp shy and quiet, but between Tom and I, we were able to break through those walls and quickly saw a wonderful young man who has a gentle spirit and a passion for God. These two men encouraged me in our small group conversations and with their genuine love for my life.
But…the encouragement doesn’t stop there. Our camp is a high ropes/low ropes course that involves plenty of harness and teamwork. From the “Leap of Faith” to the “Swing by Choice” and everything in between, I witnessed constant encouragement between everyone, but especially for those who were afraid. During this time, bonds were formed, friendships made, and I saw self-esteem rise in so many teenagers because of the encouragement of their peers. Encouraging words flow out of Camp Talmid, making it burst at its seams. By the end of the week, tears are shed and the love of God is evident amongst everyone present. Although we come to Australia to love on and pour ourselves into these kids, it’s obvious that they pour into us just as much, if not more. Camp Talmid is the highlight of the trip for many of our teammates, and I’m so thankful for the relationships that it brings.
God bless Talmid, God bless Australia