Today is day 37 of our 50 Years at Lake Agape and countdown to the start of Camp Meeting. Click here to read other articles. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute.
When people talk about beginning a relationship with Christ they typically identify a sermon message, conversation or particular event that drew them to the Lord. For me there was no event, sermon or crisis; it was simply the cumulative overpowering of love I received from folks at Delanco.
The outpouring began with Mary Boughton being willing to pay my way to attend Camp Meeting. I had no idea what I was in store for, but was willing to go. Once reaching camp I was amazed by the unashamed expressions of genuine love that I received by so many of the people there. I remember Darlene Huntley and Pat Gunning working in the hot kitchen, but always with much joy and smiles on their faces; Connie String being genuinely interested in getting to know me; leaders like Rev. Farrell, Rev. Rich Nichols and Jack Howard who had enough faith and trust in me to extend an invitation to come back and serve on staff the following weeks.
Frank Brown’s unconditional love and commitment to sharing Jesus with the guys in the dorm was a powerful testament of what a life surrendered to Jesus could reflect. Roy and Sue Lauter brought a zeal and powerful testimony of Christ’s love that has impacted my life to this day.
So it really wasn’t any event, moment or sermon that drew me to Jesus. It was the love of the community of faith as a whole that allowed my heart to be softened and Christ to enter in. They reflected what it meant to have Jesus in your heart through selfless service; exuberant joy and sharing unconditional and certainly unmerited love with so many. God wrapped his love around me through these and many other saint’s physical arms, warm smiles and compassionate words of wisdom.
These were certainly an amazing cloud of witnesses to me. I hope that I have been able to emulate and say thank you to these saints through teaching and sharing what it means to live in authentic community with the many servant leaders God has given me the privilege to shepherd at Asbury University and through New Hope. Though in genuine humility they would all say it’s not necessary, they were just following God and not doing anything special.
Community begins with one heart being surrendered to and following after Jesus. From that place who knows how many others would be impacted for the Kingdom. I am thankful that I was caught up in that outpouring.
Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.