Last week I was blessed to attend a Christian Youth Service Camp called Camp Habitat, a part of Habitat for Humanity of Simpson County, KY. The teen volunteers spend a week, camping out at the local High School and spend the days helping low-income, elderly and disabled citizens of Simpson County. We spend the evenings celebrating and praising God and participating in organized recreational activities such as swimming, a cookout at the creek and team competitions.
I am reminded to appreciate my health and the ability to serve. I am not a skilled worker, yet somehow, I and a group of 4-5 kids, aged 13-16 have managed to accomplish our assignments.
When we arrive at the work site, the first thing we do is ask the homeowner if they have any prayer needs. On the first project during my first year, I forgot to do this until it was time to leave. The couple we were serving were in their eighties, and we had cleaned the aluminum siding on their house and cleaned out their gutters. Two of the girls helping had already returned to the van. It was a hot, humid afternoon, and we were all exhausted. I wiped the sweat from my face with a paper towel and watched the homeowner inspect our work. When he returned to our small group huddled in the shade, I remembered to ask him if he had any prayer requests. He shook his head and so I asked him if we could pray for them. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to pay for you,” he said. I’ll never forget the first words of his prayer. “Thank you Father for answered prayers. Thank you for sending these people to help us.”
I don’t know if I’d ever been the answer to someone’s prayer. I had entered the work sight with a bad attitude. For you see, I had not planned to be a crew chief. I had been responsible for organizing the food for the week and had done that task. But due to a lack of adult volunteers and an abundance of teen volunteers, we were going to have to turn down projects and reject some teen applications if I didn’t step forward. I am thankful God blessed me even though I didn’t deserve the blessings. He sent me to the right sight, to the right couple, to remember who I was serving. Each homeowner I’ve served has blessed me. My cup runneth over.
It was difficult for me to serve this year because a loved one is ill. I considered cancelling at the last minute, but I knew this would be a strain on others, and I would also miss an opportunity to share my faith. Not all of the teens who attend Camp Habitat are Christians. During our morning work schedules, one of the teens leads a devotional, and we pray together. On Thursday, we didn’t have a planned devotional, so I spent the time sharing God’s plan for salvation. My skills for home improvement projects are limited, but I know how to tell people about Jesus and His love for us.
As I struggled with the decision to work at Camp Habitat this week, I prayed and studied scripture. The one I love who is ill knows Jesus and regardless of the outcome of her health issues, she will spend eternity in heaven. It was a difficult decision, but I prayed about it, and felt God would have me serve Him best at Camp Habitat.
Satan attacks us and those we love when we are serving Jesus. I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. But as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, he cannot harm me. Have you experienced spiritual warfare when you are serving the Lord? Has the evil one put up barriers to block you or to distract you? Remember, ““No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39.