Testimonies

aSotoSus
Can We Read More?
 
I had a Muslim boy in my cabin who, throughout the first day of camp, would quickly interrupt me and inform me that he was Muslim whenever I brought up anything about God. Despite that, we had built a quick relationship with each other to the point where by the end of the first afternoon, he told someone that I was THE coolest guy at camp. Wow, such high and undeserved praise for simply talking to, playing with, and giving unconditional love to a kid for the afternoon. During the first evening as we were preparing for bed, he told me again that he was Muslim. I told him that Jesus is written about in the Koran and that the Koran acknowledges Jesus as a great prophet. He asked, “You’ve read the Koran?” to which I replied, “Yes. Yes I have.” That seemed to drop his guard and he looked at me in a different way. Later that night he asked if I could read the bible to him. I thought it was his 5th attempt that night to jump out of bed or make me turn the lights back on (it was way past lights out) and delay him having to go to sleep. But he genuinely wanted to know more about God. As I cracked the plastic off of the brand new bible and opened it he proposed “you read a paragraph, then I’ll read, and we’ll take turns, OK?” We read Psalms 23, highlighted it, discussed it, then I shut the bible, to which he eagerly asked, “can we read more??” So I said a quick prayer to the Lord to guide me where I should read and settled on the story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew. He listened intently as I read and tears welled up in my eyes knowing this was the first time in his life that this Muslim boy has heard the story of Jesus or read the bible with anyone. I quietly thanked the Lord for giving me such a beautiful blessing before the first day of camp was even done.

aSotoLe
Purple Balloon

The campfire was going to be a fun ending of a perfect day celebrating all the kids’ birthdays. As my campers were running out of the dining hall down to campfire, I was told they could have the colorful helium balloons from the birthday party, so I asked each girl what color they wanted. Jane, “Red!”; Annie, “Yellow!”; Cheryl, “Green”; Suzy, “Purple”. I ran back to the dining hall and proudly came out with the balloons. As I was giving Cheryl her green balloon, she said she asked for a purple one! Cheryl had been a strong-willed child all week, so instead of arguing with her, I gave her the purple balloon, thinking that I could get another purple balloon for Suzy. But when I went back into the dining hall, all the balloons were gone. Suzy saw the whole thing from a distance and as I approached her with the green balloon, she cried and ran downhill.
 
A kindhearted counselor handed me a purple balloon, so I ran after Suzy. By the time I reached her, she was sobbing uncontrollably. Suzy has been self-sufficient, quiet and didn’t show much emotion all week; my heart ached to see tears streaming down her slender face. “I am so sorry Suzy, here is your purple balloon,” I pleaded. She turned away and sobbed even deeper, then she whimpered “No one cares, I never get what I want.” “But God cares, Suzy. He loves and cares about you!” Her whole body trembled as she replied, “But I don’t believe in God”. I was taken aback as she had been attentive during chapel time. “It doesn’t matter, God believes in you and He always loves you!” I then handed her the purple balloon. This may not have been the day’s ending I had planed, but it was a God ending of a perfect day.
 
After the week of camp, Suzy began attending Bethel Church every Sunday. Her foster mom is Buddhist but she faithfully dropped Suzy off every Sunday. God has a way! We later learned that Suzy never knew her dad, and her mom left her with her grandparents since she was 2. After her grandfather passed away, she became homeless with her grandmother for a period of time before her grandmother finally approached Social Services for assistance. It’s heartbreaking to know what Suzy has already gone through at the tender age of 9. To her, no one cares; to her, a simple wish of living with her family is a daily dream. But I am so encouraged that through RFK, Suzy is on the right path to get to know her heavenly father who cares, keeps promises and welcomes her to His family!

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