The year is 1996 and it’s been just a little over a year since God called me out of my old life and into this new world of living for Him. I was dating a great Christian girl at the time, I was seeing Steve May most weeks for discipleship, and I was reading and keeping a prayer journal. But Now it’s summer and I’m in Oxford, Mississippi for the first day of counselor training. I have no idea what to expect, I had not been there before that day, I hadn’t met anyone I would be working with and I had never seen a single day of any kind of summer camp ever. But what God was about to do that summer was unbelievable and so intensely powerful there is no way to share it all in one post. But I never could have imagined sitting on that porch in Mississippi the plan that was in front of me, a plan that was set in motion by submitting to His will and a plan that would eventually take me across the country and now all the way to Africa.
I truly think I could fill a book with things that happened that crazy season of camp but probably the most important thing was the people God put in my life at Camp Lake Stephens. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t talk, text, message or in some way communicate with one of the outstanding men of God I met there. When I got married to my amazing wife who I met shorty after my second summer at CLS it was these men who I spent time with the night before. When my mother died it was these men that drove to Memphis and helped me through it, the same thing years later when my father died. When Bronwyn and I hiked the Appalachian Trail one of them started with us. When I first started praying about Africa it was these men that I called and texted to join me in prayer.
I called these posts Vision I & II and the reason is that for me that summer I had a pull on my life and this world of Camping Ministry because God did call me all the way back then to this very thing. It was a clear vision that I thought would happen immediately but that’s not how God works sometimes. He called me and then spent 22 years preparing me. I thought I was ready in 1995 on a summer night sitting and praying with one of these men on hill we called Vesper, but I wasn’t. The Lord put it on me and even though I haven’t always lived a life worthy of His call he just kept pursuing me, preparing me, knowing that someday His perfect plan for my life and now my beautiful wife’s life would come to fruition.