On July 6, we took a group of high schoolers from PCC Students to the Ark Ministries to help out with a camp called Mephibosheth. The camp was directed at giving those with special needs the opportunity to have fun and learn about Jesus.
We all packed up in a 15 passenger van and headed out for Converse, Indiana. We had no clue what to expect or really what we were getting ourselves into. We arrived at camp early in the morning, settled in, and prepared for the week to come.
Personally, I had no clue what to expect as I had never heard of a special needs camp. I was a little nervous not knowing how I was going to relate or converse with the campers. But it seems like God puts us in places that are going to stretch us and challenge us, and I believe that is how I saw God working through the students that week at camp Mephibosheth.
The campers began to arrive mid-afternoon on the 6th, and immediately you were able to see how God was at work through the matchups of the campers and the students. For the most part, the students were placed with campers that were complete opposites in personalities. Some students who were more outgoing had campers that were very quiet, and then some of the students who liked their personal space were partnered with campers who were constantly wanting to hold hands, give hugs, and be very touchy.
Another way that God was working throughout that week of camp was seeing how the students dealt with challenges that arose. Some campers were not able to speak, some campers needed help eating, and other campers were prone to seizure. And in every issue or challenge that arose, the students stepped up to the plate and handled the problem with confidence. It was so cool to see some of the students that knew sign-language communicating with those who could not speak. And it was also neat to see some of our students who had no clue what to do when a seizure occurred, act completely calm and seem as though they knew all the right steps.
I saw relationships created between students and their campers, and I began to see that the week was more about them touching our hearts instead of the other way around. There were many tears shed from both students and campers as the week ended, and I believe that is a testament to how God showed up that week at camp Mephibosheth.
As the week ended, one thing that we all took away from it is that we have so many reasons to be filled with joy and thankfulness. All of the campers at Mephibosheth had some sort of challenge that they had to deal with constantly, but regardless of what hindered them, they never complained once. Instead of complaining, the campers were constantly filled with joy and many smiles. Sometimes you even saw instances in which the campers were asking how they could help the students. That week was a reminder that no matter what we are dealing with, we can always be thankful and filled with joy because this world is only temporary, and we have a Hope that is greater than what we are dealing with in the moment.
-Taylor Gilpin, PCC Students Intern