When Jessica’s parents dropped her off at camp, they warned her cabin director, Stacy, that Jessica loved to create problems and was prone to bad language. “You can slap her around if you need to,” they added. Stacy was concerned, but she was determined to reach Jessica with the love of God.
It took less than ten minutes to see that the parents weren’t exaggerating about Jessica’s behavior. Expecting the worst but hoping for the best, Stacy took her group of campers to supper and then to camp games. Through these times, Jessica kept a nasty look on her face.
In chapel that night, however, she seemed completely fascinated by the story of God’s love. In fact, she caught my attention because every single time I looked in her direction, she was fully focused on the message I was sharing (a rare thing in a crowd of 100 kids). God was clearly at work in her heart. After chapel that night, and for the rest of the week, Jessica was filled with joy. She smiled and laughed freely.
On Wednesday night after chapel, Jessica asked Stacy to pray with her. She told Stacy that, on the first night of camp, she had prayed for the first time in her life. She confessed that she didn’t really know what she was doing, but she wanted to have a relationship with Jesus. Stacy was overjoyed and prayed with her. For the rest of the week, God continued to work in Jessica’s heart, changing her from the inside out.
There’s one more important thing you need to know about Jessica. She came to camp on a scholarship. She was able to attend camp only because someone decided to sponsor a child they don't know to attend our summer camp. As a result, Jessica will never be the same.