This was my first year going to Joni and Friends. Each year I would hear everyone’s testimonies when they got back from camp and be really interested in going. It sounded like so much fun and like it would be such an amazing experience, but I never followed through with that; every year I would just put it off and then regret it later on.
This year for the first time I really felt that God was leading me to go to camp, so I made the decision to sign up. And I can now say that it was the best decision, because I had an incredible week!
Another girl named Nicole and I were both placed in the Pre-K class and shared a camper named Bobby. He’s 3 years old and suffers from conduct disorder, which led him to sometimes be violent with his actions and words. But when I met Bobby, he wasn’t really like what we’d been told. He was very sweet and didn’t seem to have any problems at all. I later found out from his mom that they had filled out the informational form a while before camp, and since then Bobby had taken behavioral classes and was doing a lot better.
I had tons of fun with Bobby! But about half-way through the second full day it was decided that Bobby didn’t need two STMs, so I was reassigned to another child, a 9-month-old named Christopher.
Christopher had come down with a fever on the first full day, but it didn’t end up being a big deal because he got better pretty quickly. Christopher was the sweetest thing and I really enjoyed getting to hang out and play with him! I would just spend a couple of hours pushing him in his stroller while he slept, which was a great time to relax, think, and admire the beautiful outdoor scenery.
I had one of the best weeks of my entire life! I’d had a lot of people tell me what it was like at camp and what I should expect; they would always say that there’s just something about it that you can’t explain with words, you just have to experience it for yourself, and that is so completely true! The atmosphere of everybody just serving without question, and the joy and love that everyone shows to one another is so beautiful. I made so many friends at camp, people that really inspire me in my walk with Christ, and that I am so thankful for.
I want to thank everyone who was praying for us. It was really such a comfort knowing that there were people back home who were keeping us in their prayers; that meant so much to me and I’m sure Christ worked through us through your prayers.
If you’ve been thinking about going to Joni and Friends next year, definitely do it because you will have an amazing experience, I guarantee that. I can’t wait to go back and see what God has in store for me next year!