A Beauty Unparalleled

Tags: Camps, Counseling, Youth Ministry, SEND North, Story

It was the last day of Bible camp, and one camper remained unheard.

I recently served with a mission team from my school a Bible camp in Alaska. As a camp counselor, I helped facilitate activities, chapel, and cabin-mate relationships. As we studied in Ruth that week, a message on shame and the love of God left one of my campers, Jade*, burdened and quiet.

Spending all week building a fragile trust, I did not want to push too hard, so I let her come to me. On the very last night I shared with my campers, Jade approached me at the bonfire. She immediately poured out her heart about her parent's divorce. This wound opened the door for her to be deeply hurt by someone she knew and trusted. Left with no closure and a burning guilt, Jade never spoke to the person again and was left scarred because she could never undo what happened to her.

She continues to face the challenge of shame in her village from her parents’ divorce and absence. She had no one to turn to. However, she shared that camp this week changed her heart.

The message of Ruth is one of redeeming love. At camp, one of the counselors shared her story that was similar to Jade’s. She shared how she once felt God was distant to her because of what happened, but now, she sees Him right beside her, leading and healing her.

That night, Jade and I sat in tears on the beach, torn between the reality of shame and the presence of the King. Nonetheless, God showed us His reassurance and sovereignty through glory and beauty unparalleled with sun-struck clouds, royal blue mountains, and a vast, abundant ocean.

Even in her heartache, the Lord sees greater beauty in Jade than He put on display with our view that night. He hurts as Jade and other girls like her hurt with the pain of sin and victimage. Still, He sees her only as His Daughter: chosen, clean, and priceless. Join us in praying for these victims, that they hide in God’s unchanging love and comfort in the midst of their darkness. 

*not her real name.

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