Dishpan Hands and Transformed Hearts

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Dishpan Hands and Transformed Hearts

It seemed like the only logical thing to do. Tim was going to be out of town speaking; Cody was flying in from college to lead the worship music for our church’s high school winter camp; Colt had been recruited as Cody’s drummer and Shiloh was going to be a camper. What was I doing staying home by myself?
So, I drove up to camp with the band and, because I was the first parent volunteer to arrive, I was named kitchen work-crew “boss.” What this really meant was that I had the privilege of loosely overseeing a wonderful group of hardworking, willing servants who were excited to do whatever they could to free up the high school staff to do what they do best. Although united in spirit and purpose, we were a diverse group: an entire home fellowship group had traveled up with their families; a mom and dad who had lost their own son in a motorcycle accident just months ago were there to do something for the ones who had done so much for them; and a committed group of college students, who regularly volunteer in other ministries, gave up their weekend to tend to the campers’ physical needs so God could meet their spiritual needs.
As is usually the case, I went to minister and ended up the one ministered to. As I stepped out of the kitchen, I saw the power of God at work. Through the tireless caring and praying of the staff for the hundreds of students there, I was witness to the metamorphosis of hearts. I saw kids on the fringe drawn into the circle of love. I saw rough kids softened by the unconditional commitment of their counselors. I saw burdens lifted and friendships deepened as the campers left their worlds behind for a few days of hilarious fun and relevant teaching from the Word of God. And then on the last night of camp, I heard testimony after testimony of kids who had come to a new faith in Jesus Christ.
As adults, it is so easy to think the world is going to hell in a hand basket, but it’s not if this group of youth staff and teenagers was any indication of God’s work in young people’s hearts. It was a great weekend for me. I hadn’t worked that hard in a long time. But I would do it again in a heartbeat just to see the many miracles that happened at camp.
Here’s to dishpan hands and transformed hearts.
(Written in Spring 2004)

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