My journey with Young Life began when I was just a small sixth grader. Growing up, I always had a relationship with Christ. Church every Sunday (occasionally 15- 20 minutes late) was unquestionable in my family. I understood who Jesus was, but the younger version of myself began to feel as though faith was becoming more of a job. With the help of Young Life, I was able to break out of my comfort zone and “dive in” to this amazing journey through faith. Worship became more exciting and more “kid-friendly”. Singing crazy songs with peers, and listening to God’s word in a different perspective quickly became my favorite after-school activity.
Fast forwarding to the summer before my senior year of high school, I decided to go to yet another Young Life summer camp. Capernaum camp is a summer camp that includes special needs individuals in Christian based worship and fun. I have to admit: I was nervous about entering this adventure because I was not sure what I was getting myself into. Little did I know, this was going to be one of the best experiences of my life.
When we arrived at camp, we were greeted by smiling faces. I will never forget walking into the dining hall and seeing the Capernaum friends dancing and singing with so much joy in their hearts. Witnessing them be so loving and accepting to someone they knew absolutely nothing about, was overwhelming. They were unapologetically happy and fully in love with Jesus. Seeing them like that brought me to tears, but the happy ones.
One of the most heartwarming experiences I had at camp was when my Capernaum friend Brieanna. First, let me introduce you to Brieanna (aka Bre). Bre is featured in the picture above. She is diagnosed with down syndrome, but she is as sassy as ever. She loves to stick her tongue out, and will never say no to a hug. She is always up to make new handshakes and is the sweetest person I have ever met. In the midst of something we like to call “club” (our worship/ dance party) Bre started crying, I immediately thought something was wrong. I asked her why she was crying, and she turned to me and very simply said: “Jesus loves me”. Luke Forman, Ascension Alumni, summed up the situation perfectly by stating, “It showed me how simple Jesus’s love is for us”.
My week at Capernaum camp showed me the overwhelming love of God, and how simple life actually is. Discussing the week with my friend Senior Chandler Juneau, he explained to me that spending time with our Capernaum friends made a huge impact on his life. He stated that it “strengthened my decision to answer Christ’s call in both my future career and my life.” My faith has increased significantly with the help of Young Life at Ascension. I would highly recommend attending every single event that Young Life has to offer because time flies and I can promise you will never regret building a relationship with Jesus.