Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jake's story

It was midway through week 4 at Camp Daniel. The counselors had put their campers down for the night, and all congregated in the dining room for a late night eat-a-thon and meeting. Little Tony eyes up each and every one, and then seemingly picks at random a few to share what's been going on, what has the Lord revealed and how has life-as-you-know-it been impacted so far. These meetings are hilarious, exhausting, emotion-packed and usually go into the wee hours. Jake is a 16-year old is his first year as a camp counselor, and this week is his 3rd week as he counseled weeks 1 and 3 of Camp Daniel as well. Little Tony had already picked him to share earlier in the week, so when he was called on again it seemed a little strange. But Little Tony has this sixth sense about these things.... Initially Jake quietly stated that not much had happened since the other day when he shared with everyone...but then, just when we all thought he was going to shrug and say, "that's it." he grew very still, stopped for a moment and then told us all an incredible story. Earlier in the day, a friend of his from school had passed away from a long-term illness. Jake and a few other counselors were really shook up and terribly sad. Jake got emotional as he continued telling us about how that night at the campfire he was holding Nate, and that Nate kept looking at the sky and then back at him then back up to the sky. He kept asking Nate... "what are you looking at?" But he said Nate would actually put his hand on Jake's chin and gently push up so that Jake had to keep looking at the stars. Then he would point up again. All the young men sitting at the table with Jake were emotional as he continued his story. He said that Nick came over and when Nate saw Nick he signed that he wanted Nick to hold him, so Nick put out his hands and Nate went to him and did the same thing to Nick...pointed to the sky and emplored Nick to look up. Nick later told me that when he asked Nate what he was looking at, Nate replied, "God." When Nate went back to Jake,he said Nate pointed to the sky again and blew a kiss toward heaven. He said, "If that wasn't God speaking through Nate, I don't know what is." Jake felt like Nate was being used by God to bring him comfort during a really hard time, and the tenderness with which he shared his affection for my son is something I will never forget. Of course I believe that what Jake shared is true. I totally believe that God used Nate in an amazing way that night so His presence would be felt to two pretty special young men who adore Nate and were hurting over the loss of a friend. At the end of his story, Jake said that he had originally come to Camp  Daniel  because his friend Emily kept bugging him to be involved. (God bless you, Emily!)
He didn't even have a relationship with the Lord at that point. (James made sure that got taken care of in week 1!) He came back to Camp Daniel again again, and had a wonderful encounter with God that everyone in that dining hall will remember for a lifetime.


  1. amazing! what can you say? its a totaly God thing:)

  2. Blessed are those who mourn because they get comforted and blessed are those with pure hearts because they see God, Matthew 5:5 & 5:8.

  3. That was so emotional and awesome!