By: Karen Lee, Summer Intern in Willowtree
As camp is quickly coming to a close, I can’t help but stand in awe at all the incredible work that God has been doing at Willowtree, and TCM as a whole. One goal that I had set for myself in the beginning of the summer was to teach the kids the preciousness of the gospel. I knew how easily we could fall into the trap of cheapening God’s amazing grace, and I wanted to ensure that the kids learned from an early age the great weight of what Christ had done for us on the cross. I longed to plant seeds in their hearts that would flourish from the inside out; that would allow them to be truly unashamed of the gospel. But I realize now, as I am reflecting upon this summer, that the kids have taught this boldness to me in volumes far greater than I ever could have.
So often, I shrink away at opportunities to share the Good News to my neighbours, or find myself worrying about the aftermath of such sharing. My words are not eloquent, I am easily flustered, and I am prideful. In many ways, the kids are the same; their words are not eloquent, they are easily flustered, and they too, are prideful. But God still uses them and their child-like faith mightily. Their simple words have powerful meaning, their silly nature reflect such purity, and their boast is in Christ and His love. So many of them place such significance on the truth that they are a child of God, and stand firmly in this graciously given gift.
Despite all the labels and identities that the world thrusts upon them, I am humbled time and time again, to see that their identity in Christ is at the forefront. Unlike all of the empty promises that the world will persuade us with, the gospel reveals to us a righteousness so beautiful and so perfect – one that is possible only through Christ alone. And I believe that some of our kids have already uncovered this priceless truth.
Of course, this is not to say that Willowtree is perfect, and that all of our kids stand firmly on the rock that is Christ. They will continue to face wind, rain, and sandy grounds. But I believe that throughout this summer, our team of amazing interns, staff and mission team members have not failed to plant precious seeds in our kids’ hearts. Through God and His perfect timing alone will these seeds flourish and bear fruit, but it is up to us to continue to water this crop and help cultivate the precious child-like faith and purity that is deeply rooted in His children.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”"
Karen served at Willowtree during the summer for a first time. She loved being able to experience God's love through the kids she met, and being able to share His love with them as well.