This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the TVR Christian Camp in Plumtree, NC with 19 Bethany United Methodist Church high school youth. Although we left on Friday night, my adventure to TVR began on Monday night earlier during the week while laying in bed with a fever. There I was laying in bed miserable from the fever and I had a vision. It was a short vision that lasted about 3 seconds. During this vision I saw a man standing on what looked to be a stage with a green plaid shirt and blue jeans on. The man’s face was blurred out but I could see the chin and kind of make out the hair style. The man I saw was holding something. At first I thought the man I saw was holding a rope but then I heard him talking about eternity. About going to heaven or hell for eternity. Later on I will give more about the importance of this vision.
I had the privilege of driving one of the vans from Summerville to TVR Friday night. We arrived at TVR around 11 PM and the drive brought back many memories of growing up in North Carolina. It definitely felt like home. After getting a short briefing from the TVR staff and then unpacking the vans we were able to get to our rooms where we finally fell a sleep around 2 AM.
On Saturday morning something happened that truly scared me and filled me with happiness. After breakfast we had morning worship session led by Jonathan and this is when my vision came to life. As Jonathon was talking he started talking about going to heaven or hell for eternity. The exact same words I heard during my vision and then I start looking at Jonathan and the picture matches the vision exactly. The black lines I saw in my vision were the microphone stands. Jonathan was wearing a green plaid shirt with blue jeans while holding a coffee mug. The shape of his chin and hair style matched exactly. I didn’t know if I was to be scared or to be happy because this was the first time something like this has happened to me before. This moment truly reassured to me that I was meant to be here at TVR with these kids and there was a reason God wanted me here. The rest of Saturday was filled with activities, a hike to plow point with a majestic view, fun games, great food, a camp fire, and some awesome fellowship.
Sunday I felt kind of bad for missing my normal church service. Something about it just felt wrong but being at TVR with these kids I felt closer to God than I had ever been. Again Sunday was another day I was taught how it felt to have your heart filled with joy. As we left TVR to get our skiing equipment from the rental place I heard the kids feeling unsure about their choice of skiing and snowboarding. Many of them were trying it for the first time. Quite a few people really went out of their way that day to help others but 2 people really stuck out to me. One was a girl named Madison and the other was a girl named Claire. Although Madison couldn’t ski because of a prior injury she was still healing from, she was out there taking pictures and cheering people on as they came down the mountain. The other girl Claire truly was a heartwarming experience to see. This little girl was in tears about skiing at the rental shop. A few people gave her words of encouragement and love at the rental place reassuring her that everything would be OK. At the slopes Will spent some time teaching Claire how to ski one-on-one after his mini session with the others who wanted a quick lesson. Every time I came down the mountain I saw Claire there on the bunny slope trying her hardest each time getting better and better. Claire never gave up. I found it more fun watching this little quite girl conquer her fears and build her self confidence. This is what I loved so much about CrossFit and now I’m witnessing similar accomplishments with this little girl. I must have stood there for 20 or 30 minutes watching Claire at the end with a huge smile on her face each time she went down the slope. You couldn’t have asked for a better day on the slopes. The temperature was nice, the snow was nice, and the smiles of the kids made it just a magnificent day.
The highlight for Monday was the debrief session with the youth before we left. We all sat in a circle before we piled in the vans to head back to Summerville. What I heard in this debrief session honestly reassured why we went to TVR. Almost every kid had some life altering experience with their faith and to hear that first hand after getting to know each one of these kids really meant a lot to the adults. I myself was almost in tears just listening to each kid speak over and over about how something they heard during one of the sessions really touched their heart.
What did I take away from this weekend?
One of the best parts of the trip was getting to know the kids and adults while building a relationship with each one of them. I laughed, worshipped, hiked, and played some of the weirdest games with these kids while getting to know each one of their personalities. These kids taught me what it felt like to truly have a heart filled with joy. Along with being with these kids I got to see from the TVR staff what it means to live and work together for Christ. Going to TVR affected how I am going to do some things in my own life in the future. One thing is I want to start blogging more about my feelings and my faith. I have something to say to world and I just haven’t figured out which way I want to get it out there.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ~ C.S. Lewis