Dear Victory Valley Staff,
You are all so precious to us.
It has been a quiet three weeks since camp finished and we don’t see you all each day walking across camp, playing with our kids, or down in the basement of the stone house for Discipleship Program. We miss you all. Lots.
When we first felt God asking us to serve at Victory Valley Camp, it was a bit of an incredulous question of “seriously, Lord?” You see, we have lots of experience with little people…our world is all about little people right now, but when we thought about working with teenagers…well that is a whole different kettle of fish, and fish we really knew nothing about. We wondered how we could possibly figure them out in 7 short weeks.
Now, we think of all of you as ‘our kids’. And, our lives have been richly blessed.
We wanted to share with you just a few of the amazing gifts you gave us this summer as we lived life alongside you at camp;
You embraced our family. You hugged them, loved them, played with them, included them, challenged them, encouraged them and have become lighthouses to them as they look to you as examples of ‘big kids’ following Jesus further along the path of life. Your love has blessed our kids (and us) immeasurably.
You demonstrated intense, passionate faith; faith we don’t always experience in the grown-up world. Faith that hasn’t been tainted by an adult desire to control everything and instead trusts God completely, desiring to do His will over all else. Your faith has been an inspiration.
You embodied the sweetness of living in community. From the super-creative/crazy YSE gifts (pranks) to the moments of prayer Sunday before campers arrived, you (and we) lived life as a community. Not as individuals working together for the summer, but as a family, as God’s family managing the ups and downs and striving to serve each other each and every day. You truly live as brothers and sisters in Christ.
You “get” joy. You’ve got boundless energy, laughter, fun. But, you also ‘get’ joy. The desire to serve God makes you each shine with His light. You shine for Him!
You were willing to be open. You took off your masks opening your hearts to the deeper struggles in your lives and allowed us to walk through some of them with you. Your honesty and transparency was humbling.
You participated in DP sessions. You were exhausted and well…exhausted from giving 110% all summer, but you came down to bible study with us each week and continued to give. You were willing to participate in thoughtful discussion (and just a little teeny bit of laughing!), you shared, you listened and you asked us great challenging questions. You made our jobs rewarding.
But most of all, you blessed us by showing us unbelievable examples of who young men and women in Christ could be. You showed us who we want our kids to be as they grow up. You’ve given us hope for raising teens, for raising future spouses, parents and leaders. You are amazing.
Did you hear that?
Each and every one of you is amazing. And, our lives have been forever changed by knowing you.
It was an unbelievable honour, privilege and blessing to walk alongside you at camp. We are SO thankful that part of our “training” for Ecuador was mentoring, discipling, and encouraging you all this summer. We feel so much more equipped for what He is calling us to do in Ecuador after serving with each of you this summer. You challenged us to grow as parents, missionaries, leaders and Christians and we are thankful!
We are so very proud of each of you. (Please tell your parents that they’ve set amazing examples for us!)
We love each of you.
You are always welcome in our home no matter where we live (and we expect to see some of you in South America!).
Each one of you is being called by the Lord to continue to shine His light, love and joy to make an impact on the world in His name. And, we’ll be standing along the sidelines cheering you on as loud as we can!
Thank you for an unbelievable summer dear ones!
Consider yourself hugged no matter where you are right now.
Love in Him,
Auntie Kristy and Uncle Matt (and Jonah, Micah, Elijah, Taylah and Tweedle Beetle)
p.s. if your picture is missing, it is just because we don’t have one of you!