This past Sunday we began welcoming high school students from all over the country to Ultimate Training Camp (UTC), a high intensity sports camp that blends faith and sport together. These high school kids are between 14-18 years old, coming from all different family backgrounds and life experiences to meet up at HQ here in Xenia for a week of intensive athletics. Their focus is learning the AIA Principles to help guide them in bringing their faith and relationship with Christ into their specialized sport.
I really didn’t have many expectations coming in as a leader for UTC, as I had never been involved with any sort of camp ministry before. But wow, has God blown my expectations completely out of the water. I didn’t anticipate how much I would grow to love the girls I have been set over for the past 4 days. Going into the evening before camp started and the day that our campers would arrive, we all spent time in prayer over the seats the students would be sitting in throughout the week. I took time to pray over the names of my assigned girls before they arrived, asking the Lord to prepare their hearts for this week and draw them closer in their relationship with Him, teaching them to be vulnerable and not rely on their own strength. Praying over people that I have never met was something new to me, but it is such a blessing to me as I have seen these 4 beautiful girls begin opening up to us as leaders, processing the implications of what they have been learning, and taking bold steps of faith throughout the week.
This week I can say that I have cried every single day I have been here, but the tears are not of pain and sorrow. I have learned to cry out of the gratefulness God has placed in my heart for bringing these girls together as a group. I have cried joyfully over the privilege that God has given me to invest in four fearfully and wonderfully made young women. I have cried over the suffering and pain I witnessed while working during the 17 hours of continuous exercise that our students endure. The pain that our students fought through was such a clear image of the suffering that Christ himself endured to allow us an opportunity to draw near to him and enter into an intimate relationship with him and the Father.
UTC has been an experience of bonding, tears, laughter, and challenges over the span of 6 days that I will cherish long after today. Our group of 14 interns were blessed beyond expectations this past week, and for that I cannot give God enough praise.
God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
Written by Lindsey, XProject Intern