I pulled up to the church with the glass front impatiently waiting for my young people to be released from AWANA. Normally, they see me pull in and come running out. This night was different, as I pulled in they saw me and ran back into the sanctuary. Hmm…what is going on? A few moments later my daughter runs out to my window and asks if I could wait just a couple more minutes. On the outside, it was “Sure honey”. On the inside, it was “I am tired and do not want to wait!”
Little did I know what God was about to reveal to me.
As I am waiting there in the parking lot with my thoughts drowning in my music, I notice a car pull up behind me. A young man comes out of the building and jogs to the car, but instead of getting in the car and the
car driving off he comes back by my car with two little girls in tote.
They now have my full attention.
The girls did not even make it through the door when my daughter (with her older sister right behind her) came through the sanctuary double doors. “Finally, I thought to myself.”
What happened next left me in a puddle of tears in my seat.
My daughter’s face was overcome with joy as she runs to one of the little girls and gives her a great big bear hug. I could not hear the conversation exchange. I did not need to. I could hear every detail by my daughter’s expressions and the little gir’ls response.
It was just seven weeks ago. The last day of camp for the 7 & 8 year olds. The last day of camp for all that were serving. The last day of the week that changed the heart of my 13 year old daughter.
One camper. One life changed.
This camper has Down Syndrome. We have become more familiar with Down Syndrome this past year, as a couple that is close to us, unexpectedly, gave birth to their fourth child with Down Syndrome. We also have a Down Syndrome tenant that has been with us for eleven years, but only my husband and I have had interaction with him.
The week was hard. My husband and I stopped by for a midweek visit and our daughter was tired and frustrated because this camper had taken a liking to her. She was by her side day and night. Inseparable. But by the end of the week, this camper had made her way into my daughter’s heart.
Normally, check out for the campers is around 2, but with the 7 and 8 year olds all the parents show up for their little ones around noon. There is always excitement in the air with the reuniting of the parents.With the last day of camp comes many extra chores and challenges and our daughter was busy with some extra chores and when she came back her camper was gone. She was heartbroken.
I heard all the stories of this little girl. All the adventures. All of the mishaps. All of the memories. This girl truly changed my little girl’s heart, but the sadness of no goodbye and the potential of never seeing this camper again brought a sadness to her heart.
Until that moment…..God reunited the two of them as I watched through the glass of the front of the church. I saw joy and excitement as tears ran down my face. How great is our God!
I am sure that camp was a life changing experience for that little girl, as it is with so many, but the life changing experience I got to see was not in that little camper. It was in a young teenager who gave up her summer to serve the Lord at camp and God revealed Himself to her through that little girl.
One life changed. Forever.
I am excited to see the relationship grow between the hearts of these two girls. God is truly amazing! This family is fairly new to the area and is now attending our AWANA. My daughter will get to see her new friend on a regular basis. It is my firm belief that He put my daughter at camp…for such a time as this! To God be the glory great things He hath done! I also want to thank the parents of that little camper for being strong and courageous and sending her to camp. You will never know how much your child has changed my child! I hope to meet you one day! Kelly