Angel

In the summer of 2018, 6-year-old Angel did not know how to pray.  He said he had never prayed, and he didn’t want to pray…ever.  His grandmother and fulltime caregiver had signed him up for day camp at the local street fair when we offered a special discount for first time campers. Angel was a child who tested boundaries all the time and required a great deal of attention.  He was accustomed to being told “no” and “stop” but he was puzzled by the way our staff coupled correction with love.  After being corrected at camp he would often say “You hate me and I hate this place!” to which we would respond something akin to “We don’t hate you, we love you and we’re glad you’re here.  God brought you here and He loves you very much.”  Angel was not accustomed to being in a Christian environment and he expressed annoyance with how often we prayed.  We began to realize that it was simply that he was uncomfortable with something that was foreign to him.   Midway through Angel’s week of camp when we asked for a volunteer to pray before lunch, he raised his hand.  I asked him if he wanted to pray and thank the Lord for our lunch.  He sheepishly said he did want to, but he didn’t know how.  I assisted him with the words and Angel prayed for the first time in his life!  This sullen, angry, and defiant little boy then held my hand as we walked to lunch together!  Although we still had ups and downs throughout the week, Angel quickly began to trust his counselors as they showed him the love of Christ.  He responded to the gospel message and asked Jesus to be his Savior and Lord on his last day of camp!  Angel returned to camp again, for two weeks, in the summer of 2019!  We were so privileged to reinforce the things he had learned the previous summer and to continue to love Him for Christ despite challenges.  He told us that coming to Lakeside was his favorite part of the whole year.