Pastor, Summer Camp speaker, Ice Camp speaker, wedding officiant…you name it, Jesse’s done it. At least for Miracle Camp, he has. We’ve known Jesse for a long time and consider him a very good friend here at camp. Not only has he had a huge impact in changing lives here at several retreats, but his own life and ministry has been changed here as well.
When we visited Jesse at Archbold Evangelical Church this Fall, we asked him to share a few stories with us about his time at Miracle Camp. We wanted to know what moments stuck out to him from his days as a youth pastor and the times he’s been a speaker at camp. He shared several with us, but the one you heard in the video is the moment that impacted him the most.
In his youth pastor days, he was in a break-out session with his youth group at Ice Camp. There were barriers between various people in the group, and Jesse was blown away by how God broke through those walls. It was in that break-out session that a girl confessed she didn’t feel like life was worth living. At that, one of the so-called “jocks” stood up, met the girl in the middle of the room, and held her as she cried. The visual this creates is so powerful because it’s such a cool example of being the church to one another.
Throughout scripture, we are called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, to defend the rights of the poor and powerless, and to love others as Christ loves the church. Jesse touches on something that is so prevalent to junior high and high school students in this video. The separation among various cliques during those formative years has a huge impact on students. We are so thankful for this story and the abundant grace God showed to this youth group. Jesse shared that this moment set the tone for the rest of his youth ministry. He learned to initiate conversations that would break down walls and develop real relationships.
Jesse and his family were here to speak at Ice Camp last weekend. If you’re interested, you can hear some of his messages on our website. He spoke about how God reveals Himself to us through the Word, the Holy Spirit, and through Jesus who died for us. We are thankful for Jesse who remains faithful to the ministry of camp and continues to allow his life to be changed by being open to the Spirit moving here.
Do you have a story like Jesse’s? We want to hear it! Send us an email, write on our Facebook wall, or send us a letter. We know stories like this happen often at camp. We want to make it our mission to share these stories that have changed your lives. Thanks for reading!