Posted: 1/30/20 at 11:00am. Article by Alexis Epperly.
Explaining Impact! Mission Camps to someone who is unfamiliar with its mission is rarely anything but entertaining.
First you say how Impact is a week-long Christian camp, and upon further discussion you begin describing how you wake up early, worship together, complete major construction projects (amid the relentless heat with a bunch of people you hardly even know) in hopes of completing the job in just one short week.
But Impact campers usually explain how all of this adds up to an epic, memorable, summer project that they look forward to throughout the year. Upon hearing this, people’s facial expressions are often priceless! Some people will offer their blessings, while others are confused why anyone would want to spend a week like this.
When we go on mission trips such as Impact, we go to serve others, but we easily forget how much we can be filled on these journeys with God.
I enjoyed attending Impact for three years as a camper, but each year I always left wanting more. The fellowship among campers and staff, the ability to help others, and learning new skills has always drawn me back.
I joined Impact staff this past year, and frankly I was terrified. However, looking back, I see that God was pulling me toward Impact staff more for my own growth. I worked to share God’s word with the community and campers however God was working in me this summer to open my eyes and heart just a little bit more. It seemed as though each sermon spoke my struggles within my faith.
I was reminded that I need to be asking the hard questions, searching for God in everything, laying my struggles before God, and being willing to follow God’s plan and share his amazing love with others. Impact leaves you on a “spiritual high,” but it is hard to maintain that feeling.
One pastor explained this while telling the story of Zacchaeus: how right now it is easy for us to see past the crowd because this amazing spiritual refresher has just taken place, but as the weeks pass since our Impact experience it gets harder and harder to see Jesus through the crowds of life that begin to block our view.
Summer 2019 came to an end, and we said our goodbyes. I truly felt the reality of the “Impact Family” that I’d heard many others describe in the past. It was an absolute pleasure worshiping, laughing, sharing, playing games, and working alongside everyone last summer.
The experience helped me grow so much as a person, especially in my faith, and I became ready to take that feeling and share it with my little part of the world. Impact is something that I will always look forward to.
I will always hope for a good crew that is able to work together to get the job completed in such a short time frame. I will pray that everyone stays safe and look forward to the new friendships that make up this Impact family.
The connections we were able to build in such a short period of time are like none other. It’s not uncommon to see tears as campers say goodbye to their newfound friends and return home, and I relate as I say goodbye to my Impact family.
We may be separated geographically now by many hours; however, we are all called to do the same thing, which is to share the love of Christ to those around us.