Over the next couple months however, God gave me the confidence to know that I would not be leading anybody, but that He would be leading through me. So I did the only thing I could do, I began to pray. I had a long list of prayers that I would submit to Him on my knees everyday. One of those prayers had to do with numbers. In the last three years, high school camp has seen a significant decrease in enrollment, and it hit it’s lowest mark ever last year with only 65. I knew that God had big plans for the week and good news that He wanted to spread, and it was clear that there were more than 65 students that He wanted to hear it. One day, in prayer, He put the number 100 on my heart and I ran with it. I asked God each day that He would increase the enrollment by almost 40%, a steep task. I think some people thought it was a little far fetched, even I did at times, but nothing is too steep for God.
As each week passed, I would check the enrollment, and with each week we got closer and closer to our goal. We broke 65 with more than a month to go and the Friday before camp started we were up to 97. I wanted to bust out screaming in joy, and I did for a bit, but then I got back on my knees, because I believed that God had made a promise and He intended to keep it.
The first day of camp hit on Monday morning and as registration began I was praying or walk-ins. When eleven o’clock rolled around I went to our Coordinator and asked her for the official number. 99. We had two walk-ins and ended with exactly 99 campers. To be honest, I had mixed emotions about the news. I was first amazed and felt so blessed that God had increased the enrollment by such an unbelievable amount, but at the same time, I couldn’t help wondering why He had left it just one short of the number I’d been praying for. There had to be a hundredth camper somewhere, and I was determined to find them.
Fast forward five days and one billion blessings, and I’m sitting on the stage in the chapel playing the piano during reflection time, looking out through the darkness over all the campers. I am filled with so much thankfulness towards each and every one because of how brave they have been and how much their stories and testimonies have ministered to me. It is at this moment that God whispers into my heart and I realize He did not leave us one short. I had been questioning it all week in my heart and now I knew, I was the hundredth camper. God left one spot open to remind me that He was going to stretch and teach and call out to me through the students just as much, if not more, then I was going to call out to them. I sat their humbled by God’s dramatic and incredible design for each and every circumstance. If we had gotten exactly one hundred, I would have never started searching for the hundredth camper and never had that realization and thankfulness to both God and each and every student.
When you allow God to be your personal leader, the people you lead will most often minister to you more than you do to them. Thank you campers, my friends, more stories and blog posts to come about both weeks.