When I went to Spotlight camp in 2011, we had Faith Night just like we did this year, and my friend’s name kept coming into my head. I began to pray for him a lot that night, praying that he would be there next time and he would be moved by the love of everyone in the room and the love of God. I didn’t know if he had ever really, truly experienced that before.
I went back to school in September with the same mindset. I wanted him to go to Spotlight camp with me in June. He started auditioning for shows at Spotlight and taking all of the classes, and I could already tell God was working through him.
Later during the year, I was having a really hard time getting along with his other friends. They would gang up on me on the internet, and say horrible things about me, and my self-esteem took a nose dive. I didn’t feel any sense of belonging at my school, and I wasn’t even getting along very well with Michael anymore. I lost friends faster than I ever had before, because I chose to be with my friends from Spotlight instead. However, I still had a gut feeling that we had to stay friends. I don’t even remember if I knew why I wanted to stay friends at that point, but I can see now that God wanted us to as well.
In early June, when he finally said he had signed up for camp, I was so filled with joy because I remembered all of the fun we would have together. I had forgotten my original reason for wanting him to go to camp, my prayers during Faith Night last year. I was just excited that I got to spend a week with another one of my best friends.
When camp started, I could see that he was having a great time. We all were. It was going to be an amazing show, the devotions were bringing us closer to God, and our friendships were growing constantly. But Thursday night (Faith Night), that was the turning point. As the speaker shared the message of the Gospel, and asked us to accept or re-accept Christ as our savior, everyone in the room was overcome with emotion. I looked over at Michael, and he had tears streaming down his face, and that moved me to tears too. After the speaker had finished speaking, all of my friends and fellow campers got up and started hugging and sharing encouragements with each other. Before I was even able to move out of my chair, Michael grabbed and hugged me so tightly I could barely breathe, and would not let go.
At that moment, I remembered my prayers for from Faith Night 2011, and I really think it was in God’s plan since freshman year to bring him to this camp, and show him a loving community. In return, it showed me how much the joy of being saved by God can affect people, and made me want to bring more people into the Spotlight community. Now, I just want everyone to have the experience that I have had. I want to show people the love of Christ, and show them that they have a faithful God, who is always working to bring His plan into action."