Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Camp and ADD

Last week I attended White Memorial Camp and served as one of the counselors to adults with developmental disabilities (ADD). The 30 adults ranged in age from 18-66. Some were in wheelchairs. Some were fully mobile. Some were mute. Others were very vocal. All have some kind of disability.

The Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the United Church of Christ offers three camps during the summer to these adults.

In my opinion, it's the best thing our conference does.

At the end of the week, and after the campers went home, another counselor and I were talking about our experience. Paul said, "You see so much transformation here. It's really incredible."

You do.

Those who sit around and do nothing suddenly participate.

One person found healing when she acknowledged privately for the first time something awful done to her in childhood.

Another person found hope for a difficult situation at home.

And the Spirit of the Lord flowed freely the entire week.

During the middle of the week, after cleaning up two messes for a camper who got sick, I asked myself, "Why do I keep coming back to this camp year after year?"

It didn't take me long to figure it out.

Camp transforms me.

It's not just the campers who benefit. I do too.

Many people view adults with developmental disabilities as burdens and liabilities. They certainly are a challenge, but the unconditional love and acceptance they display is so genuine, it can't but change you. And give you a lot of joy.

If you want to see the extravagant welcome of Jesus, just spend time with an ADD believer.

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