When God Comes

The Lord has given us an introductory message that we present at the beginning of each camp. How grateful I am for this God given insight as it has proven itsef true at every camp we've ever held. The message goes something like this:
"At this camp you are going to laugh more than you've ever laughed in your life! You are going to have a lot of fun here... you're going to laugh a lot! You're going to have a great time! But some time this week, you're going to cry.... and the reason you're going to cry is that God is going to come. When God comes you will cry because in God's presence nothing can be hidden. This means that all those things that have hurt you, all the things you hid deep inside you, will suddenly come up and you will feel like crying. When it happens to you, don't stuff those feelings back inside! God is allowing them to come up so that He can heal you and take the pain out of you. When it happens to you cry! Cry as much as you need to! God will be here for you and we will be with you too!

When God came this year, *Julia, a beautiful 12 year old girl, began to cry. Before the chapel service ended a counselor asked me to pray with her. Julia was crying because her Dad had been sexually abusing her. If there was ever a situation I would desire to avoid, this was it. What comfort can you give to a child in this kind of pain? You want the whole ugly mess to be over for her, but you know that in many ways it has only just begun. Thankfully, God gave me an illustration for Julia to give her an understanding of what was going to have to take place.
It went like this:

"Sometimes when you are sick you may need to go to the hospital for an operation. So you have the surgery and come out of the operating room, but when you wake up after the operation you feel worse than ever! The doctor has repaired what was wrong inside you, but you are still hurting pretty bad. This is because healing takes time. Right now you've told us what's been going on and God is doing surgery on you. He's taking the sickness out of you, but you are still going to hurt for a while before you will be completely well."
After prayer I told Julia that I would go to her home after camp and be with her when her Mom heard the distressing news. I assured her that we would be with her - that she would not have to face her situation alone.... I would love to tell the reader that all went well and that Julia is doing fine but the truth is that it did not.
Instead of being supportive, Mom became angry and blamed her daughter. Both parents came to my office to try to convince me to refrain from reporting the story to the authorities. When I told them that we would be available to counsel and support them but that I was bound by law to report what I knew, that mother left my office in a rage. "I don't want her back!" she shouted as she left.

Julia's parents never went back home. In desperation and anger they abandoned four beautiful children. The authorities picked up the children that afternoon. Julia and her siblings are now in foster care. Julia has been allowed to spend some time at the home of the counselor who ministered to her at camp. To date, Julia's Dad is in jail facing serious charges.

In the midst of such tragedy, I can still be grateful for several things: 
-I'm glad that Julia and her brothers and sister have come to know Jesus through our program.
With all the traumatic change they are enduring, they are not without hope!
-I'm glad that the Lord opened the doors for Julia to attend this year's camp so that she could be set free and healing could begin in her life.
-I'm grateful for those of you who care enough about hurting inner city kids to support PICK through finances and prayer so that Julia and others could attend camp this year.
Sadly, Julia's story is one of many. Many PICK kids are hurting and need God's touch. We are often limited, as individuals, by constraints of time and resources, but when we join together in unity we can make a difference, - One Life At A Time! Thank you for your love and support! 

May the Lord bless you abundantly as you have blessed others!

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