From the Banquet
Caitlin Owsley’s Testimony
I came to Trout Creek the summer after my eighth grade year. I didn’t expect much of camp, but I came away with an experience that really strengthened my walk with God. I was in Montana and Bubbles cabin. One morning Montana didn’t join us for devotions. Bubbles told us that Montana was spending the morning in prayer. When Montana rejoined us she briefly told us that she had received some bad news about a friend. It was pretty clear to us that this was really hard for Montana. I watched her the rest of the week and I was so amazed to see her still living strong for Christ and depending on his strength even though this was not the best week for her. Just seeing someone living every day, every moment for Christ had a huge impact on me, and my walk with God.
But that week at Trout Creek not only had a big impact on me, but also another girl from my church. I didn’t really know this until I read her testimony a few years later, but my best friend who had grown up in a Christian home had come out of that week with more than just fun stories. She came out really understanding what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and accepting Him as her savior. And today she is still living for Christ while she is attending college in Colorado.
This summer I hope to share with the girls who come to Trout Creek what was given to my friend and to me. If they don’t know Christ I hope to be able to introduce them and show them who he is. If they do, I hope to be able to pass on that living for Christ doesn’t just mean on Sundays or when we feel like it. It is everyday, every hour, every second of our lives, even when it gets rough. God used Trout Creek to bless me and I hope to pass on that blessing this summer with His help.
Lindsey Pettit’s Testimony
This summer for me was a lot different than it has been in the past. It was the same in the area of being at camp, getting into the camp routine and schedule, being exhausted on the weekends, and being in your own little “camp world”, away from the things back at home. But it was different in the areas of my relationship with the Lord growing in a way it never had before. Learning so many things about relationships, friendships, priorities, commitments, my attitude, learning and desiring to be a servant to the people around me.
When the summer first started things were really good and I just was focusing on learning how to be a counselor and trying to achieve that goal Joe and I had set at the beginning of the summer. To do my all and my best, for the glory of the Lord, but be that counselor that is out there for the one purpose to reach out and love on the kids with Christ’s love. As the summer went on, things kept on happening that would mess with my emotions and I would begin to have a battle going on inside of me. I learned, and am still learning so many different things that the Lord showed me through different situations and times out at camp. Self control, how to love on the most difficult camper, patience and The Lord never ceased to throw something new at me, and I had to realize He wasn’t going to stop until I finally submitted and agreed to take on those challenges and learn to persevere through them.
The summer all in all was incredible in so many different ways. Growing the friendships I had with my campers, sharing the Lord with them, and just being there to hang out with them. I loved being able to get to know the girls and just become their friend. An older sister figure to them, someone they can come to talk to about anything.
As the summer came to end I was so tired. Exhausted to the point of feeling like I couldn’t even make it through the last week. My enthusiasm went down, and my attitude and excitement went down as well. I hated that. I knew none of my campers deserved that. Regardless of how many weeks I had been there, and played the same games over and over again, it was their first week there. I wanted them to have just as much fun and a good time as the campers I had in the beginning of the summer had. I prayed for the Lord’s strength and He prevailed. I got into some deep thinking those last couple days out at camp and was just analyzing my job this summer. Did I accomplish that goal I had at the beginning of the summer? Did I give my all to love on the campers? Did I show Christ in my every action? Did I have the heart of a servant? I began to really think about it and because I was just so tired, I felt like I could’ve done so much better. And I hated myself for letting my standards for myself slip. But once again, the Lord revealed Himself to me in a way I had never experienced before. He kept his word, He sustained me.
Throughout the last week, I sat on the picnic tables in the field and would braid my campers’ hair. There was this random girl from another cabin and she always asked if I would do her hair too. She would be around me during free time, and always say funny things like, “I wish I could’ve been in your cabin.”. I just thought she was adorable but didn’t think much of her hanging around. I was sitting in the field the last night of camp, Friday night, playing guitar with some of my campers and just joking around with them, and the same little girl, her name was Taylor, runs up to me. Her face looked like she was so excited and like she really needed my help with something. “Weia, Weia, Weia!!!”, she ran up to sit down beside me and said, “Will you come help ask Jesus into my heart?!”. I wanted to cry. I left my guitar on the ground and we walked to the bridge together. She was holding my hand as we walked and I knew this was the Lord showing me something. We sat down and I talked to her about what it meant to ask the Lord into your life. To have Him as your Savior. How once you ask Him into your heart, you have eternity with Him in Heaven. Forever. How your reason for living was to share His love you have with others and in everything you do, do it for the Lord and for His glory. She understood and was so excited about asking Him into her heart. I asked if she had had a chance to do this with her counselor or cabin earlier in the week and she said they did. I asked her why she hadn’t done it with them then, and she told me it was because she wanted to think about it more and wanted to wait to do it with me. I wasn’t even her counselor, I hadn’t even hung out with her much, but she had observed me throughout the week. Which scared me so much. I was reminded then of how much of an impact we have on those kids. They watch our every action and reaction. They think we’re the coolest people, I know because that’s exactly how I felt as a camper.
I prayed with her and afterward told her how she was now my sister in Christ. She was 10 years old and none of her other family members were believers, but she wanted it so badly.
Afterward, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn’t believe she had asked me. I was feeling so down beforehand and was questioning myself about how the summer went, and the Lord used her in my life. That was why I was out there. That’s why I worked out there this last summer. Even if she was the only person or camper I made an impact on or shared Jesus with, she accepted the Lord. She is now living for the Lord and is going to heaven. Praise the Lord! I was so caught up in wondering if I had allowed the Lord to use me, and this was His way of showing that He did use me. Even if it was just that little girl. It meant so much to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better end of the summer. And spending just those few minutes with her, helping her ask the Lord into her heart, was worth the entire summer to me.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work out there. It was such a blessing to be a part of that staff and to work along side of so many amazing people whose desires were to share Christ. Their passion was to live for Him, and serve others. It was such an amazing summer and I’m just so overwhelmed and amazed by how God works through our lives in incredible ways.
I appreciate all of your hard work Joe and the staff do in running the camp, and training all of the staff in the way of the Lord. It was a blessing, and a privilege to be a part of that staff and I’m thankful for how it’s challenged me to grow more in my walk with the Lord and just for the experiences I’ve been able to have there.
Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening!