zany.” – Carol Burnett
the world: I’m just a clown.
and into one of the most ridiculous and rewarding weeks of my life. Armed with
my Bible, a dirty A&M ball cap, and a suitcase full of outrageous costumes
– I only thought I was prepared for
what Opportunity Camp had in store for me.
it down for you – Take 200 at-risk elementary kids, 100 high school students on
fire for Jesus, throw them in cabins together for a week, teach them about
aforementioned Jesus, love them (even if they don’t want you to – especially if
they don’t want you to), eat as much food as possible, and act a complete fool
and I present you with: Op Camp.
people, and was nothing but braces and legs with a sense of humor attached to
‘em, this sounded like Heaven.
the middle child, I’ve heard it’s something I have no control over. We’re
destined to be the entertainment. It only seemed fair that I take on this role
since my older brother Tom had the certified genius thing covered, and my
younger sister Grace had to take one for the team by being gorgeous and head
cheerleader. Obviously, we needed someone to cover jokes and being slightly
artistic – you’re welcome, family.
it because it brought people joy. And if there’s one thing I know my Jesus is
all about – it’s joy. So I took that joy and my jokes to camp with me, and very
simply said, “Do with me what you will, Lord.”
Camp. You may hear a few that sound like, “And I knew in that moment, the Lord
had changed something in her heart.” But more than likely you’ll hear ones that
sound like, “So, it was the middle of the night, and my entire cabin was
standing on the side of the hill, holding a mattress, and we were taking turns
surfing down to the bottom – all in complete silence – because we knew if we
woke up the adults, we were all dead.”
point, I was in a committed relationship with Op Camp, and we couldn’t be
happier. Before we loaded the bus to leave Midland, we had a little bit of time
to get to know our campers for the week. Things were looking pretty promising,
until I met Darrion. Now, you have to understand, I’ve always been tall. Tall
and lanky. (Tom often refers to me as Betty Spaghetti – I allow it because she
has killer hair) So, standing at 5’ 10” I rarely encountered another girl of my
height or taller, especially not one younger than me.
180 pounds, and a look of “Get out of my face, or I’ll strangle you with your
nametag lanyard in 20 seconds.” Naturally, I wanted to be her best friend.
Darrion might kill me in my sleep.
not want to be my best friend.
let this deter me. In classic Clair fashion, I persisted, and when we stepped
into our cabin that first day, I again quietly said, “Do with me what you will,
danced with and around her, I talked about what our best friends t-shirts would
look like, I engaged her, I made her feel uncomfortable, and finally, that
Wednesday – I made her laugh. Soon, she was hugging me back, hugging me first.
She was dancing with me. She was insisting our shirts be maroon.
said, “Miss Clair, tell me about Jesus.” I looked her in the eye and smiled.
“He loves you. More than anything.”
loaded up the bus to return home, she woke me up and said, “Miss Clair, I heard
they’re baptizing people in the pool today. Will you baptize me?”
That day, in the shallow end of a pool filled with freezing water, I baptized
all 6 feet and 180 pounds of Darrion… and then I baptized three of her friends.
Three friends who had listened as Darrion told them what the Lord had done in
her heart. Because of her, they made the decision to follow our Jesus.
myself to just one, so I offer you –
2013 (the title needs work)
simply say, “Do with me what you will, Lord.”
those around you. Be goofy. Be terrible at dancing. Do a somersault and pop up
in front of someone you just met before shaking their hand. Be a clown.
Listen. Engage. Care. Gain His heart.
the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the
power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
C. S. Lewis
[Ben + Trisha, Bob, Addie, Clair, Tyler]
the full time Op Camp staff + Bob Goff.
they are doing amazing things for the kingdom of God by mentoring at risk youth.
would you pray for them today?