I am still not used to this hot weather…. basically because it is not a dry hot but a humid one. Monday finally arrived. We went to the Memorial Day picnic, and I was sweating like if a flood had happened inside my body. Crazy… I know. This humidity was simply unbearable for Mexican, who’s not used to temperatures above 85F (I am used to 60-70F). I was getting out of the car when I asked the Lord strength to endure my blessings.
Camp Beach was here. I took a deep breath and walked towards my destiny. Camp involved a 4hr drive trip with people I’ve never seen before who speak a foreign language, and they did it like so fast that I had to block all my senses to concentrate on what they were saying. I am sure they think I am a quiet and introvert guy who do not like to talk. Boy… they’ll be surprised! Back to the story. Initially, it was weird, but we managed to make those 4hrs fly.
We arrived at Fort Pickens, Fl, by sunset. The challenge had just started. Those of you who know me, know that I am not that into nature, I had been kidnapped from the comfort and amenities civilization gracefully provide us (such as AC, high-speed wireless connection, satellite TV). It was already getting dark when we set up our tent. The positive side of this… the night was chilly. Therefore, I raised a grateful prayer to the heavens for such a blessing.
Camp Beach was extraordinary. We did nothing but spend time together, getting to know each other, meditating in God’s word. We had liberty to do whatever we wanted and go wherever we wanted, yet we all decided to stick together. We had breakfast together, Devo together, we all go together to the ocean, and we played together. Little did we know that we were creating a community.
Wednesday was probably the most special day of the week. We had a “Solo Time” our leader took us to lonely places with nothing but water, our journal, our Bible, and pen. We were instructed to spend 5hrs alone with God in contemplation, reading and meditation in Scripture; it was a time designed to seek God through prayer, meditation, contemplation and Bible reading. It took me a while to concentrate on God. As time passed by the Holy Spirit showed up. It was like a kiss from heaven. I could write a lot about what happened during those hours, but I want to keep it to myself as a very special date with God.
Each night we were asked to share with the rest of the interns our stories. We were to share some aspects of our lives in the form a 3 act story. My initial thought was, “No way, it is absolutely out of the question, there’s no way I am going to share with these people”. As the week went by I realized that we’ve formed a bond. Speaking with individuals, I never knew about my life, about those challenging and hard chapters not only turned to be comfortable but healing.
I have, to be honest. When I first meet the rest of the interns, I made a mental note on how I perceived them. When I heard their stories, I was able to see the value of each one of them. I saw them as who they really are: my peers in ministry, broken yet redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, in spite of our errors, our pain, our failures, we all have but one passion: love God with all our heart, we want to serve Him, we want to honor with all that we are and have. Listen to each one of them made me love them, something changed, something was rooted deep inside of me, and that is the reality that I want to develop a true friendship with each one of them. They are unique and beautiful before the Lord.
Every person’s personal story helps you understand their past; it enables you to accept their today, and it empowers you to embrace their tomorrow. Jesus did the same for us. The apostle Paul wrote, “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ” (Eph 2:12). That was the main reason why we were not allowed to be citizens of the Kingdom of God, being away from God would not enable us to experience the covenants of the promise between God and men (Mt.26:28). We lived without hope and God in the world (Eph 2:12), yet when we believed in Christ for the salvation of our souls, we accepted the reality that we are now a new creation in Him (2 Co. 5:17). Therefore, our present reality is that we are now sinners who are now redeemed who possess an eternal hope. When we understand this new reality. Whom we used to be, who we are now, then we can embrace our future with expectation. A future that promises us that: “our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies (1 Co 15:53).”