Better Than All of My Wildest Dreams
There's nothing like Easter Camp in America. I've spent the whole weekend telling my Kiwi friends this is a unique experience, and worshipping with 3,000 young people through this weekend was a beautiful moment I can never forget.
I got home not too long ago from a full day after two previous full days (though I had nights at home) of the fabulous camp. I was wheeling over grass, gravel, and sandy patches. There was a particular stretch where the sand was deep and unavoidable, but to make it to the Big Top and the Prayer Tent, I needed some assistance as I popped a wheelie and shouted, "Go! Go! Go!" to whoever might be pushing me. On the first night out of the Big Top, I was in a small crowd, and about half a dozen people noticed me and my assistant start to struggle. In seconds, hands were on every available part of my wheelchair to pull me out of the sand and get me back on the solid grass.
The body of Christ came around me in a new way this weekend as people gave me rides to and from camp, escorted me around places to make sure I didn't get stuck, and shoved my chair along when I did manage to find myself unable to move it.
I'm a total champion. A super sore champion. My arms were aching this morning, but I powered through twelve hours on site to enjoy every moment of this uniquely Kiwi Easter celebration.
Easter is my absolute favorite holiday. Today is the day with Christians around the world that I declare, "He is risen!" This year I heard 3,000 excited teenagers shout back, "He is risen indeed!" I love my job, and I love that I've been gifted this year in New Zealand to learn a new culture and see how Easter is celebrated here in a vastly different way but know it is the very same Jesus that we celebrate around the world.
One of the songs we sang today has a line that celebrates God's goodness as "better than all of my wildest dreams." Honestly, even when I first talked with Matt over a year ago, I never imagined this incredible opportunity would be so beautiful. The past three days have been filled with physical frustrations of navigating camp grounds in a wheelchair, but they have also been filled with unbelievable Holy Spirit encounters. This has been one of the most powerful and unforgettable Easter weekends of my life, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity - and I'm thankful that I still get to sleep in my own bed tonight.
He is risen!