Last week, Paul and I were given the wonderful opportunity to spend a week at Salt Run Bible camp in Brilliant, OH! It was a small camp, comprised of what was once a school house, two concrete cabins, a living space for youth workers, a large field, and outhouses. The youth workers lovingly referred to the lifestyle of Salt Run Bible Camp as “rustic.” We had a BLAST right along with the campers, and while Salt Run may not have the amenities of The Wilds, Fort Bluff, or other more modern camps, it had things that are truly the heart of a successful Bible camp.
1. Passionate Youth Workers
Those responsible for running this camp were in love with Jesus and in love with these kids. This could be seen through their hard work, attention to detail, interaction with the kids, well-prepared lessons, and obvious concern for the spiritual condition of their teenagers.
2. Great students
It was definitely an interesting mix of kids from every kind of background, lifestyle, and spiritual state. Though there were many differences that could have posed a challenge to the daily activities and overall spirit of the camp, I saw very little of the things that are common in a group of teenagers. There was little, if any, drama, “camp dating,” cliques, complaining, gossip, or name-calling. Nearly all of the students had great attitudes and participated in all activities enthusiastically, having good, clean fun together, engaging in worship, and listening intently to the preaching of God’s Word.
3. Awesome Preaching
I know, he is my husband, and I have a biased opinion, but my husband is a fantastic preacher! I heard him preach 12 times throughout the week and just stood amazed at the content he draws from the Word of God and his ability to make it interesting and applicable to any group of people. Not only did he preach wonderful messages, but he also spent time with the kids, participating in their group activities, and talking with many of them one-on-one.
4. Decisions for the Lord
Faithful workers, tender hearts, and challenging preaching led to many decisions for Christ. Many were challenged to “put God back on the throne,” giving Him the glory and honor He deserves and allowing Him to use their lives in any way He chooses. Additionally, Paul challenged the teenagers of the great need of the gospel around the world and the impact we can have on it if we submit our lives and plans to him. He had a Volunteer pledge (the same one Paul signed at OG camp 10 years ago) available to those students who desired to make a commitment to pursue full-time missions, and we were thrilled to see 7 students take and sign this pledge. We are praying that God would hold them to their commitments and find them faithfully serving on the foreign field years from now but ministering and living for Him each day until then.
I learned a lot, too, from the workers, students, and handsome preacher and was so blessed to be used where we are right now. Sometimes, it feels like we are waiting to get to India to “do something” for Him, but I know that as we fully submit to Him and trust Him to get us there, He will use us where we’re at.
I believe our time at Salt Run was truly a divine appointment. We are not veteran missionaries, and my husband is not an evangelist, but for some reason, God allowed Salt Run Bible camp to invite us to share our hearts with them, and we couldn’t be more thankful that He did!