Danae Driedger is one of our youth who spent some time this past summer going through the Leadership Development Program at Valley View Bible Camp. LDP is three week intensive experience designed for those who are eager to deepen their faith through Bible training, team building and a week of camp experience. Every aspect of the program is designed to equip youth to deepen their faith and serve God. This is a small glimpse into some of what God taught her during her time there.
This summer I did the Leadership Development Program at Valley View Bible Camp. LDP is a three week program where you learn to be a good leader and to work together as a team so that when you go you will have tools that you can use in church ministry and at home. The first week we spent a lot of time in God’s Word, learning more about Him and His goodness. We had a speaker come and address us about the four steps of lifestyle evangelism. I remember sitting there and realizing that I wasn’t responsible for leading others to Christ. I might be one of the steps to their salvation, but I won’t necessarily lead them to the Lord; it is a process that God is in control of.
Something I’ll never forget about from week two is how important the armor of God is. The way I learned this was by doing a Team Development Activity. As a team, our task was to read every clue that we got at each station which would give us a Bible passage, and we had to make whatever piece of equipment that was in that Scripture out of supplies that were given to us. My team made the breastplate out of a cardboard box, shoes and a shield from leftover pizza boxes, a belt from duct tape, and we received a helmet and a styrofoam sword at some other stations. Once our leader was wearing all the armor we made, we set out to find our LDP leader who would tell us whether or not we were the first team. We found her at the bottom of the hill, and when we got close enough, she pulled out a plastic bow and arrow set! She started yelling and shooting arrows at us, and said, “Did God really tell you to come to LDP? Does God really love you? Do you really think you could be a good leader?” All of these lies just started surrounding me, but then I was like, “wait!” we have the Armor of God, and that is what God has given us to fight the devil! Thinking back on that memory, it is such a great illustration of how the devil will tell us lies and how easily we can succumb to that, but as Christians we have the Armor of God to fight back with – praise God!
Week three was cabin leading week. This was the week I came to realize how much God loves me. I was preparing my devotion one morning, and I had chosen the topic of God’s love. When I began sharing with my campers, I was hit with the realization of how unfathomable His love is for me and my campers. Later I went off alone to be with the One who loves me so unconditionally, and as I sat there, I felt this longing to share this love with those who don’t know what love is. I decided I would bring His love wherever I go and share it with others, because God is love.
Those three weeks, I believe, have changed me for the better. God is so real, amazing, good, holy, perfect and full of love. LDP was training us to be cabin leaders and leaders for the rest of our lives. I got that, but I also have a real and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. And that is all I need.