“The second I got to Camp Barnabas, I knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life.”
At age 16, disability ministry was new to Elizabeth. But something about Camp Barnabas clicked.
“Without even thinking about it, I signed up to serve for three weeks.”
And she’s never looked back.
“The minute I pulled into the gates for the first time, I immediately felt like I was at home,” said Elizabeth. “Even though I was new to serving, I immediately could feel this confidence and joy. I knew that Barnabas was where I was supposed to be.”
As she spent more time at camp, Elizabeth had the opportunity to witness true beauty in a variety of ways. For her, it was at the end of each week during Thursday night worship.
“Every single wrap up I got chills,” she said. “There is something so special about each and every camper worshipping in their own way; some hugging their missionaries, some screaming out to Jesus, some dancing their hearts out, some doing sign language. There is something so beautiful about every person at camp standing under the dome, seeking Jesus in their own unique ways.”
When asked what her greatest lesson was, she said it was learning to be more present in the small moments.
“I learned to find joy in playing the putt putt course from sunrise to sunset. I learned to find joy in screaming and jumping in 100 degree weather at camper arrival to make these campers feel more loved than ever. I learned to find joy in stealing each other’s noses,” said Elizabeth.
“Most importantly though, I got to witness the impact it makes when we do include everyone, and the joy others get to find in that.”
Elizabeth completed her three weeks at camp as part of the Camp Barnabas Apostle Program. She has already signed up to come back again next year.
“Before camp I had no clue that disability ministry was something I wanted to do,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth now says that even though it wasn’t something she knew about, Camp Barnabas made her realize that disability ministry is something she wants to do for the rest of her life.