Staff Stories – Andrew Park

Camp BarnabasStaff Stories

Meet Andrew: 

  • My Barnabas Involvement: 2 years as a missionary with New Life Fellowship in Houston, 2019 Core Team (Summer Staff)
  • Fun Fact: Claims to be a better cook than Gordon Ramsay

My Camp Barnabas story began 3 years ago when I was a young and lost teenage boy in my faith. 

At the time, I didn’t know much about Camp Barnabas. I certainly didn’t know camp was about to change my life and my whole perception of people with disabilities.

Before arriving, I never had a passion to pursue the Lord wholeheartedly. It was not my sole desire. Everything I did was for myself and not truly for the Lord or for His Kingdom. As soon as camp started, I quickly learned to seek the Lord in so many ways, and in ways I never considered.

I remember one week, there was a camper who was having a difficult time adjusting to camp and it hurt my heart to see that. I did everything in my power to make sure he was having a good time, but he would just reject me and not even acknowledge me. I was lost in how to help him.

I spent some time processing it and realized that the Lord never gives up on us. Even when we can be frustrating, the Lord keeps walking with us even if we ignore him or run away from him. 

Through the Lord helping me be patient and persistent, my fellow staff and I were able to ensure that this camper had the best week ever. 

Every camper is precious in the eyes of the Lord, and serving on staff helped me see and understand this. No amount of disability or ability can define your humanity. We all have differences but with some it’s just more visible. 

The 10 weeks that I spent on staff at camp are 10 weeks I wouldn’t trade for the world. People I barely knew at the beginning of the summer became my family. Through Barnabas, both as a staffer and as a missionary, I learned to lay myself down as servant of the Lord, serving others before myself and learning to trust Him and Him alone. 

If you have the opportunity to be on staff, take it because that is what you gain: friendships that become family. 

The Lord has blessed me through Barnabas and all the campers, staffers, missionaries, nurses, and directors that I encountered. Truly, it has given me so much more than I could ever give back. 

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be on our Summer Staff, you can either email [email protected] or visit the Summer Jobs section of our website for more information.