Monday, August 22, 2011

Prayer and Care

Well, after over a week of being Incognito, I'm back! So refreshed, renewed, the list of positive adjectives goes out the door! Camp Veritas is always an experience I relish- the spirituality, the people, the places, the overall experience is just life-altering in the best way possible. Being there since the first year it ever took place always makes it special too.

Every year we get a little bigger. the first year, we had 60 campers. The next, 120. Then 200. then 260. We continually grow, and numbers alone change the experience from year to year. But one thing that was going to be especially different for me, and in the end for everyone else, was that I was giving a testimony about Orphan Care. I had cemented myself  into Camp history by being there the first year and playing guitar come talent night. I rode that wave for every year thereafter, playing Guitar at talent night. But this year the sheet music was being left behind for sheets of notes. Shortly after returning home from Ukraine and feeling blessed by the experience, I got in touch with Director and Founder Ryan Young, somebody I have the privilege of knowing personally and admire so much. I asked him if he thought the story sounded like a cool idea to share. He said yes, and told me to prepare notes and be ready come the week of Camp.

Camp rolled around faster than I realized. I had my notes typed up a week before I left, and I felt ready and pumped. Despite the fact it would rain for the first two days and it's an outdoor sports camp in the mountains, I had high spirits. Veritas people are my second family, in the same level of love and friendship as my Orphan Care Friends. When I arrived, however, I was greeted by quite the surprise. Ryan had originally planned two weeks of camp. The second week, however, hadn't filled to capacity, and Ryan had decided to merge the two weeks into one. so our little over 200 turned into little under 300. Que the emphatic hammer dropping. I had not been expecting a 300 (close to 400 once you add in counselors and other volunteer staff) person crowd. I wasn't about to chicken out, but my mountain had just shot up a yard or two, metaphorically speaking.

Monday afternoon, after having endured about the first 24 hours of rain,  a good chunk of us were crammed into the cafeteria building (Which, for the record, got struck by lightning when we were there last year). Ryan called me over, and we talked for a bit about the talk, what advice Ryan could offer, and then (drum roll) when it would happen. Ryan calmly told me he was giving a pro-life talk Wednesday night and wanted me to follow 'er up. Cue the second emphatic hammer drop. I smiled and gulped down my nervousness and said great. Wednesday night- that was, like, 36 hours away!

Needless to say, the rest of Monday and most of Tuesday blurred by. I prayed every spare second  I got. I employed everyone from the petite little nuns to the 6 ft. tall priests for prayers. I would read scripture and review my notes. I wanted to be prepared.

Wednesday rolled around. Thankfully, God gave me the peace I needed to relax and enjoy the day, and worry later. After Praise and Worship, my talk would come. We got through the day and went to adoration after dinner. During that time, I must have just said "Help me God" about 500 times. I knew this was gonna take gut and the Holy Spirit. After Adoration ended, Ryan motioned for me to come over. Ryan must have prayed over me for about 5-8 minutes straight, just pouring his own Grace and love of the Lord into me.  From there he told me I could go up to the basketball court and get ready. Cue 3rd (and final) hammer drop. In the past, our testimonies had always been either out on the lake, where the light of a bonfire barely illuminated anything, or up on the Tennis Courts where lights were dim. The B-Ball courts are lit from every corner within reason. I went up to the courts, where I was promptly handed my mic and waited for the masses to flood in from retrieving their night-time essentials for activities like Volleyball, or just the cold mountain weather. As the campers started coming, I was nervous to the point I would grab my friends for one last good-luck hug. Ryan gave me an insanely kind introduction and with that, my talk began.

I can honestly say the talk itself is a blur. I remember brief moments, but I turned the mic on and God basically shot the words out of my mouth double-time. I finished the talk and was almost instantly flooded with hugs, congrats, and compliments.

Mission accomplished.

The rest of the week I was always bombarded with more hugs, and compliments, and awesome people. I even met a little child a family is trying to adopt out of foster care! Being on the ground, working with people, that's where my heart is.

I could nitpick about my talk. That I didn't always hold the mic super close to my mouth. That I talked 25 minutes after my limit. But the fact is God spoke that night. People heard. They listened. They wanted to help in some way. And God knows what seeds were planted that night. Prayers led to Orphan Care for me. In the same way, Prayers led me through my talk. And I still had the blessing of being spiritually renewed by the week and the many memories, friends, and experiences I enjoyed.

Camp Veritas 2011 Slideshow from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. My Goodness Caleb - I sure am PROUD of you!!! You are such an Awesome Young Man!!!!!