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News From Camp Vandemere

8 Year Old

We had some good news and powerful moments from Camp Vandemere this year, but I think the one on July 20th between Pastor Ray Lewis and an 8-year-old girl was one of the most special I have been blessed to witness at the camp. It was a beautiful picture of what discipleship looks like to me. I am going to try my best to explain what happened.

Pastor Ray had eight girls who wanted to be baptized. He had baptized seven and a little girl stepped through and made her way down the steps of the pool. With a bit of a surprised look on his face, the Pastor asked her if she wanted to be baptized. She nodded her head yes. He said, “Well, um, we haven’t had a chance to talk about this.” She intently looked at him. Pastor Ray asked if her parents were there, which they were, and asked if they were okay with her decision, which they were. He looked at her and said, “Well, we need to talk. We can talk right here in front of everyone if that is okay with you.” She said, “Okay.” So from there, the Pastor explained the plan of salvation and baptism to her. He asked her if she understood, and she nodded her head yes. There we all were, standing around the pool fence, given an inside look at an incredible moment between a little girl and a Pastor in a pool that she felt comfortable enough to step into. In the process of this conversation, Ray started out standing while she looked up at him. Gradually during the conversation, Ray squatted down and was eye-to-eye with her. There it was—the beginning of a life changed—a new disciple with an entire lifetime ahead of her. Pastor Ray was approachable enough that a 9-year-old saw her need to be baptized.

What an incredible picture of our savior. He will always see us right where we are. Jesus can minister to us in ways that bring healing and wholeness to us. Sometimes we have to push through and get into the water. Push through fear or apprehension, and be willing to look into the eyes of our Savior.

Submitted by Sandy Allen

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