a little encouragement... HOPE

I have the amazing privilege of working in ROME, GA this week with FBC Augusta, GA  youth camp 2010! This is my second time with the group for a summer camp. I was so impressed my first year to watch how well the leaders loved the students and how much they desired their Growth no matter what it required of them as leaders, from early mornings to late nights to strange games and Tye-die and soap sculptures. . . Today i spent part of my day on the ropes course watching students attempt to climb a HUGE tower on very small ropes or a wiggly swinging ladder. it was amazing to me to watch these students conquer the task laid out before them. for some it was the challenge they waited all summer for, while others started up the ladder and you could quickly see that this was the last place they ever wanted to be in life.

It breaks my heart to see a student start up a ropes course element only to stop just a few feet from the starting point and say ok i'm done... let me down. I am convinced these are the students who believed before they ever put the helmet on, that they were not able to do it. From the beginning they never believed in themselves.

then there are those who make it almost to the top only to stop a few feet short from completion, as though all their efforts have been poured out and there is no more drive or hope left in them.

And then there is rare student who is determined through all their doubt and fear that they will complete the task. As though it is a battle for life and death and maybe in someway it really is that important, because they know that if they don't complete this task, the seed of doubt will grow in them and forever limit their abilities to believe they can do more then they think.

while all of these students were present in our group there was one thing that transcended all of their thoughts. . .  the POWER of encouragement. it was as though a few words from those at the bottom of the tower could change the outcome of the one on the tower. just at the brink of giving up another team member would yell some encouragement upward to the tower and the climber would begin again or be energized for the moment. the end result. . . more success for a greater number of students who needed to see success in their lives.

i can't help but parallel this to life...how often are we ready to give up and then someone comes along and offers us what we do not have...HOPE.