You guys. Have you ever gone to a camp expecting to have lots of fun and that’s it, and then you come back with your life changed in the most beautiful way? That was AWAM (arts with a mission). I just got back from AWAM on Saturday, and I’m finally sitting down to write about it! I’m soooo excited to share about what the Lord did in me through that camp!
(By the way…I have no pictures so words will just have to do)
First off, let me tell you a little more about AWAM: it’s a day camp in Texas whose goal is to raise up an army of artistic ambassadors for Christ. Throughout the week we were encouraged and equipped to use our artistic abilities for the glory of God! We learned three different dances that we performed as a ministry, and a way to share the gospel with other people.
Since I don’t live near the city where the camp is held, I got the opportunity to stay in a host home, along with one of my other friends from where I live. That might have been the best part of the whole camp! The family we stayed with was SO AMAZING. They had two awesome girls, and all four of us were able to really connect. We had so many nights where we’d come home from a long day of camp, and just talk (and laugh…a lot) about the day, and lots of other random things. They were seriously such a blessing!
Each day at camp opened up with a time of worship, and that was definitely my favorite part of the day! God revealed so many different truths to me during those times of praise. Towards the end of the week, we had an hour of worship. Wow. It was so beautiful. I have never felt God’s presence in a room more than I did then. His love felt so real, more real than it ever had before. There was a time of prayer, and I think a lot of us were in tears…it was that powerful!
Once we had learned all of our dances, we got to start our weekend of ministry! We started by performing for kids at a rec center. It was so cool to see their faces light up when we started doing our awesome hip-hop dances. 😉 After the performance, we got to go talk to the kids, and then do workshops for them, similar to the ones we had done at camp. They loved it and were soooo thrilled to get to learn the same things we had learned all throughout the week. We also were given the opportunity to pray with them, and that was super special.
After the rec center, we hopped back on to the bus and traveled two hours to Dallas, where we performed at the dart station. And this is where it gets awesome. So when we pulled up, there was a group of men standing right next to where we were going to perform, and they were yelling. Like, a lot. They had a microphone too which didn’t help. They were basically proclaiming the exact opposite of the message we wanted to share. We wanted to people to know that Jesus loves you no matter what. They were telling people that if you didn’t have the right skin color, God wouldn’t love you. My first thought was, “Seriously God? Why today?” I thought nobody would want to watch a bunch of teens sing and dance, and that those men would be distracting. Well boy was I wrong. People getting off or waiting for their train would stop and watch us. Some sang along. Some danced with us. And after we were done, they came up and encouraged us to keep doing what we were doing, to keep showing the love of Jesus in the way we live. One man came up and said to me, “You guys are being lights in this darkness, and it is beautiful to see. Don’t ever think that darkness can overcome the light, because the light of Jesus ALWAYS shines brighter!” I was almost in tears. How powerful is that? How amazing to know that light always, always conquers darkness. Satan may be stirring up sin and hatred and anger and evil, but love always wins in the end. So whenever I start to get discouraged, and whenever I feel that the darkness is too strong, I remember that darkness can’t conquer light. God’s light will forever shine brighter.
The rest of the week was amazing, and we got to perform at a water park which was super fun! It was really hard to say goodbye to all the amazing people I had met. The whole week was one of the best, most life-changing weeks of my life! But I will never ever forget my experience at the dart station: love always wins…