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  • Jon Epp

Lesson Learn From a Special Needs Camper

We have just kicked off our 3rd week of camp of 2014!!! The last 2 weeks has flown by with Adult Special Needs camps... working the Special Needs weeks are by far my favorite! The love and care most of them show is so genuine, and the ones that don't show a lot of love and care also do it genuinely, they really wear their emotions on their sleeve.

In our first week of ASN, I was privileged enough to spend the week in cabin with 6 guys, and one of the guys that wasn't even in my cabin showed me something about walking with God in obedience. Douglas, he is one of the favorites among staff, he is very easy to take care of, and very obedient. He doesn't talk much, and when he does it is quite quiet. Douglas also takes his time doing almost everything. Its not uncommon to see him leaving the table last after a meal, or the last one to the table coming from some outdoor activities. He loves swimming, often Doug and I would paddle together, I would hold his hands up and walk backwards, and he paddles forwards with his feet, pushing me backwards. Sometimes he would get a little tired and I would say "Harder , Doug." And he would kick harder, never wanting to stop paddling in circles, I would tire out long before Douglas was finished.

Doug is an extremely obedient man, to the point of mimicking people during chapels and campfires doing actions for the songs. One chapel, while watching him follow the counselor beside him doing actions, it hit me that Doug is the example of obedience that we are to have with our Creator God. He doesn't ask questions, he doesn't argue with you, Doug just follows. So often in our walk with Jesus, we get the idea that we know better than the One that created us, saved us, and loves us...we forget that we serve a all-knowing, all-loving, time-transcending God! When he gives instruction, who are we to argue, talk back, or try to figure out another "better" idea? Simple Obedience is something that we are not very good at, and it is something that this 67 year old Special Needs camper was fantastic at...there is nothing complicated about obedience...Hear the Instruction and then Act and Follow; That is what I learned from Doug.

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