Finding the Light

Posted by Christine Szekeres in The Word on March 14, 2014

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As the sound of heavy rain and the chilling air force me to escape the comfort of my bed, my mind fills with questions and complaints: “Why is it so cold in here?! Where is the Light?! IT RAINS TOO MUCH!” With just one glance out the window, it’s obvious that the Costa Rican sunshine is long gone.

We are back at SAMBICA, getting back into the grind of things with our usual 9am meeting. As I prepare for the day, I walk by many of my groggy peers in the house and my first smile comes because of the humor I find in the horrendous hair of some of my friends. We take a long walk up the hill and enter the dining hall where the day begins. The usual updates are shared by the staff and I am just fighting to stay awake on the couch due to a low quality sleep the night before. When the meeting comes to an end, I step outside and watch the rain hit the ground for a few seconds before gathering the courage to walk back to Gillette. Still raining, still cold, still no Light. When I get back to my house I eat a quick lunch and rest before I have to show up for Camp SAM.

Today I get to be the Tech Assistant, which means I control the music and the videos from upstairs during rally time. It’s not the most exciting job, but today I don’t have much energy, so that’s not a big problem. As the music plays through the speakers, I sneak a peek outside, hoping to see a slight ray of sunlight … but all I see are “liquid sun drops” and clouds. I notice something else, however, I see Trevor, one of our beloved rowdy Camp SAM kiddos, walking up the Forum stairs toward me. He finally reaches the top and says, “Hey Axel! This is for you. I drew a 49er because I knew you liked them.’’ He then handed me a picture with a sloppy 49er logo and a stick figure football player.

In this moment, I finally see the “Light” that had been hiding all day. Here standing before me is a kid who is a HUGE Seahawks fan. Yet, just because he considers me one of his friends, he put our differences aside and drew a 49er logo FOR ME!!


This showed me that even on cloudy days, the light of CHRIST shines at SAMBICA through the relationships we have with the campers here. There is nothing better than seeing a bright shiny smile of one of our campers on a cloud day! It makes you remember that the SON is ALWAYS shining at SAMBICA.

Written by Jorge Lovato

Learning to Worship God through My Labors

Posted by Christine Szekeres in Costa Rica on March 5, 2014

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As part of our internship program, my coworkers and I at SAMBICA traveled to Costa Rica to work alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ at Campamento Roblealto. While we were there, we helped accomplish a variety of tasks, including painting benches, walls, and buildings, digging ditches, blazing trails, watering plants (which was not as easy as it sounds, considering most of the water had to be carried up a huge hill in 5-gallon buckets from the river), building dams to help work toward an irrigation system for the trees around the camp, cleaning cabins which were used during their summer camp program, sanding and staining wood pillars, and many other housekeeping and maintenance projects.

Costa Rica

On the first day that my group (group 2) had the opportunity to work at Roblealto, it became obvious to me that this place was very different from what I was used to. We gathered to find out what we would be doing for the day, and the leader of the maintenance team said, “We need four guys to take machetes and clear some trails.” Seriously?! Of course, my hand shot straight up, as did the hands of three of my good friends. David handed us all machetes, explaining that we would need to clear the branches and limbs hanging over the trails. Additionally, he gave us rakes and told us to rake the leaves and litter off the paths to make them safer. Splitting us into two groups of two, we moved to tackle opposite sides of the camp. After living in the suburbs for far too long, I was excited for the opportunity to get dirty and wander the woods! David walked us to the trail we would be clearing and set us to work.

Josh and I started working as hard and as fast as we could to get the path cleaned up. But after 30 minutes or so, David came to check on us and see how our work was coming along and told us to slow down! He explained that it didn’t matter how fast we got the job done, that it was more important for us to get the job done well and have fun along the way. He encouraged us to enjoy our work and to worship God through our labor instead of trying to rush through it all and kill ourselves in the process. The perspective of work displayed at their camp was so radically different and so incredibly refreshing throughout our time there that I even brought hints of it home! Ever since our trip, I’ve been so much more joyful in my work, because I’ve started seeing it as an opportunity to glorify God as 1 Corinthians 10:31 instructs.

Even though I ended up bedridden and sick halfway through my time in Costa Rica, I had an amazing time working alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ to extend the kingdom of God and help them fulfill their mission. It was sobering to realize that I serve the same God as they do, and our mission, no matter how many miles separate us, is the same: to make disciples of ALL nations.

Written by Tyler Watley

Giving over control.

Posted by admin in The Word on May 1, 2013

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So there is a lot of talk out there about control. Opinions vary on if, and to what degree, we as mere human beings exercise control. Some say, “Yes, I am always in control!” While others say, “No, control is an illusion!” My analytical brain wants to put me in the “Yes!” camp, but from experience and what I read in God’s Word I know that the latter camp is where I live.

Why do we feel the need for control? The world says it’s primal, a survival instinct, hard-wired into us when we crawled out of the ooze a bazillion years ago. As a Christian I reject the idea that my ancestors were ever protozoa or ever “oozed” anywhere. Honestly, which is more fantastical: a) humans were once single-celled organisms and “evolved” or b) God brought everything into existence?

The answer lies, perfectly enough, in the idea of control.

If the universe simply sprang into being, one second there was nothing and the next, volia, Earth we are not beholden to anyone or anything for our existence … it was an accident, happenstance without purpose or design. After all, a human can’t be indebted to protozoa or the big bang! If, however, God created the Earth in seven glorious days, breathed life into Adam and from his rib created Eve, well then there is someone we owe!

Submission is by it’s very definition, an absence of control. When we step out in faith to God’s plan for our lives, when we follow His commandments, when we acknowledge our fallen sinful nature and finally, blessedly when we are washed white by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ we are “out of control”! The point being … we’ve given control over to God.

However, for all this “lack of control” I would suggest that in perfect submission there is control … God’s control and reign over our lives gives a peace and joy that no white-knuckled grasp on the handlebars of life could ever give!

When asked, “what is the reason for the light that lives within you” what is your answer? Mine is simple, “I was born a sinner, separated from God. Were it not for His grace, mercy, and love I would be damned to an eternity of loneliness and darkness in Hell. He loved me so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to pay the price for every sin I ever committed. That kind of love is epic, without equal and is the reason for the light that lives in me!”

To some being in control is safety … the only way they can live. I challenge each of you reading this to take close look at how “control” plays out in your life. For me, I’m ever the broken girl, making mistakes but following (and ceding control) to the Lord one day at a time. Blessings and peace be upon you!

This post started out going in one direction (namely how launching a web site is a control “no fly zone”) but it took a little turn that I pray is to God’s satisfaction since I believe He inspired me to write it.

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