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Crisis at Camp

This last year’s summer camp for youth from an unreached immigrant people group was very different from previous years. God’s protection and love were evident in dramatic ways. Our theme was “Reach Out: There is More” with Bible stories of people who desperately cried out to God during a crisis. We didn’t expect to be literally crying out to God ourselves, within our first hour of camp!

It happened during the swim test, shortly after everyone arrived at camp. I was in the main office building when suddenly a lifeguard pushed past me, grabbed the AED machine and began running back towards the lake. As I hurried to follow him down to the lake, I heard someone yell, “It’s Theo*!” Something had happened to this boy while he was swimming, and the lifeguards had pulled him from the water. He was not breathing and had no pulse. I felt sick.

I watched the lifeguards use the AED machine to shock him - once, twice, three times – then begin CPR compressions while we waited anxiously for an ambulance to arrive. Beside me, a woman who had been a nurse on a cardiac unit was looking at her watch and counting the minutes, then went to her knees on the grass, weeping. I begged Jesus to save this boy’s life, and to do so before irreparable damage was done to his brain. 

One of our leaders gathered all the campers and began leading them in prayer for Theo’s life. Suddenly, the lifeguards stopped CPR, as Theo’s heart stabilized and he began breathing on his own. It was an incredible moment, and we all felt weak with shock and relief.

The emergency medical team arrived shortly after that and were amazed to find that Theo’s vitals were strong after having undergone CPR for so long. They took him to the hospital, and later we found out that Theo had a previously undiagnosed heart condition which needed surgery. Not only had Jesus saved Theo’s life that day, but discovering this condition was saving his future as well! 

We witnessed a miracle that day; even some of the unbelieving youth acknowledged this. What the enemy meant for evil God used for good. However, going forward we’ve decided to stick to themes like “peace” and “joy” for next year’s camp! 

*Not his real name

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