student blog Witnessing God at Work at GA Camp
Missions Discipleship

Witnessing God at Work at GA Camp

During the summer of 2021, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a Girls in Action (GA) Missions Experience that truly allowed me to grow. I served as camp staff. Nothing can compare to the real-life experiences and relationships I built during that weekend. It was a short event, but the lessons learned and memories made will last a lifetime. I will carry these experiences along with me in hopes to share them with others.

Learning to Lead

During the event I had the pleasure of assisting with the organization of crafts and helped around whenever I could. We were able to connect God’s Word through activities. I gained more experience working with kids. As a result, I was able to learn what works best for these girls.

At such a young age, one looks forward to the activities that bring them fun and joy. For this reason, it was important to combine God’s Word with the girls’ interests. I did this by incorporating the message into activities like arts and crafts, songs, and games.

Everything was done with love and with a plan. Our goal was always to bring these children closer to Christ. One may seem like a small number, but when our work can save at least one, it is worth every ounce of time and effort.

Learning from Other Leaders

My 2021 GA Mission Experience introduced me to numerous new sisters in Christ. A group of young women from Mississippi came to New York to assist with this missions experience. I am grateful for all they had to offer.

They shared new ideas and techniques, like songs, that they brought from their past experiences. They even provided us with children’s Bibles, which I thought were helpful. These Bibles included engaging illustrations to catch the girls’ attention.

These missionaries also introduced us to an endearing song about the fruit of the Spirit. It was wonderful to hear the GAs singing, knowing they were learning and worshiping. I also had the privilege of making connections with the younger girls as a teen helper.

Building Relationships

I vividly remember the last night of the trip. I was in my room with a group of other girls and we were getting ready to go to bed. To this day, this night still stays with me.

One of the GAs felt comfortable enough to talk with me about her experiences as a follower of Christ in this world. She expressed to me how she is hesitant to spread God’s word and love in fear of being judged or made fun of. She started sharing how being a Christian is not always seen as “cool” or “the norm.” For these reasons she followed the crowd and tried to blend in with the things of the world.

I resonated with the feelings she expressed because I, too, at times find myself in similar situations. Situations when I am afraid to voice my opinion on certain topics from the point of view of a Christian. Sensitive topics, and things that are justified by today’s society.

At the time, I remember asking her, “How do you feel knowing that there is a God out there that loves you unconditionally?” She answered, something along the lines of, “It makes me feel safe, knowing that I have someone who knows my pain, and will always be there for me.”

Knowing that is a beautiful feeling and it’s important to not feel ashamed of it. Having that relationship with God is the greatest blessing, and I want everyone to feel His love.

Witnessing God at Work

By participating in these experiences as a teen leader, I was able to witness, first hand, God’s work in the lives of these girls. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they learned and worshiped brought me so much joy. It was a blessing to be there and have the great opportunity to help out and participate in this event.

By the last day, a few of the girls made the beautiful decision to accept Christ into their lives.

I was once just like these girls. I felt so grateful for being able to work with and guide the girls.

Leslie Almonte, a 2023 National Acteens Panelist, is from Passaic, New Jersey, and attends Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Passaic.