Every night at the Next Level Summer Camp we had an optional bible study that the campers were encouraged to go to. We saw a majority of them turn up in the lodge to dig into the Word. This was amazing! But this year we did things a little bit differently. We read a section of the book of John and had one of the staff members share a testimony from their life where that section was relevant. We then had four questions that the campers and staff would answer in small groups. They would read the section over again and discuss it together.
One of those testimonies really impacted all who attended. Several great things were posted on Instagram and Facebook about this young gentleman who shared a part of his life with us. Here is his talk and a transcription.
The scripture was John 11:17-44, Lazarus’ death.
Cool. This story is so cool because Jesus asked everyone in that town to trust him and trust is a big factor in this story because Lazarus is dead and his sister Mary and Martha they’re like, “Yo! Why didn’t you save this guy? You’re Jesus, you’re God you perform miracles every day.” It’s so cool to see that in the scripture He clearly states that “this is My plan and it will all turn out for good.”
Most of you you probably thought “who is that guy talking funny or walking funny?” and that’s me. I have Cerebral Palsy which is a disability that affects my motor and vocal. I was born with it all my life and when I was born the doctor said I wouldn’t walk or talk. And my Mom, growing up with a handicapped child isn’t that easy, like it sucks. Cuz you’re expecting this beautiful child to grow up and play football and a bunch of activities. So when you have a handicapped child it’s really hard for your self esteem. So she had to trust in the Lord in raising me and giving me enough therapy to help me grow and overcome my challenges. Hold on my iPhone turned off. Haha.
So she taught me how to trust the Lord. When I was younger I needed a walker because my balance wasn’t that great. I went through 12 years of therapy to try and recover the normal abilities that each one of you have. There were super hard therapy days where I really didn’t want to do anything just lay in bed and do nothing. I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be the man I was today. It took a lot of trust in the Lord to get me through a ton of challenges.
I think my disability is like Lazarus’ death. Lazarus rose again and that gave a ton of glory to God. By doing that he built God’s Kingdom. For me to overcome challenges every day but for you is a piece of cake, but for me it might be like a triple cork off the six footer, the hardest thing ever. I just really wanted to say tonight that the Lord is awesome. You can trust Him with anything and He will provide for you. Something might be sucky, you don’t really want to do it or it’s super hard for you but God’s strength is so much greater than yours. He can help you with so many challenges in your life and it isn’t hard. God is cool. These questions, I really want you to think about them, really process them. They are pretty hard and I think they are super hard as well. Take time in your groups to dive deep and talk about them because I think they will change your life.
Cool. Thank you!
Why do you think Jesus let Lazarus die?
What did Jesus’s weeping show us?
What does it mean to glorify God?
What’s something that you’ve had to trust in the Lord with?