It was the third day of Kids Camp. My body was functioning on less than four hours of sleep the past two nights so I could get the daily videos ready for the kids. The flow of energy was like a roller coaster and I would catch a decent wind during the day. However as evening settled in time for the services, I felt like a zombie. Coffee was called upon but it had no effect. I settled into the back row of the auditorium as 600 kids piled in ready to party. What could possibly bring me back to life so I could do video? If I didn’t catch a new wind of energy soon, I would find myself curled into a corner out like a light.

Then a familiar tune started playing; I recognized it by the first note. A soulful voice joyfully proclaimed “Let me hear the worshippers!” It was “Every Praise” by Heziekiah Walker. This track has been on my life’s soundtrack for the past year. Without a bit of hesitation, I ran onto the stage with my friends and started leading the kids in a goofy dance to this gospel hit. In the middle of the song, I heard a bit of commotion to my left. To my surprise, it was a life sized teddy bear dancing with us. Our teddy bear friend didn’t have any eye holes, so we helped him toward the middle of the stage. Once he started dancing and clapping to the beat of the song, the absurdness of the situation floored me with uncontrollable laughter.

It was time for the service to begin, so we exited the stage but not before getting a quick picture together, thanks to the bear’s dad. Had it not been for this song and this boy in a teddy bear suit, I may not have made it through the night to film highlights of the service and to get the video edited. So shout out to the life-sized teddy bear and his Dad. The week would not have been as memorable or as funny without you.

Please be in prayer as Illinois Student Ministries carries on Week Two of Kids Camp. Pray for God’s kingdom to be built further because of what happens this week. Pray for both the kids and staff to have an encounter with God and may they further discover their place in the grand story. Team Illinois, I wish I could be there with you this week, but I know you’re going to kill it. I can’t wait to see you all next month as I tell the story of BREAKAWAY TEEN CAMP. Stay tuned!