Here we are with another Wednesday Words, Guest post continuing our series highlighting the current members of the Day Camp Planning Committee.
This month Mae Anne de Vera will be sharing with you. I know you will find this post very special.
Welcome Mae Anne!
Was it really over seven years ago when I walked into Valerie’s office to drop off my Day Camps application for the very first time, not knowing at all what I was getting into? It feels like it was just yesterday.
I’m Mae Anne! I’m a student at Concordia University, and have been studying Computer Engineering for two years and a half. Since the day I met Valerie in June 2010, I recall filling in a range of roles in Crosstalk Ministries including day camp team member, team leader, training team leader, worship leader, day camp song CD vocalist, committee member, and probably more…
However, through my entire experience with Crosstalk, I’d have to say that the role that really stretched me most was being a fill-in team leader last summer. It was truly a unique experience that I am so excited and honored to share with you in this post. Let’s begin!
At the start of the summer, I really thought I had experienced everything at Daycamps. I had been running camps since I was 14 years old. I had survived in Native reserves, dealing with 100+ children towering over my petite frame. I had been a training team leader three times already! I had even made it out of a few summers doing school and Daycamps at the same time. I was at a high of confidence, thinking that I could face anything. It was to the point that I even forgot to rely on God.
Week three of DayCamps came along, and I had to fill-in as a leader in a team that I was not prepared to lead at all. One of my team members was a sweet 15 year old boy who had never done Daycamps before, and the other was a lovely 17 year old with autism. I had missed the first two weeks with my team due to school, so our chemistry was non-existent. Two days into the experience, my confidence completely shattered. I didn’t know what I was doing! I didn’t know how to lead this team. Those 7 years of experience were blurry all of a sudden, and I couldn’t remember half of my so-called “expertise” on Daycamps. God had really put me in a spot where I had no choice but to trust in Him completely. He put me in a spot where I had to face the reality that I was swimming in my pride, and I couldn’t continue this way any longer if I wanted to survive through the rest of the summer.
Looking back on it, that summer reminded me a lot of the story of Moses. Moses had spent 40 years in Egypt living in wealth, and getting proper education…Then the Lord brought him into the wilderness, where none of those things mattered anymore. God had spend 40 years humbling Moses in that place, and only when he was completely humbled did God call Moses to be part of the mission to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
In short, just like Moses, God really humbled me. He made me realize that I couldn’t rely on my book knowledge and past experience to lead this team and these camps. He made me realize that I couldn’t support my team member with autism purely based off of my general knowledge. God gave me to see that the only way to properly support him was to be in a position of humility. I had to admit that I didn’t always understand every human experience. I had to admit that I don’t always understand everything and I don’t always know. I couldn’t complete my mission that summer without admitting these things.
Advice for future team members and team leaders out there? Or just advice for anyone who is out to accomplish big things? You can’t do it without humility. Without humility, you are on your own. No God. Just you. Without humility, you cannot come to God at all. And honestly, how far can any human being go on their own?
So, is my advice to simply be humble? I don’t think any human being is naturally humble. The human heart is naturally full of pride and deceit. So, my advice is simply that you ask God for humility, and believe me, He will give it to you. It will be a hard and potentially painful experience, but it will be worth it. It is through a humble heart that God will accomplish great things.
This journey towards humility isn’t over for me. I believe that God makes absolutely no mistakes. He used last summer as a wakeup call for me to rethink my career path even. Being with my wonderful and very special team members last summer, God began to steer my heart towards a career outside the prestigious engineering field I was striving for. Away from my pursuit for future stability and title, God has been directing me to let go of my degree and run towards a future in Special Care Counseling. Truly, God has put in my heart to work with people just like my team member or people with other disabilities. I have never been so sure of where I was going until now.