A Challenging Week at Camp Transformed a Boy's Life

This article was writen by Lucas Benavides, our staff associate at Hillcrest High School.

This is my friend Austin! Austin had a very hard week physically being in the high altitude of Colorado and it took a toll on him mentally as well. Being unable to keep pace with the other guys in our cabin was a challenge that stretched both of us throughout our trip. However, even when I thought Austin was having the worst week possible and that I was an awful person for bringing him to camp, God was subtly working in his heart the whole time!

During our debrief conversation near the end of our time at camp, I asked Austin if he learned anything new about himself this week. He answered by saying, "I learned that most of my anger and sadness comes from not having my real dad in my life". It's hard for me to hold back tears when I hear vulnerable answers like this because my dad has been so present in my own life. Many of the kids at Hillcrest High grow up with absent fathers, a fact that leaves me angered and brokenhearted on their behalf. Our conversation went on with me asking him if his views on Jesus had changed at all this week. He replied, "Before this week I thought I knew about Jesus, but I didn't really know who He was". Austin continued to tell me that he assumed he had a relationship with Jesus, but after being at Frontier he realized that he wasn’t walking with Christ. Austin made a decision at camp to start following Jesus after fully realizing what He did for him on the cross and the personal impact of that sacrifice.

I absolutely love the look of joy on Austin's face in this picture, because this is what it looks like when someone's life has been changed by the Gospel. Austin’s story is only one of many that has taken place because of the opportunity to attend camp. For many of our students in the North Dallas community the opportunity to attend camp has been made possible by generous donors who pay for camp scholarships.