Toby’s Story from Winter Camp

March 22, 2024


Toby signed up for Winter Camp last minute. We had known him for awhile but he hadn’t come to many Campus Life events. Over the weekend of Camp, Toby began opening up about where he was spiritually and a little about his home life. We learned that home has not been a supportive place. In fact, he refused to ask for help anymore because he never got any at home from his parents. He felt like he had to carry life’s challenges on his own.

After the camp speaker presented the Gospel, we gathered in our cabin groups. The boys were sharing and responding to the cabin leader’s question, “Are you ready to surrender your life to Jesus?” Two or three of the boys shared honestly, they were not ready. When we got to Toby, he similarly shared that he was not ready and clearly stated: “I know that I need to ask God for help and surrender to Him, but I don’t know if I can really ask for help.” He had been too hurt from not having parents there to support him, and each time he would ask them for help, it would just bring on more anxiety.

We kept going to the next student who said “Yes” I’m ready. I asked some follow up questions and it was clear he was ready to make Jesus the Lord of his life. Another student shortly after also said he was ready to take the plunge into trusting his life to Jesus. While these two students were standing, we shared that we were going to take time to pray together and lay hands on them. As we were speaking, Toby stood up. With a tear in his eye he said, “I’m ready.” I looked at him and gently asked, “Are you sure?” He replied, “Yes, I’ve thought about it, and I really do need to ask God for help.”

We stood there with three boys and prayed. They all surrendered their lives to Jesus, and each boy shared individually afterwards how they felt God’s presence in that moment and experienced a peace they hadn’t known before. They no longer felt alone.