I love coming to Barefoot Republic Camp. I have been the camp pastor for elementary
students this past week and have been spiritually encouraged by the eagerness of campers to consider and embrace lives of faith. When I experienced Barefoot firsthand about ten years ago, I began dreaming that PTM students would build great friendships there, grow in faith, and one day go back to Barefoot as counselors and support staff. When I arrived at Barefoot on Tuesday for Elementary week, I saw Yakeisha (Lucy) making things happen in the kitchen. She has been on support staff before, but this summer has even more responsibility. She also is getting credit towards her culinary arts degree at Nashville State.
Assisting Lucy in the kitchen and working with the support staff is Laquisha. When Tommy Rhodes, Barefoot Republic Founder and Executive Director asked Laquisha why she wanted to come volunteer for a week at Barefoot she replied, “Barefoot has given me full scholarships to come to camp for four years. I just want to give back.”
Danielle has been at Barefoot all summer performing a variety of jobs including camp counselor and support staff. I have watched her this week leading a small group discussion on what it means to follow Jesus; keeping campers wet, cool, and safe at the lake; and being a wonderful joy-spreader wherever she is.
Each one of these three leaders are members of Thrive, have grown up at PTM, and have been multi-year campers of Barefoot. Watching them serve and lead reminds me of the years of tutors and mentors, field trips and retreats, and prayers—and the way God allows us to receive and give.