My name is Lewis Morgans, and this is the story of how I came to be a camp officer on an EMW camp last summer.
How and when did you become a Christian?
I was brought up in a non-Christian home with no interest in God, and apart from funerals, no experiences of church. From a young age I lived a ‘party’ lifestyle of alcohol and drugs, but as time went by, I started to feel that something was missing from my life. I began to look into things such as conspiracy theories and new age philosophy in an attempt to find some answers and meaning to my life, but they didn’t give me any answers nor any satisfaction.
While reading I came across the subject of Bible prophecy, which led me to start reading the Bible. I read about different prophecies, God’s law, heaven and hell but most importantly about what Jesus had done on the cross for us. Wherever I went, the name ‘Jesus’ just kept coming up: people would speak to me about him, I’d overhear people say his name, I started noticing Bible verses on church notice boards and fish symbols on cars! His name was constantly on my mind, and I began to ask myself, ‘What if it’s true?’ So, with no clue what I was doing I decided to pray and ask God to show me if it was true.
While smoking my daily cannabis, I felt this overwhelming guilt, and I could hear the words, ‘Just put it out, just put it out,’ repeating in my head. Then, as if on auto-pilot, I put out what I was smoking, went inside and binned all the drugs.
I started speaking to my girlfriend (now my wife) about everything that had been going on, and something just clicked. I knew the Bible was true and that Jesus was who he claimed to be. I knew that he had died on the cross for me. The Bible became more than just words on a page; it became personal. The missing feeling I once felt had gone, I turned from the sinful life I’d been living and started following Christ.
The next day I started to look for a church. My wife and I both found St Mellons Baptist Church’s website, and we got in touch with the pastor, who invited us along. Along with our three sons, we have been attending since July 2017 where we’ve been able to hear the gospel preached and learn more about God. My wife and I were baptised and became members in May 2018.
How did you get involved with camps?
Ben, one of the camp leaders that I knew from church, asked me if I would come and help him with the Evangelical Movement of Wales (EMW) summer camp that he was leading. I knew nothing about Christian camps; in fact, I thought they were just an American thing! I had been camping when I was younger, but never had any experience of a Christian camp. I felt a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but Ben assured me it was good fun! He said it would be hard work but very rewarding!
What did you do on camp?
I did a bit of everything – firstly I helped to put some tents up, then the kids arrived! There was always something to do from very early morning until very late at night. I joined in with the outdoor activities including gorge walking, and I slept outdoors with no tent for the first time, which was the best sleep I’ve ever had! Then there were the prayer meetings, officer meetings and tent Bible studies.
At the beginning of the week, Ben paired me with another officer who was on camp for the first time but had been a Christian a lot longer. It was good to work alongside him and learn from him. Owen, the chaplain, helped us in the officers’ meetings to study the Bible passage and showed us which bits we could bring out and how we could apply them to the campers. This was really helpful, and as the week went on, I started helping to lead small groups in the Bible study. It was so encouraging to see the kids responding positively to the Bible and asking questions.
What was the hardest thing about camp?
Keeping my energy levels up was very tough. Ben wasn’t joking – it was hard work and very tiring!
What was the best thing about camp?
It’s hard to pick out one thing, but I think that the best thing for me was seeing how the week went as a whole. It was great to see the kids change as the week went by and to see them responding to the Bible and to God. It was really encouraging to see God working on camp and in the camper’s lives.
What did you learn from going on camp?
I was a bit nervous before going on camp as I haven’t been a Christian for very long and I didn’t know much about the Bible. I was worried that it should be me learning and that I wasn’t experienced enough to help others. Once I got to camp though, I realised that as I was learning, I could help others too. The campers responded, and it was great to get involved with them. I learned that I could get alongside the young people and they responded to me. I was encouraged in my faith too. I saw God working in other people’s lives and got to know people from other churches. It’s helped me to want to get more involved in my church too.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about helping on camp?
Do it! I had no experience of children’s work or Christian work, and I had only been a Christian for a year, but it was well worth it! I learned that God has given me gifts that I didn’t know about. I saw him working in the kids’ lives, I learned more about him and the Bible, and I had loads of fun! If I can do it, so can you!