In 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the city of New Orleans. The storm displaced my family and flooded my home. Even though I had a strong family, the storm uprooted my faith in the existence of a loving God. Throughout middle school, I struggled with overwhelming anxiety and depression.
Seeking hope and help, my parents sent me to Eagle Lake Camps as part of the Crew program (a volunteer work and discipleship program at camp for high-schoolers ages 15-18). It was the best thing my parents did for me! I had been a camper at Eagle Lake Camps for three summers while I was in elementary school, before Katrina, and God had planted seeds of faith during my weeks at camp.
During the summer on Crew, I received love and compassion from the staff, teaching from God’s Word, and healing from His Spirit. I asked Jesus back into my life, and I felt my anger and sadness melting away. Even through the storm, God redeemed my life and started a transformation in my heart. I returned to Crew at Eagle Lake every summer throughout high school and decided that I wanted to go to college in Colorado as well.
Unfortunately, during my freshman year at Colorado State University (CSU), I participated more in the party scene of college than the Navs fellowship. At the end of the year, I felt depleted in my faith and unfulfilled with what the world had to offer. I did what I had always done when I had a crisis of faith—I went back to camp—returning as a prodigal.
After coming back to my spiritual roots, I realized that God used Eagle Lake to give me new life and deepen my faith. This was meant as a foundation, so when I went back to college I didn’t have to start over but could continue to grow in Christ. So, I was intentional in rooming with other Christian friends I met at Eagle Lake when I returned to CSU.
I met Nick when he joined the Navs group at CSU. It was neat to walk alongside him as he learned how to apply the principles on walking with Christ not just at camp but in everyday life.
He really began to mature in Christ having roommates who helped keep each other accountable, pushing each other to pursue holiness in their lives. Nick also became more involved in a Nav Bible study and the Navs group.
It was a privilege to see several of the Navs staff invest and pour into his life, developing leadership qualities and helping him to process what God was teaching him.
I met with him many times over coffee as he shared his restlessness in school. He thirsted for adventure and we explored how God was leading him overseas for a year-long mission trip.
Now I am on a year-long mission experience (the World Race), following God and pointing others toward Him. You can read about my mission experience at nickuddo.theworldrace.org.
… for the youth and college students today who need Jesus in their lives.
… that those who came to camp and go to college will continue to grow closer to God.
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