Hi, my name is Camille Reyes, I am an eighth grader getting ready for high school and I am 13 years old. As a lot of you may know, I was born into a Christian home and into Valley Praise, now Cross Culture Church. As a kid I never really understood why I was going to church every Friday and Sunday, I just knew that I had to go. So as I started growing up, church became just a routine, it meant nothing to me. I would go to church, be in the Sunday school classes, go to my parents’ Bible Studies and do nothing.
It wasn’t until I got to join the Authorized Youth Ministry that I began to understand why I’m going to church. When I first joined, I was scared to put my hands up while worshipping, I didn’t even know why people did that. I called myself a Christian but I hadn’t really accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. When my first retreat happened it was truly amazing. I got to experience knowing the Lord intimately alone and with the help and encouragement of my youth leaders and my friends. Being able to see my siblings worship the Lord with all their wonderful talents God has gifted them with is more than encouraging. These people influence me in so many ways and I am so glad showing me how to love my life for the Lord is one of them.
Then there was OSL. I’ll admit that at first when I found out I was taking OSL I was kind of annoyed, annoyed at the fact that I would have to stay in the valley for two more hours and that I would only have two hours of social media a week. But listening to the faithbuilders, being on social media for two hours or less, and memorizing the verses has completely changed my relationship with the Lord, in a good way 🙂
During OSL level 5 pastor Jerry, his wife, and his brother, constantly went over the point that “YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.” It’s so true isn’t it? It’s like the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated,” except it applies to all aspects of life. Galatians 6:8 says, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will receive eternal life.” So when we live our lives in sin and darkness, we can’t expect God to grant us with everything we’ve ever wanted. But when we walk and do everything to glorify the name of the Lord, we will receive the desires of our hearts.
One of my favorite memory verses from OSL Level 5 is, Philippians 2:14, “do everything without grumbling or arguing.” This verse is so short and simple that people tend to over look it, but is it really that simple. When I had to memorize this verse, it really made an impact on me personally. I’ve really been trying to obey everything my parents have asked me to do and when I get annoyed I try to do things without having an attitude. This one “simple” verse has changed the way I talk to people significantly. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”- which is the first commandment with a promise-“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
If we lived back then, disobeying our parents would be a sin bad enough that you would be stoned by all the men in your village. So the Lord says to do EVERYTHING without grumbling or arguing. Being able to take OSL as a family has built our family and taught our family to live in unity. It has made our relationship with each other much stronger because we get to check up on each other and do our quiet time together. The only person that wasn’t taking OSL with us was my sister Courtney, but taking OSL has made my prayer time so much stronger and has taught me how to pray with faith instead of being iffy about what I’m speaking to God.
Now, going to church isn’t a routine, doing my Quiet Time isn’t a routine, and going to Bible Study isn’t a routine. In fact, it’s a delight to do each and every one of those things. When I am not able to attend Bible Study due to extra curricular activities, I get sad. If a day goes by where I haven’t spent time with the Lord one on one, I am a completely different person, but when I finally realize that I belong to the Lord, I delight in getting to spend time with him at the end of the day, doing my quiet time is no longer a routine, but it is a breath of fresh air after a long day. Now I’m graduating from OSL, it’s crazy to think that, but here I am, graduating a class that, at the beginning was a young girl being stubborn and ignorant of the class, but now graduating from it and not regretting any last bit of it.
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