Hey y’all!

My name is Aaron Midkiff, but your campers know me as One Hip Wonder! I am a sophomore at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. I am studying Christian ministry with an emphasis in youth ministry.

What a wonderful week of camp it has been! Week 10 is almost complete!

We’ve watched funny skits, defeated the posse during Pitch Black Attack, swung on the barn swing at 5th Grade Trip, had a blast at activity classes, eaten Mrs. Betty’s tasty meals. And tonight, Chief Running Nose led campers in the muddiest theme night yet – Buffalo Hunt!

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Over the past few years, the Lord has weaved a major theme through the fabric of my life. He continually reminds me He is always there.

This is a phrase I heard growing up in a small church in small-town Texas. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, my faith was lukewarm and I didn’t make it a priority in my life.

At beginning of my junior year in high school, everything was going perfectly. I was the quarterback of our football team, and everyone predicted we would go to state that year. My family supported me and were there through everything.

Little did I know everything was about to change. November 23, 2012, one of my younger brothers passed away unexpectedly. He was perfectly healthy, but  within an hour, he was dead.

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In that moment, I started question if God was real. I had the “perfect” life. Why did God have to mess it all up? 

In two years following my brother’s passing, God revealed many of my insecurities. He exposed a pride and self-reliance I hadn’t realized previously. My confidence remained mostly on what I thought I had accomplished through my own strength.

My pride blinded me from God’s amazing love.

The Lord brought me out of that dark place and lit up my world with His saving grace. He revealed a whole new side of life to me and taught me he is the only one who allows us to continue on each day. I am motivated to share this love with your kids and my friends back home. The ministry of Pine Cove has sparked a greater desire in me for working with youth and loving them like the Lord loves each of us. God has laid the burden of full time youth ministry on my heart.

As I look back, I see hardships and suffering and pain, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. God’s love is never ending. He will always be there for us when we need him.

Just like my brother, we don’t know the day or the hour when God will call us home. The Father in heaven loves us so much he sent his only Son to be born in a stable, live the perfect life we couldn’t and ultimately be nailed to a tree to receive the punishment for sin we each deserved. What love!

If you are reading this and you don’t have a personal relationship with God, I want you to know that God loves you. 

Romans 5:3-6 reminds us, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Christ died that we might live. There is no greater love story.