As a former camper at Michi-Lu-Ca, I fondly remember playing a game called “Camouflage”. This hide-and-seek style game involved running into the woods in attempt to hide or camouflage oneself from the seeker. I remember experiencing this incredible sense of peace as I crouched behind a mossy tree and the only sound I could hear was the rustling of leaves. In terms of God’s creation, I felt like I had been plunged into the real deal. Looking back, being fully immersed in nature while also being in a camp where I felt fully immersed in Jesus’ love was very formative for my faith.
Knowing this important piece of my faith story is shared by many others, Living Water Ministries is striving to help campers connect with God through nature more intentionally. Luckily for us, LWM just recently brought aboard Greg Jacobs as a seasonal environmental educator. Greg, or “Nature Greg” as we endearingly call him here at camp, is a former park ranger and naturalist at national parks and camps all around Michigan. Nature Greg’s presence this summer will add another dimension to campers’ faith lives as they encounter the Holy Spirit through the nature hikes and games he will facilitate.
Here are some thoughts from Nature Greg himself:
“In our modern world of secular science it has become standard to believe that the amazingly complex natural world around us, and the finely-tuned planet that sustains it (and us) came into being by some random cosmic accident. Additionally, an incredible unseen force known as “chance” is responsible for the millions of fascinating species of plants and animals all around the world.
Besides praying in the synagogues, Jesus regularly went into the wilderness and up into the mountains to be alone. Perhaps being in nature made him feel closer to [God]? Or perhaps he just needed to get away from the masses and the stress, collect his thoughts, and keep things in perspective. Living Water Ministries is located in a peaceful and naturally diverse setting, rich with woods, water, and wildlife, that allows campers the opportunity to experience the same thing. Learning about the amazing wonders of Creation provides yet more opportunities to not only appreciate God’s wisdom, but also to offer our thanks and praise for all [God’s] blessings.
I am excited to be working with the amazing staff at Living Water Ministries this summer, and am greatly looking forward to sharing even just a small sampling of the joys and wonders of God’s Creation with the guests and campers that will be attending. I pray that they will see and appreciate nature in a new way, and be compelled to share these blessings with others.”
My time spent in Michi-Lu-Ca’s natural beauty undoubtedly helped me to feel a connection with God’s creation and I know Nature Greg will continue to help kids feel that same connection this summer.