Marriott Battle

Every Roof I Roof..

In this past week, I had the blessing of going to one of the places my heart calls 'home'.


Three years ago I went to Stay at Home Work Camp for the first time. I was going into sophomore year, had a relatively new boyfriend, family troubles, a battle with depression, and a relationship with God that hadn't been tested or nourished. I really didn't want to go to Work Camp. I didn't want to leave Ben or my mom and I didn't see the point of paying to sweat in the Florida sun for some little known city. To me, going to Lake Wales wasn't a mission trip. A mission trip was going out of the country. But something in my heart called me to the little Floridian town, so I went.


The work camp starts off way earlier in the morning than anything God created ever should. The Care Center piles about 120 kids on two busses and charters us for twenty minutes to First Presbyterian (Presbie) Church. Presbie will always make me smile. The church is somehow always so clean and welcoming even though our rugged group filters in at least six times a week. Once all the campers are fed and happy, a few brave souls will take a na on any surface imaginable while others will try to shovel in any extra food in preparation for the day ahead. Then the campers are ushered into a smaller room where we do morning devotionals, a wake up song, and get our work assignments. The work assignments can range anywhere from retiling a roof, moving doors in a warehouse, or painting a house Smurf blue. This past week, I was blessed enough do all of the above and more. After a full day of working, telling stories, eating, and sleeping literally anywhere; the campers return to Camp Endeavor and fight it out for the first shower and cell service. We have another devotional at night, worship music, and then family time in our cabins.


I have to applaud the Care Center staff. Every counselor works tirelessly to make sure the campers are energized enough to work hard, but everyone also has fun. People come back to Stay at Home Work Camp because of the love they feel at Camp Endeavor. We are grouped together and asked to remake houses in a week and completely out of our comfort zones, but we love it. I am so blessed to know a place like Stay at Home Work Camp


Every summer the staff prays about a saying and a passage of scripture the campers can study. The prayer and thought that goes into all the devotionals and teachings really makes the camp Christ centered and always manages to recapture our hearts for Jesus. The scripture always speaks to me or sparks something in me and the leaders always bring that up and work for every camper to have a connection with God that is twice as strong as when they came at the beginning of the week.


Yes, Work Camp is hard. You get blisters and bruises and sunburn. But I will always come back because the spirit of my Lord is so strong there and it flows through everyone who is present on a site, or in a cabin, or at a church. I thank God so much that he called a sheltered sophomore to a little town in Lake Wales three years ago, and I am so grateful for the lady I've become since then.

Marriott Battle