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Lives transformed when camp pastor tells his story

Bo could identify. As a youth, he had come to Warm Beach Camp and had a broken a few rules. As a 13-year-old at W-BAR-B, he had actually punched a fellow camper in the face.

Though they provided for the family, Bo’s parents partied heavily on the weekends. “One night when I was a child, my dad told my mom and me that he would kill her is she ever left him. She actually believed him, so she took me and my sister and left him.”

Miraculously, Bo’s father came to the Lord. The family reunited and began attending church. Bo heard the salvation prayer, and he prayed it from his heart. “I believe God was the real deal.”

But his faith waned. Drug dealers became his close friends. Ripping off unsuspecting victims became his calling card.

“I told God I wanted to change,” he said.  One night on the phone, Bo’s best friend said, “I am the devil.”

“I thought I was already in hell,” says Bo.

“I got off the phone, opened the Bible and the first thing I saw was that I was forgiven. I bawled my eyes out for an hour. From then on, I devoted my life to God and telling my story.”

Through his growing faith in Christ, Bo encouraged Kevin to remain close to Jesus while at Warm Beach and beyond.

Bo also connected with Steven, a foster child who had come to Warm Beach through Angel Tree, a ministry of Prison Fellowship that serves children whose parents are currently serving time in prison.

“Steven began telling me all the things he had done, especially the bad influences. Early on at camp during chapel, he never once said, ‘Amen’ to a prayer. Then, on Wednesday, after he heard my testimony, my story, the word came from his heart, ‘Amen.’

“Year after year, campers hear the reality of God’s grace. They go out on the hill next to the W-BAR-B barn and they make the biggest decision of their lives and give their heart to God.”

One night this summer, 75 campers returned from that hill, and gathered around the campfire. At the end of his message, Bo asked them, “If there is any one of you who have given your life to the Lord, please stand.”

Seventeen campers stood up. Not only had Bo been faithful to tell the story of Christ, he had asked them the all-important life-changing question.

<Camper names have been changed to protect the identity of the young people>

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