SWO16 Staff: Howie


IMG_2249 staff

We wanted to share this update email from Howie Simpkins, a summer staffer from this SWO16 camp season.

I’ve been reflecting on my 12 weeks at Snowbird Summer Camp. Almost every week I was asked by a chaperone of students “Why are you here?” I always answered that I felt called to be there despite the fact that I was 30-35 years older than every other summer staff member. As the summer went on though I really felt like answering “What prevents you from sacrificing a summer for Jesus?”

I adopted Philippians 3:10 as my verse to rest this sacrifice on, “That I may know Jesus and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” What little suffering I experienced by living the camp life was insignificant compared to what Jesus suffered for my sake.

Admittedly I thought the physical work and hours would be the most demanding part. I was wrong. The spiritual strength to make it through 10 weeks of pouring into students who come to Snowbird in desperate need of the Gospel and healing power of Jesus Christ was the most challenging aspect of my time. Apart from my daily study of Scripture and prayer time I certainly would have failed. I came to rely completely on Jesus and the Holy Spirit in every situation whether with a staff member or a student. In fact, I consider my time at Snowbird as a call by God to be on this particular staff. I was completely inspired by over 100 college age volunteers with hearts committed to working hard and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In many ways, I believe I was there to encourage them as much as they encouraged me.

The eternal impact of my ten weeks of ministry is only known to the Lord, the truth is we all need to look at our lives and consider the eternal impact of our time here on earth. Although I spent 12 weeks away from family while on this earth, I have never felt closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m forever thankful for the support of my wife, children, and grandchildren in my mission this summer. Thanks to all of you, my friends, for your encouragement throughout the summer.

– Howie Simpkins