We Invited God to Show Up, So… At NubAbility Outdoors #dontneed2 Hot Shot Camp God Became Full-Auto
In holding many camps and clinics for limb-different youth athletes the past five years, I have witnessed and experienced first hand how God works through relationships. Prayer is a lightning rod for His movement and His people are the vessels of conductivity of His goodness. On July 28-31, 2016, the organization I am the volunteer director of, NubAbility Athletics, held it’s first #dontneed2 Hot Shot Camp with Hunter Cayll, AKA “Nubs the No Handed Shooter”, in Covington, GA. It was a long weekend of God going full-auto with showing his presence amongst our group of participants (limb-different youth athletes). They traveled from several states to get expert competitive adaptive shooting instruction from some of the best instructors in the nation. Three of those shooting coaches, including Hunter Cayll, all limb-different, looked like them. This is the first in a blog series I am going to share with you how God SHOWS UP and SHOWS OFF His mighty hand when dangerous prayers are prayed. Each display of his presence clarified more and more to those in our sphere of influence that God is large and in charge and crazy about us.
John 17:26 And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Colossians 1:27 to whom God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
My take on prayer:
As Christians, sometimes we might go through a season of life when we wonder, “Where are you God?” We plead with the Almighty to give us a sign, a direction, a miracle. Then other times, we might experience an avalanche of His answers to our prayers. I’ve learned a lot about prayer throughout the years. I’ve learned that there are no magic words, or ceremony- regardless of what hundreds of Christian book authors would have you believe. I’ve learned God hears my guttural, non-verbal groans and cries just as much as he hears my well thought out, based on scripture prayers. I’ve learned that no subject is to small for him to lovingly care about and answer. I have learned that praying a prayer bigger than my faith often leads to the growth of just that. I have also learned that transforming my prayer life from self-centered requests for me and mine, to prayers of “use me” for His love, grace and glory puts me more squarely on the path of He planned for me. He intends each of us to live a righteous life as a difference maker.
When you pray the most dangerous, unselfish prayers, God shows up and shows off! Being a prayer warrior from way back, I have always looked for and found the hand of God throughout my life. I don’t remember praying a prayer that was unanswered. Oh, I have seen answers that I didn’t expect, or even some that came with a tinge of pain in the beginning, but in hindsight, answers nonetheless that ushered in His perfect plan. I heard a very to the point and powerful sermon a few months back. It was on praying dangerous prayers. I’ve prayed “Use me today Lord for your glory”, most mornings for years. However, after hearing this message delivered by my sons’ pastor, Nathan Jackson of Vision Church in DuQuoin, on daring to pray, “Search me Lord (Search my heart Lord, clean it, make it new). Break me Lord (Break my heart Lord, for what breaks yours). Send me Lord (Let me be your hands and feet Lord. Lord, send me).” Not only has my prayer life been elevated to a more glorious level, the results of those prayers have been miraculous, amazing, exciting, exhilarating, praise worthy, God given, GLORY HALLELUJAH moments. God has showed up, and God has showed off. His hand in the works he has laid before me has been more than evident. It has been lit up like a neon sunset of a hundred shades of beauty. I could write for a year about all of the goodness I have seen the good Lord do this past year, but instead I want to share 18 clear incidents from a recent NubAbility Outdoors (a division of NubAbility.org) event that had even nonbelievers saying…”WHAAAAT?” All of those events were ushered in by the prayers of those who love the mission of NubAbility and want to see the Glory of God revealed in it’s works.
1st prayer for the event: Father God, in the name of Jesus, than you for providing this opportunity for NubAbility kids to learn yet another mainstreamed sport to compete in. If Hot Shot Camp is your will, we pray your blessed protection over all involved and that you use us Lord to show your glory. Bring the people that need to be there. Thank you for blessing us with your presence. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Circumstance: The Hot Shot event almost didn’t happen. There were a few obstacles in the way of our holding our first competitive shooting event.
- As a competitive shooting athlete traveling the world, Hunter’s schedule is a nightmare to coordinate with. We settled in on the last weekend of July, only two weeks after our huge cornerstone all sport camp in Southern Illinois. That presented a challenge to our volunteer staff (my son Sam & I) in planning, coordinating volunteers, travel, lodging, equipment etc. It all worked out and with God I discovered there was more of me to go around joyfully than I previously thought. God is good.
- Insurance crisis: Our liability and accident coverage at the time of planning the event did not cover the more hazardous & extreme sports such as shooting. We had to seek out another carrier and policy. That was very time consuming and cumbersome. The process was long and slow and as the week before the scheduled event neared, I had feared we weren’t going to get the insurance coverage in time. On the Monday afternoon before the event (we were leaving on Wednesday) we got word that we were fully covered. We made new relationships and friendships in the seeking of new insurance. That in and of itself was a blessing. The fact that we didn’t need to use is was an even bigger blessing! God is good.
- Just 2 weeks before we had only 3 youth athletes registered for the Hot Shot Camp. Not nearly enough to justify the expense or to get a good taste of how the shooting sports should be implemented into our menu of offerings. At our All Sport Summer Camp, we were blessed with a donation of $1500.00 to use toward the Hot Shot Camp. With almost all expenses except coach travel and lodging already covered, we decided to use the donation to fund the lodging of 5 families at the Holiday Inn Express. It was pressed on my heart that traveling right after our big camp, the decision to attend might be hindered by the expense of another trip so soon. So, we held a drawing! 5 families (one with 2 adaptive athletes) were awarded the scholarships for camp. In total, we ended up with a roster of 9 kids. Perfect for an inaugural one sport camp! God is good!
- Personally, family health circumstances brought me to prayer over whether or not we could hold the event, or at least if I should attend it as it’s director. My grandmother who is 91 years young was having serious blood pressure issues and my mother-in-law was scheduled for an urgent hernia repair surgery. Both of these ladies are the life-blood of our family. Nanny finally got the treatment she needed to control her BP and a cousin stepped in to monitor her health so I could focus on NubAbility. Nana’s surgery was suspected to be a booger, with a stay of several days. Instead, she was able to have the procedure done laparoscopic and it was a success! She was discharged the next day. My husband missed the camp in order to stay and care for her, but he was blessed with quality time with his mama. God is good!
Stay tuned for the 2nd post in this series in a few days. You can’t imagine how many awesome people God put in our path to grow NubAbility and it’s mission to teach kids with limb-loss they are perfectly created in His image and that they can do ALL things through Christ who gives them strength.
I am the director and co-founder of a non-profit with a global reach for youth with limb-loss that desire to compete in mainstreamed organized sport. NubAbility Athletics Foundation (Nub: What many call their limb-different limb. Ability: Being able to) was the God breathed vision placed on the heart of a 17 year-old boy, my son, Samuel. We founded and built NubAbility Athletics Foundation in 2011 in order to get kids with limb-loss, congenital or traumatic amputee, the adaptive training they need, the motivation and inspiration they need, the courage and confidence they need, to compete with and against their peers in mainstreamed school and league sports. Our journey with NubAbility has been a wild and crazy adventure of awesome and amazing experiences and achievements. We hold camps and events across the nation in order to give limb-different kids training and mentoring by accomplished athletes that look just like them. We are an organization that loves and serves all from all backgrounds and faiths, but we don’t deny the goodness of our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ in our work. Philippians 4:13 is not just another verse of encouragement for us. It was Sam’s lifeline when he was going through the most difficult times of his life as a young boy with a physical difference that not only brought him unwanted attention sometimes, but also brought him doubt from those in positions that controlled his participation in the passion of his heart, sports. You can hear more of Sam’s story and testimony on the NubAbility YouTube Channel or his most recent testimony here: NubAbility Founder Sam Kuhnert Tells His Story at NubCamp 2016
Be a Blessing,