Camp Life 2018 has been a powerful and moving experience for both alumni and new participants. We’ve had countless miracles happen throughout the summer and we are only half way through! Claire Coppola, a new participant from Boston Massachusetts, shared her story that brought many to tears on Friday night of week 1. She bravely stood up and shared how God pricked her heart and lead her back to Him.
“One day last year I was on the Instagram explore page. I was bored out of my mind and had already gone through my entire Instagram feed. While mindlessly scrolling I saw this picture of a beautiful little Zambian girl and her eyes drew me in right away. So I clicked on it and the post was from someone who came last year, Reagan who was a friend of a friend of a friend, and she was looking for sponsors for about five or six of her girls. I messaged her and asked for more information, saying that I’d really love to get involved and help in any way I can. She told me it was through Family Legacy and I ended up sponsoring one of her girls after a few months of looking into it. Now, I’ve been sponsoring Diana for a year. Since I was committed now by sponsoring Diana, I continued to look into this organization and realized I could go to Zambia and possibly even meet her! I signed up immediately.
As I was traveling, the first person I met was Mo in the Dubai hotel. We were both standing in line very jetlagged and hungry, it was 9 pm and we just started talking. We ended up rooming across the hall from each other at the hotel. So we ate together, came here together, and then when we went to find out who our roommates were, they told us Maureen (Mo) and Claire are roommates. So that was weird because she was the only one I had spoken to and we randomly got assigned as roommates. Later in the week, Andrea asked me to share my story about how I found Family Legacy on Instagram, so I told her last night and then I decided to pull up the photo that I found a year ago which prompted this trip. I looked at the post of the little girl again and thought, that’s weird I recognize her… but I’d looked at the picture so many times that I figured it’s probably just from seeing the picture multiple times that I recognize her. Then I thought, it would be really cool to thank her if she’s at camp though it’s probably a slim chance she’s here, but I could at least try to see if she is. So at dinner, Marla looked it up for me and she said: “Yea, I think I found her and she’s here!” I was so excited and asked which Ambassadors group she is in and Marla looks around and points across the room to Mo.
So this girl that I saw a picture of a year ago somehow came back to camp, the same week as me, and was in Mo’s group who was the first person I spoke to here and was my randomly chosen roommate. It was unbelievable! I’m not a person to cry and I just started crying and stood in front of Mo in awe.
My family always went to church every Sunday, but not so much anymore. I went to Sunday school because I had to, so I was nervous about coming because I was thinking that I’m not super religious and don’t know many stories in the Bible. But I ended up just going for it. What’s the worst that could happen? Nothing bad could come from this. So, I came and seeing these girls in my group and all the other groups and all the other kids just really reaffirmed my relationship with God. Every day at Camp, I was asking the girls if they would accept God, but at the same time, I accepted God! So it was really nice being able to all do it together. Yesterday, when I found out about the girl being in Mo’s group, I knew that God brought me here today to save me!”
*Update* Since then, I have received the photos from the photographer and there is a photo from the first day which Mo and I are greeting all of the kids— not yet knowing who was in our groups. Alice, the girl from the Instagram photo, was wearing a Boston shirt which I had pointed out to Mo on the first day because I was the only one from the east coast, let alone Boston!