LIT Changed My Life

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"Something inside of me wanted more.."

– by Alix Nori

 
There is something mysterious and powerful about a month away in the woods with fellow teenagers and a few captivating adults. It changes you; not a small shift like when you decide to cut your hair or attempt to commit to flossing. It’s an experience that changes the way you look at the world. It shapes who you become.
 

Where I grew up, serving God was more of a checklist, than a way of life. Dynamic relationships with Jesus were far and few between and knowing God was limited to the Sunday morning services and mid-week programming.

Something inside of me wanted more.

I went into the LIT (Leaders In Training) program hoping to find some answers.

I showed up, without a real understanding of what the program would be like. I had heard stories of LIT being one crazy-life-changing-experience, but what did that even mean? I had many questions about following God, but the driving motivation for attending, was because it was a prerequisite to being summer staff. I had encountered God powerfully through my one-week stints as a camper and I wanted more.

I yearned for a whole summer at camp.

So what was LIT about anyway?

The first night we got there and the worship music hit me with a wave of emotion. I was overcome by God’s love for me and filled with anticipation that God would do unimaginable things in the next 4 weeks.

I also remember sitting in a tree, after returning from a 3-day canoe trip, staring at the lake, experiencing God’s peace. I looked around the lake and saw creation with new eyes, eyes that were amazed with the creator’s attention to detail and beauty.

There were also hours of teaching and training on how to love and serve campers well. It felt like a response to what I was experiencing in times of worship and devotion. How could I not share the love, peace and joy with others as I was being filled with it in such a powerful way?!

LIT reversed the checklist mentality that was ingrained in me. It facilitated a learning that uprooted and rewired my worldview. It taught me that a life dedicated to following Jesus was not simply about doing the right things, but having your actions flow out of the love that you receive from God. It took the focus away from me and shifted it to how I could steward well the presence of God I had received.

The craziest part about it all— was that this rhythm was possible anywhere! I could experience God in the quiet of my own room, on a walk around the block, or in the busy halls of high school. His presence poured out from me to my friends and family. His love gave me eyes to see where people needed help and encouragement and propelled me to offer that to them.

Even to this day, 11 years later, I am challenged by the simple principles planted in me at LIT. When I have days where I feel short with people, I remember that love and service for others flows out of encounter with God. I was won to the belief that following Jesus is an ongoing and evolving lifestyle. It is my joy and honour to share that with other young people today and watch them be transformed by that same love.

Alix Nori is currently the newest member of our Ranch fam, arriving January 2018 as the Camp Registrar. She comes from Inter-Varsity’s campus division where she served and developed student leaders at both Western and Queen’s University for the previous 4 years. She has a passion for young people knowing God’s love and calling for their life, and is so excited to have the opportunity to pour into campers and LEAD participants. While not in the office, you can find Alix either running throughout Arden or cooking up her favourite foods in the kitchen.

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