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Howdy y’all! My name is Gabe Currens and I am a senior at the University of Toledo studying pharmacy. I am serving on the Beulah Beach staff for a third summer. In all three of my summers I have had the privilege to serve on a different team and experience a new side of Beulah each time. I started out serving on overnight camp and then proceeded to serve on day camp the following year. This summer I have been able to serve on the leadership team for day camp and it has been such an amazing blessing. Being on all of these different teams has taught me so much about being a servant to the Lord and more about myself and my walk with Jesus. In all of my years at Beulah Beach, the most influential experience that I have been a part of has been playing the part of Jesus in the crosswalk.

The crosswalk is a reenactment of the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus and each year it is told from a different view. Growing up coming to camp, I saw a plethora of crosswalks performed and each one struck me deeply in its own way. So when I was asked during my second summer to play Jesus in the crosswalk, I was ecstatic. I finally had the chance to be a part of something that had been so influential in my walk with the Lord. However, after the initial wow factor, the seriousness and weight of the role I was about to take on hit me. It hit me hard. I had immense feelings of fear and doubt running through my mind, wondering if I was qualified for this role, or if I was a good enough christian to play Jesus? However, all of these fears and doubts went away once I started praying before the first crosswalk. It was a simple prayer, one of, “Lord please help me and guide me through this. I do not know what I am doing. I cannot portray Jesus without you speaking through me.” This prayer helped me through the first few crosswalks and as time went on the prayer soon evolved into more. 

My prayer turned from, “Lord help me”, to, “Lord make me your vessel, minimize me so that you can be maximized through me. Thank you for choosing to use me when I am still so imperfect.” This change in mentality sparked a deep growth in my faith. It also changed how I experienced the crosswalk. I was able to find immense joy in the fact that the lord does not need me to spread his word and yet he still chooses me to use as a tool for his kingdom when he could do it 100 times better himself. I found a deeper connection to the lord through each performance as I asked him to fill me with his presence and speak through me. I felt his love for each one of the kids watching the crosswalk, his sorrow for their pains, and his yearning for each and every one of them to come to know him.

Now during each crosswalk I have the honor to be in I pray that God continues to use me as an empty vessel for him, that he would move in every kid watching, and that he would take control of the performance and shine through each of us up there. I am truly honored by this blessing the Lord has given to me. It has matured my faith and brought many realizations of just how beautiful and amazing our God truly is. The crosswalk is where I feel the presence of God the strongest. Walking through it brings into perspective how much God truly loves us. Knowing that what I go through each crosswalk is not even a tenth of what Jesus went through for us while we were still sinners. That is the type of love that only God can have and he gives it to us freely. Even though what I am able to produce is a pale imitation of who Jesus truly was, I know that God is still working through me and will continue to shine to the kids during each crosswalk. Because only with God taking full control am I able to show the kids the true love and life of Jesus Christ.