Rewind: CBLI 2014 by Kierra Jackson

Kierra moved to St Louis last January to become a full time intern with the Urban Mission Center through a partnership The Salvation Army has with City Vision College. From day one, Kierra has been all in! She attended Regeneration last winter, participated in CBLI, and recently returned from a global missions trip to Trinidad and Tobago. 

She was kind enough to share her thoughts on CBLI below!

CBLI was a good experience. Though only three months ago, my memory isn’t as vivid, but I do remember how it felt acceptable to communicate more freely with God while there. 

I didn’t know anyone, which scared me about signing up to go in the first place and upon arriving at the camp, I hopped out of the twelve-pass only for my vision to be met with seemingly ubiquitous images of hugging families and long-lost friends reuniting. Beautiful, but overwhelming. 

Unbeknown to me then, CBLI is a family camp, or as someone described it to me, “an everyone camp!” Haha. Everyone. Surprisingly, amongst all of the reunions and regaling of the past between old band- and cabin mates, I craved the solitude. I was fortunate enough to be assigned a cabin with some very kind and outgoing “young adults,” who invited me to group outings and to be a part of their group, for which I am eternally grateful, but I also appreciate the times where I could venture out along the grounds, find a shady tree, and with my journal write about my feelings. All of the feelings. Every single one: from at first feeling clueless and naïve, to feeling included and liked, to feeling convicted and stirred. 

I don’t remember crying at CBLI, but I wanted to. Isn’t that is what’s supposed to happen when you experience a spiritual awakening or cleansing? Or did it not happen? Was it just a false alarm? So many questions, and for once I have no shame or fear in asking them. All jokes aside, I recall possessing a cognizance that I haven’t had in … life, up to this point? 

All-in-all, I learned a few things particularly worthy of note that I would like to share and you can skip to in lieu of reading everything above. 

1) These experiences do different things for different people. “Experience” is a broad term, so more specifically I mean the praise & worship (which was incredible, c/o The Singing Company), bible study, small groups, and united meetings (and free time). What you derive from them is up to you, but you should open yourself up to possibility. 

2) Finding your voice is necessary, especially when talking with God. 

3) I returned feeling refreshed, but aware that being fed spiritually among a group of believers isn’t a very difficult thing to do. The test comes when you step foot outside of that environment. Many of you have surely reached that conclusion already. 

Experiences are what you make of them and I’m happy I felt moved at CBLI.