Life has been incredibly busy since becoming Miss British Columbia 2010! The opportunities for ministry with this title are endless! This last week was full of interviews and speaking engagements- open doors to speak truth and live love to the world! After having a interview with SWIGG talk (www.swiggtalk.com), a teen girls’ motivational web magazine and the BC Christian News (www.canadianchristianity.com/bc/) , I spent a few days on Vancouver Island hanging out, building relationships and publicly speaking out about my faith at two different summer camps.
The first camp that I visited was Camp Imadene on Mesachie Lake (www.imadene.com). They were in the midst of a pre-teen all girls camp and the theme for the week was : Medieval! The whole week they had already been talking about Princesses and Royalty and Fairy Tales! How cool is that? I love how perfectly God plans things together in ways that I could never foresee. Last year, even before I was crowned Miss BC- the plan was in motion! My time at Camp Imadene fit in perfectly to the work that God was already going there.
I spent the afternoon hanging out down at the waterfront and in the Bead tent with the girls. It was so much fun to be in a camp setting again! I met many young girls down at the waterfront and at the Bead Tent I met Kelsey and Jessica, two girls who taught me how to make earrings and shared with me a little bit about their lives back home, things that God was teaching them and the struggles they felt as teenagers.
After joining in with a Cabin “Galilee” for dinner I made my way down to the lakeside outdoor chapel to meet with some of the camp leadership and pray over the upcoming chapel time. We had incredible worship as we sang “Mighty to Save” and prayed that God’s presence would dwell among us that evening and that it would be His words spoken and not our own.
As the girls ran down to chapel, they were curious to see, in the words of one cabin leader, the “Real Live Princess” that had showed up for chapel. When my time came up to speak, the girls were silent as I shared “my story” – hard things that I have walked through, struggles I have had, things I’ve learned and how God has been working in my life through it all. I challenged them to remember that it is all up to us- in one moment we can decide if we are willing to give God control of our lives and start living in obedience to Him. I told them how God has never EVER let me down and that I am never going back to living life on my own terms.
Later on that evening, God opened up more doors to talk one on one with some of the girls. They shared deep and personal things with me, like the fears and struggles they were facing. I was able to pray with a number of them and speak truth into their lives. I will never forget the way they looked at me with such trust and honesty.
The next day I continued on my summer camp tour and spent the day at Camp Qwanoes in Crofton, BC (www.qwanoes.ca). This was a really special visit for me because I used to spend my summer at this camp as a child and in later years as a camp counselor. Again I spent the afternoon wandering through camp, hanging out at the activities and getting to know the campers. I was “adopted” by cabin 28, led my Victoria and Sarah. We spent the day together at the Ziplines in the Challenge Course and tried our hand at Piracy- attacking the camp sailboat with waterguns down at the Waterfront. I love camp life!
Later that evening I shared my story again at a special fireside time for the girls’ cabins. I shared about what I had learned through the pageant and again the things that God had done through my life. After I shared my testimony, a number of girls had questions so we talked about many things that I had shared about so we talked about listening to God tell us that we are beautiful when we sometimes don’t feel like we are beautiful, how we don’t always understand why bad things happen but there is always a bigger plan at work, and allowing ourselves to see who we are through God’s eyes and not our own.
These are the moments that make my job as Miss BC worthwhile! I know that the girls, for at least a moment, were able to talk openly and honestly about how hard it is to be a girl in our world. The crown on my head does not change me, but it opens the door for me to talk openly and be a positive role model in the precious lives of these young girls.
Yesterday and today I have been receiving emails from them as they continue to share their stories and questions with me. This year will be filled up moments to reveal truth and encouragement to these girls and I can’t wait to see how they will grow as individuals. If I have made some kind of small impact on their lives and saved them from some of the deception and heartbreak of the world- then it has all been worth it!
Tara Teng, Miss BC
PS- email me anytime with YOUR stories! firstname.lastname@example.org