GMBA Camp-in 2021: When You’re Surrounded by Darkness, Call for Jesus (He’s Near!)

by | Jul 29, 2021 | GMBA Camp 2021` | 3 comments

Today’s GMBA Camp-in blog post comes to you from Assistant Camp Director Sister Alena X. Ricci.

When I think of being surrounded, my mind immediately goes to the story of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). This year’s campout theme leans into being surrounded by the things of God, but it’s also a double-sided word. 

Bartimaeus was a blind man sitting by the side of the road, his life literally surrounded in darkness. As a still-young person, I am surrounded daily by the pressures of work and friends and social media—sometimes it feels as though I am the blind person by the side of the road listening for a miracle to come along.

But all of the sudden, Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is near and begs to see Him.

He begs to be taken from his valley of the shadow of death. He begs to be surrounded by Jesus Christ.

So, Jesus calls him and Bartimaeus rises, casts off his garment, and goes to Jesus, no questions asked.

Jesus heals him and Bartimaeus follows Him thereafter, no questions asked.

Readers, Bartimaeus was surrounded by darkness. Then he rose, cast off his burden, and went to Jesus.

And he was healed.

The lesson here is pretty simple: Even when we are surrounded by darkness on all sides, Jesus Christ is there.

We can cast aside this darkness, and our burdens and our worries and our strife at any point and let Jesus Christ and His redemption surround us in every way. 

But this is where it gets difficult, right? That “any point” is not so easy (at least it’s not for me). The reality, though, is that Jesus Christ is calling, and He is here, and He is surrounding us right now throughout this week and beyond with His mercy and His grace. He is ready to take away your burdens and heal your weaknesses.

The hem of the Lord’s garment is accessible right now. You can reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment right now.

Take a second to ponder that. At this point, you’ve seen a seminar and a sermon and some of the other exciting things we’ve planned. But what’s even more exciting is that Jesus Christ is here.

Brothers and sisters, God is here. He is surrounding you. He is working this week, even though we’re looking at each other through computer screens.

He is moving in every house that watches and in every heart that’s listening.

He is making highways through the hardest paths and moving mountains right now.

He is working miracles, I can feel it in my bones.

God is good, and God is here at camp-in and He is surrounding us.

Lean into what you feel this week and do not let it go.

Links for GMBA Camp-in

Here’s an overview of everything you need to know for the Camp-in.

GMBA Camp home page (the hub for all things camp)

GMBA YouTube channel (where you can find all recorded video content)

Flocknote (where you can find information for the live Zoom meetings within the GMBA subgroup)

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


  • Sister Alena spends her days traveling around PA advocating for good public policy and attends the McKees Rocks Branch in Pittsburgh, the greatest city in the world.


  1. Christina DiCenzo

    Father, if there be any scale, even one in our spiritual eye; remove it.
    By the blood of the Lamb and in your name Jesus, so we may see & know…
    You are with and in us.

    • Brother Gary Thompson


  2. Bro Dick

    Another good article Alena. Keep up the good work. God bless you!!


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Further Reading

GMBA Camp-in 2021: Surrounded by God’s Spirit

My kids love to play I Spy.  I spy something blue... I spy something fuzzy... It's amazing what we can observe in a completely normal setting just by really looking. This week, I feel like the GMBA Camp-in has challenged me to a game of I Spy. What do I spy...

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