BIMI

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CAMP BIMI: A Good Decision Chris Rule After being saved at an early age in the Bible Belt, I felt the call into ministry at the age of thirteen. I had no idea how or where I would be serving, but by the grace of God, I said, “Yes.” This one decision started a series of events that would change my life. At the age of seventeen, my pastor in Florida told me about CAMP BIMI. I had never heard of such a place but knew that many of the missionaries our church supported were from BIMI.  I filled out the registration form, and the next thing I knew, I was landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee on a hot summer day. I was a little nervous about being housed in the same rooms where the missionaries stayed while visiting the Mission. I soon learned that this camp was very different than any other. Mrs. Baughman made us eat everything on our plate; there was no wasting food! Whether we liked it or not, it had to be eaten. We went to sessions and learned what it meant to be a missionary. We learned of challenges, of culture, and of the need of prayer. I didn’t realize that I would need any of these lessons. I didn’t feel called into foreign missions. I was happy to learn about missions and missionaries and knew that one day, in my future ministry, some of these lessons would help me understand what a mission- ary goes through on the field. Camp ended. I graduated from Bible college and met Pastor Bryson, a pastor just outside of San Francisco in the East Bay. He invited me to 6 CAMP BIMI candidate, and I was called to serve as their assistant pastor. After growing up in the South, I had no idea what to expect in the East Bay of California. I thought most places were exactly like back home. I soon found out that the East Bay was, and is, a place filled with so many different cultures. My wife and I went to Panda Express and grabbed handfuls of chopsticks so we could learn how to use them at home. I started making sure that my socks didn’t have holes in them so I could take my shoes off at someone’s house. We learned to eat sushi, and we loved it!  I had no idea as a seventeen-year-old CAMP BIMI student that I would draw so heavily on those lessons learned. But after being in ministry in the East Bay area these last seven years, I can truly say that the Lord knew what he was doing the whole time. To a southerner, it used to feel like the mission field! If Mrs. Baugh- man hadn’t forced me to eat all of my food at camp, I would have had a harder time connecting with different cultures. I learned valuable life lessons at CAMP BIMI that I still use every day here in this multicultural region. Calling the East Bay “home” took a while. But God knew that this southern boy needed to get to a camp to learn those valuable lessons so that I could one day minister to other cultures right here in America. Chris Rule (CB ’04b) is the assistant pastor and school administrator at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Pleasanton, California.