Week-Long MARKcamp Inspires Student to Serve

The Stories



Do I only do things for God that make me comfortable? That’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s about crossing boundaries socially, economically, etc. It’s truly knowing that life on earth is too short to be lived just for myself.”

Elisha Ponce pushed past her own boundaries last summer when she served as a cabin leader for the first time at InterVarsity Circle Square Ranch Spruce Woods. She was inspired to serve during her time at MARKwest.

Every May, InterVarsity hosts week-long MARKcamps for university students who want to study the books of Mark or Genesis in greater depth. Last year, over 600 students participated in MARKcamps. Elisha, a student at the University of Manitoba, attended MARKwest at Circle Square Ranch Spruce Woods.

This was my first time at a MARKcamp and it was amazing.”

During the week of intensive Scripture study, Elisha heard God speaking.

“As we delved into Scripture, I realized how much Christ had to suffer, even before he was on the cross. His humility, his love and his sacrifice—even in the smallest, overlooked sentences in Mark—really shone through. The way he lived struck me. A lot of it was servanthood, and living how Jesus lived means doing the right thing and standing up for the truth, even if it means I will be hated, because I know who I am and what my purpose is.”

“During MARK, I heard God calling me to two things: stay at U of M and work at Circle Square Ranch for the summer.”

And while working as a cabin leader, Elisha experienced a new kind of sacrifice.

“Sleeping somewhere that isn’t your home is very hard, and there are bugs at camp and young children that you’re responsible for all the time. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life, running around after kids in the hot sun all day. But I’ve loved the kids God has given me. It’s not comfortable, but it’s worth it.

“Because when you think about what Jesus had to go through, it’s so humbling. It really puts life into perspective. The everyday Christian has never experienced those things. But we have to lay our lives down for others, and that means suffering and pain sometimes. I’ll never be able to live up to what Jesus did, but this tiny glimpse at camp has truly deepened my understanding of the God I serve. He is so good!”

Elisha was inspired to continue studying Mark’s gospel last year with her family and is finishing her degree at the University of Manitoba.


586 students are currently studying the Gospel of Mark and parts of Genesis at seven MARKcamps across Canada. Please be praying that they will hear from God and have an incredible week at camp.


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