by Pine Cove Posted Jan 16, 2019
We sat down with Wally “JJ Redneck” Jenkins and got to know him a little bit better. We’re excited for you to do the same!
I became a believer right after my senior year of high school. All of my friends who were believers worked at Pine Cove, so I kind of figured that was what I was supposed to do. So, I applied. A little while later I got the call that I was going to be a counselor at the Ranch! I’ve been working here ever since, and now I’m the regional director of Camp in the City based in South Carolina!
My wife Sarah, or “Waddles,” and I met in 2013 working at Camp in the City. We’re in the process of adding a little dog named Duke to our family! Best thing we’ve done together… It’s actually a tie. The first year we were married, I had a site director job at Camp in the City, so we spent eleven weeks on the road and doing camp together — it was a blast. The other coolest thing is getting to go to a bunch of Georgia football games. I’m a big Georgia fan, and we got to go to like half of the games this past season. We even went to the SEC Championship! Even though we didn’t win it all, it was still a fun ride.
My camp name is “JJ Redneck.” I got it because my favorite basketball player is JJ Reddick, who isn’t as widely known as some other players. Also, I’m from Louisiana, and I sunburn easily, which is where the “Redneck” part comes from. My name game was pretty short. I think it was maybe a minute long.
I wanted to be a professional basketball player. Then I realized there were plenty of six-foot-tall guys who could shoot well, and the dream ended quickly.
On week one on my first year as program director for Camp in the City, I put regular gas fuel into a diesel engine. We were stuck for about two hours. On top of that, it was the first week I ever worked with my wife, so I must have impressed her!
1 Thessalonians 2:8 – “So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” I think this verse is a great example of people who have poured into me. They are great teachers, but they also allow me into every aspect of their lives. I think Jesus was a great example of this with his disciples.
I’d say anything where I get to compete with college staff. Whether that be spikeball, dodgeball, or whatever. I love getting to compete together.
I have two stories. One comes from a week during my second summer at the Ranch. I had two kids in my cabin who were already strong believers and just all-around good campers. They actually ended up leading another camper to Christ. It was so cool seeing these young campers bring the gospel and minister to others. I had nothing to do with that, it was all Christ working through these kids. Another one comes from about three years ago when I was working at Camp in the City. We were staying at a host home, and one of the kids of the host family was also a camper that week. It was a successful week and we left that Saturday as usual. But I got a call a little while later from the mother of the host family. She told me that her son had made the decision to accept Christ on the day that we left! It was amazing to see God work in ways that I didn’t expect, you know? Even though our focus was camp, the Lord was still working through us in the host family.
Pine Cove has always been a place that God is faithful to use to bring people to Him and conform them into Christ’s image. It’s a place that I care about and love. I think my favorite thing about this place is our leadership’s desire for us to be dependent on God in our growth.