Rachel Browne is manager of Moorlands Camp in Manchester, Jamaica, a picturesque place in the midst of poverty for missions groups and children to "come rest and experience God." A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Rachel attended the camp for years as a child, then traveled the world and eventually returned with her husband to serve as camp manager.
"I have an assurance that I am here for God's purposes, and will do whatever it takes for God to be pleased to walk and talk with people," Rachel says.
When Rachel is not managing staff, plunging toilets, or corresponding with missions groups, she's raising three children with her husband and serving as a volunteer tutor in local communities. TCW caught up with Rachel to find out what God is doing in the hearts of camp attendees in Jamaica, and got a look behind the scenes of a Christian camp that hosts over 3,000 attendees per year.
How did you end up managing a camp in Jamaica?
I grew up in Kingston where generations of my family have lived, and I lived there until five years ago when my husband and I moved to Moorlands. I first came to camp here at the age of nine and fell in love with the place. It was a place of firsts: my first time singing in public, the first time I tried hiking, sports and crafts. Lots of firsts happened here. I also met my closest friends here.
I went to Moorlands every year, until one summer I went to France for an exchange program. It was the most beautiful town and you could see the whales, it was beautiful and you could play, but I distinctly remember missing Moorlands. That was a big deal to miss camp that year.
Even though I fell in love with the simplicity of the place and felt the presence of God very tangibly, I went away to school in Canada. Although both me and my husband are business minded, we wanted to do missionary work. We had both been counselors at [Moorlands] camp, so we kept in touch with them even though we were away.
While I was doing my MBA, my husband was commissioned to do a website for Moorlands. One day we got a call asking if we wanted to be the camp's managers. We asked ourselves if this could be the calling from God we were looking for. But, a couple of weeks later we found out that we were expecting our first child. Oh no, I thought, they would never want to hire me while I was pregnant.
So I called the chairman of the board, and said that I had some news for him.
I was shocked and grateful for their response: "A Moorlands baby!" he exclaimed. We felt so loved and accepted. They were supportive of the family life. Their positive response sealed the deal for me. Seven months later I started working.