The beginning of the week is always rough. This year was even more rough simply because we had so many students who had never been to camp before. It's hard to know what to expect and so most students come in maybe thinking we just swim, eat and have a little Bible study. We do these things but tend to be more focused on the Word.
The Word of God is powerful. It doesn't need us to add anything or try hard or dress it up. The Word of God is powerful enough to do all God desires to see done. We are called to preach it, read it, love it, embrace it, obey it, care for it and digest it. So really our camps are big are getting students in the Word of God and then stand back and watch as God does what only God can do. This week God did this but the beginning was slow.
We saw students struggle in groups, in actions, in simply being tired. But they labored in the Word, striving to follow and lean in to the promises of God.
Wednesday is always the tough day. But this year I begin to see a turning within hearts. Intensity picked up and focus sharpened. This gave way to an outpouring of blessings from God.
If Wednesday is Hump Day Thursday is typically a Friday type day. I mean this by saying everyone knows Thursday is the last day. It's the last competition, last service, last day to really soak in all that God has for them. The Devotions have been building up, the sermons have been sharpened. The focus was clear....Reach for God, in knowing and doing. Reach while understanding storms will still come, sin will still be present and trials will always abound. But our joy is not based on these things....our joy is based on us being "in Christ." In Christ we are victorious. Without Him the opposite of victorious is true about you. So we Reach for this joy. Not to obtain it but to enjoy it, enjoy Him, in all His glory. When we do and as we turn our hearts to His things begin to happen that only He can do.
Thursday night, during worship, a young man came down and began to pray. As I went to pray with him, this young man that has been on my heart for some time, I knew something big was going to happen. The conversation moved outside where Maxim simply said "I need God to save me." This was big!
By the time the night was over 9 other students were called by God to be saved. God had revealed Himself to these students and they confessed Him as Lord. It was emotional but more than emotional it was the fact that students were confronted by a holy God and they saw the condition of their heart and their need for Him. This caused me to become emotional....tears stained with joy.
Now the hard work begins. The build up of camp is huge and evident. But now Monday is coming. Trials are coming, temptation is coming, drama is coming, math class is coming. We must love the moments when God's grace overwhelms us to the point of tears but we must also be ready for the dry seasons and moments where suffering and the need to fight come.
To make this even better I learned today that a student was reflecting on the week and her relationship with God this morning. Once this reflection ended her heart was changed....was made new by God. She become a follower of Christ in her bedroom. No sermon, no singing, no invitation. Just a girl and a holy God. She has a new heart this evening! 11 students forever changed and another 89 people who are definitely burning brighter tonight in light of an awesome week of camp.
I must say this is nothing we could have done. God would have saved these people regardless. We are just so thankful He chose to do this great work during camp week. I am so thankful we were able to rejoice even more with the 4 people who were baptized at camp. I pray for the ones making decisions for Christ. I pray they press into discipleship and the hard work of growing. I pray I continue to fan into flame the fire that has begun in all our hearts. I pray we remember the sun when the storms come. I pray we sing loudly when everyone else is screaming. I pray we lead well. I pray that when we are in a storm we know the storm is not in me. I pray we get serious about sharing this great hope. I pray our students see the significance of spending a week together in the Word and worship of God. Things happen at camp and as we give our time to Him. I could spend a week at any other place but not during this week. There is nothing like camp week. So I pray and begin thinking towards next year.
While many students were changed this past week there remains some that are still in a mode of discovery. They may be new to hearing about Jesus and have many questions. I pray they stick with it, ask questions, seek God.
I am thankful for the many adults who gave up a week to help out. We could not have done this without them. I pray we all become greater ambassadors for Christ and His church. I am thankful for Brian being obedient to the Holy Spirit and to our two friends from Honduras (Raul & Jon) who gave up a lot to be here. They love us and we love them. I am thankful for our Pastor for investing and being there for us this week. I am most thankful for God leading, saving, and blessing.
Start planning now for (___________________) Camp 2016. This September we will kick off our new year and new theme and begin the march to summer camp 2016. Don't wait too long to get plugged in.
Thank you for allowing your student to participate. If you're student was not able to attend this year I pray you'll begin now to make plans to attend next year.
So...we come back...100 of us with a fire in our hearts and walk/relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I am sure we reached and I am sure we "grew in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Can't wait for Wednesday Night together. Praying....
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.