Saturday, July 6, 2013

#knowChrist Camp 2013

So this past week I had the opportunity to go to youth camp as a sponsor with my church.  I was blessed more than I blessed others.  It was such a neat opportunity.  God was there in a very real and loving way.  The theme was to "know Christ."  I really liked this theme because I think it did a good job challenging believers and putting non-believers in situations to really examine what they put their trust in.  There were many salvations at camp, PRAISE JESUS!

For our church time, I was partnered with an outstanding leader and had the most awesome group of upper classmen girls.  There were 6 of us total, and they were such an encouragement to me.  They all loved Jesus already, and challenged each other and myself to dig deeper into Christ.  We shared each others burdens and really analyzed what the preacher said. 

During the day, I had to the opportunity to do what was called the Mission Track.  For 3 days I got to learn with a group of students that had chosen to come to camp and study scripture with a missions emphasis.  We discussed what it looked like to know Jesus and how that should effect they way we know others.  The leader of this group pointed out that the disciples in the Bible were more than likely teenagers.  God used teenagers to change the world.  We discussed how living on mission would mean being a disciple.  What does that look like?  To be a disciple means living exclusively to become like Jesus.  In John 8:31-32 Jesus says "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  To know Jesus is to know the truth.  Mission is living in the reality of what God wanted you to be.  Mission should be sacrificial--like Jesus.  Mission is to be apart of a fight that has already been won.  We also discussed that we never know the context of our mission--just that we are called to faithfulness.

On the last full day of camp, the Mission Track team went on a Mission trip.  (Follow me for a minute...) The camp director's Sunday School class member had an elderly neighbor couple that do not know Christ.  That neighbor went into the hospital for surgery 8 weeks ago and has had complications that have kept him away from the house and unable to take care of his yard.  The Sunday School member went and mowed the yard and noticed that there was a lot of yard work that was needing to be done.  About 50 people (the Mission Track) took over and cleaned up about 2 acres of land.  We weed-eated, wracked, trimmed trees, cut back bushes and hedges, and moved all of the debris to a burn pile down the road in the neighborhood.  The wife was home for a short while and came out to talk to us for a few minutes.  The camp director and neighbor worked intentionally to build a relationship with her.  When the husband returns home, the neighbor is going to go over and share the Gospel with them.

It was very uplifting to see people give up their time to play (rec time at camp) to serve someone else.  Don't get me wrong--it wasn't easy work--however, the students did it with a Joy that was very noticeable.  We left the home praying for the neighbors recovery, the couples salvation and praising God for His Love and Faithfulness.

These are my notes from throughout the week.  Some of these ideas are paraphrased and some are direct quotes.  The notes below are a mixture of main ideas and side notes from camp.

* Pain has a purpose.
* Everyone is a creation of God, but only those who have a relationship with Jesus are Children
   of God.
      -On the first night, the speaker started with a powerful example.  He asked very vaguely who
        believed in Jesus and everyone in the place raised their hands.  Then he pointed out that
        even the demons believe in Jesus but that doesn't mean they know and follow Him.  Talk
        about powerful!
* The one thing that God will not put up with is not being God.
      -In Matt 16:24-25 Jesus says "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and
       take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but
       whoever loses their life for me will find it."
* The dirtiest word in Christianity is pride because pride tricks you into thinking you can play God
   for yourself.  Thinking "I know God said (fill in the blank) but I think my way is better..."
      - He stands in opposition to the proud.
      - 1 Corinthians 8:2-3 says "Those who think they know something do not yet know as they
        ought to know.  But whoever loves God is known by God."
* Philippians 2 says that Christ made himself nothing--in human likeness.
   (Get it? Human = nothing)
* If God never does anything again, that would be more than enough.
* You cannot follow Jesus without Jesus.

We spent a lot of time in Philippians 2 and 3 this week.  I couldn't help notice something that I had underlined in my Bible before in Philippians 4:

When I found myself in situations where I didn't know what to say, I just kept meditating on this.  Let your gentleness be evident to all. THE LORD IS NEAR.  It was my prayer every time an invitation was given or a prayer was said.  It was my prayer for the students when they had their quiet time and when they broke into their family groups.  The Lord is near and is ready to take care of it, whatever "it" is.  He is near.  

It was a great week at camp, I am already looking forward to next year! :)  If you go to my church, I challenge you to starting thinking and planning to go next year.  I promise you that teenagers don't bite!

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