Verse of the Day

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blessings of Summer Camp


WOW! I do not even know where to begin to describe the amazing week I just experienced in Bryson City, NC. I was blessed to be a part of a group of 49 youth and leaders from Francis Baptist Church going on a summer mission trip. We left last Sunday (Aug 1) at 4:30 AM and arrived at Ichthus Ministries Camp in Bryson City around 8:00 PM! Let's just say it was quite an adventure on the ride up there. Satan was throwing many darts at us for the first two days from having the bus's AC not work properly, having several of our youth feeling bad on Sunday night and Monday morning and even having one of the boy break his arm during the land clearing mission. But we didn't give up – we just started praying more and more at every opportunity. We were supposed to have 3 days of work that we were going to do, but due to several obstacles thrown at us and after lots of prayer we decided that the most important mission for us this week was to focus on each other and learn how to have a servant's heart towards fellow brothers and sisters! When we made that decision, God started blessing tremendously!

We would start our day (after breakfast) with some camp songs --- Fruit of the Spirit, King of Me, & Itty-Bitty Seeds, and then we would have some teaching from God's Word. I had the privilege of teaching on two of the mornings, and I can honestly say that I have never experienced the power of the Holy Spirit on me as strong as He was while I was teaching this past week. It was truly indescribable!!!!

Then after our daytime adventures, we would head to the barn (The Shack) for praise & worship.
We sang our hearts out then one of the men leaders brought a message each night. On Tuesday, Bro. Mike brought the message, then during the invitation he encouraged us to truly turn all of our needs to God. One of my needs was for God to allow me to be in the spiritual birthing room this week with someone as they accept Jesus as their Savior. When we got back to the camp that evening, one of the young ladies and I were talking and she told me she had never been saved ---I thought - "Hallelujah, God is about to answer my prayer!" And answer it He did – I had the great blessing and privilege of being in the spiritual birthing room as she prayed and asked Jesus to be her Savior --- oh what a blessing!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that was just the beginning; we ended up with 13 accepting Christ as their Savior and 7 rededications! Our God is so good!!!!!


 
We also had team building activities going all week. One of the challenges was for each youth to talk with another person (youth, leader or one of the smaller kids that were with us) that they did not know very well and then the next morning be prepared to share something new about that person. Then each day they had to partner up with a new person. When I first presented this to them, I wasn't sure how they were going to respond, but to my surprise, they ran with it and absolutely loved it. We learned so much about each other and we saw cliques disappear and one solid group form. It was such a blessing!

At the camp we had 3 amazing counselors that worked with us and on Wednesday we split up into three groups and focused on how teamwork requires 3 C's and a big E --- Communication, Cooperation, Concentration and Encouragement. Each group had two very difficult tasks to complete that could only be completed through teamwork. The whole time they were working on the task, they were reminded of the three C's & big E as well as relating to the task to our daily walk with Christ. I am glad to say that all three groups completed both tasks successfully. Then the third event that each group did was hiking up a mountain and then going into a cave (it was actually an old gold mine).


We also went white-water rafting as well as spent the day in Cherokee.

I am still amazed at how God allowed me to be a part of such an amazing week and used me in the way He did. I pray that we all remember that our LORD God, our Jesus, our Savior, our King is a 24/7 God and that no matter where we are He is with us and we can server Him here just like we did there.

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