Don’t you love it when God acts beyond the “boxes” we attempt putting Him in.
For me, this last weekend was about me witnessing God move in ways I didn’t really expect Him to.
Being honest, the start of camp, (for me) was met with a bit of disappointment. I was hoping for a lot more people to come. Also I felt let down. However, I can confidently say; that the right mix of people came.
God was not surprised at who was going to be at that camp.
The theme for camp was: Jesus and people.
There were three sessions over the weekend where we looked at various encounters Jesus had with people. We took those encounters and thought of how they applied to our lives now, in September 2013.
We looked at Jesus and Peter, where Jesus tells Peter to walk on the water. Then we looked at how Jesus dealt with the lady who had been bleeding for twelve years. Sunday morning we looked at the different postures of both Mary and Martha to Jesus; and asked what was “distracting” us from spending more time with God?
For the sake of brevity I have posted only a few photos from the weekend:
The weekend had many highlights for me. Before I mention them I must share the symbolism we had over the weekend. On Friday, I gave each teenager a block of wood to carry. That wood was to represent a burden that they have in their life. They had to carry that burden with them all the time. Meals, bed time, during the sessions, singing and even throughout the day doing the various activities. There would come a time on the weekend that they would get to “let go” that burden….
From witnessing the bravery of the teenagers. From going down the foofie slide first or the first time. To play UNO with a group of teens. To singing; songs around the campfire. (Yes, almost a church camp cliché but I cannot remember the last time I have actually done that.)
From seeing the young people battling to solve teamwork challenges and yet in the end succeeding. Those “team building” activities really awakened some challenges for the youth. Really appreciated the instructor for stretching (not literally, haha) them that way!
Back to their carried burdens; on Saturday night (it’s always a Saturday, haha); the teens got to throw that block of wood in the fire, as a symbolism of handing over their burden; in response to Jesus invitation:
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Was a godly moment when those teens sat in silence soaking in what was happening in their lives?
Then with reflecting on the passage; I shared with the teens that Jesus spoke words to the lady who had been bleeding for twelve years that restored her socially and inwardly. He said; “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”
I asked them to think of what six words Jesus wants to say to them right in that moment and then I asked them to share that with us. With a small group of us, that really worked well. Some brilliant and profound “six words” were shared. Moving indeed.
To end off the imagery of camp, I let the youth take a handful of sawdust (the remnants of their burden) and throw it in the air finally handing it over to God.
I proposed the idea that those grains of sawdust would be IMPOSSIBLE to gather up again; reminding them of God’s truth:
“As far as the east is to the west, so far have I removed your transgressions from you.”
And from Psalm 51:
“Create in me a clean heart.”
I believe wholeheartedly that some of those teens left camp with a clean heart. Knowing of God’s forgiveness and His love. Knowing that He sees them. Amen