Thank you for all of you who were laboring in prayer over our high school winter camp this past weekend. God worked through His clay jar and the Word was heard and applied to the hearts of many high schoolers. We ended up bring 30 high schoolers, including a few who had never really come to anything at our church before. God granted us safe passage there and helped us overcome more bus issues the day before we left. The reservation that I had made was apparently never made official and they would not return my calls. So the day before I was faced with the decision to either cut bait and hire a new company, or hope that the other one would show up. I decided on the former, and the latter never happened.
But we set off and the weekend started well with the first session. I spoke about how we should define sin and how our society and culture views it. We looked at quite a few passages that spoke on the subject and hopefully better defined such a frequently used term. The next morning we spoke on what Christ did and how it relates to our sin and our battle with our sin.
During the afternoon we were supposed to go tubing at a ski area down the street. We got everyone excited and drove there, only to find that there were hardly any kids over 9 there, they had one little dinky hill open, the snow was more brown than white, and you could about walk faster than most were going. I decided that we would not be spending $15 on each kid for two hours of waiting in lines to cruise down a 150 foot hill. So we packed back into the cars and made our way back to the lodge. Conor, one of our leaders, decided to lead an expedition into the woods in search of snow. I had initially joined them, but had to turn back when we could not account for a kid that was thought to be hiking with us. Thankfully, he was at the bottom of the hill, keeping himself occupied.
The rest of the kids hung out in the lodge, and we started the fire in the lodge. We decided that we’d bring the kids to the local mom and pop grocery store and let them buy $5 worth of whatever they wanted. The kids thought it was the greatest thing ever, which was nice in light of the failure of the tubing. the store kept being amazed every time I walked in with 5 new kids that I would shuttle back and forth. Most kids either stocked up on Ben and Jerry’s or just pure sugar candy. This inevitably brought the insanity that too much sugar consumption can lead to.
That night we came together for another session. This one focused on dealing harshly with our sin and not entertaining it. We used the story of Samuel killing Agag as an illustration on how to deal with our sin after Saul refused to obey the word of the Lord and follow through. Too often we let sin sulk around and keep it as the shameful pet in the closet. We know that our sin is bad, but we keep it accessable just in case we need that pleasure.
That night brough a ton of good conversations. We told the kids that the leaders would be available if they wanted to talk and for the next half hour, almost all our leaders were talking to kids somewhere. I had the awesome opportunity to explain salvation to one young man and he made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We had a great conversation about sin, forgiveness and repentance. Afterwards I got snagged by another young man dealing with things in his life and had a great long conversation with him.
That night we played more games and it almost felt like a celebration in the room. The next morning we spoke about how we will never have consistent victory over our sin in our lives until we are in love with God and regularly pursuing a knowledge of God. We must first love God, and then desire godliness. If we become enthralled with the beauty of Christ and the holiness of God, then our lives will automatically change in light of that.
The camp finished with some worship and a time of testimonies where people talked about what they learned this weekend. Please pray for the decisions that these kids made and that they would attempt to do this in their own stregnth and power, but rely on the power of God to live for Him!