Highlights of our Youth Camps

Benji BruneelCommunity News

5th/6th Winter Camp

During the weekend of February 26-28, over 120 students and leaders from our 5/6 and High School ministries enjoyed a weekend away at Forest Home. Heavy snow on Saturday afternoon followed by clear night skies and a bright full moon draped the mountain scene in a Narnia-like stillness and beauty that, in itself, was a gift from God. And God used more than just the scenery to capture our students’ attention.

For our 5th and 6th grade students, the weekend was spent contemplating the implications of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” With a theme entitled, “The Snowball Effect,” our students heard the challenge to consider their actions and decisions and the results that they bring about.

Junior High Winter Camp

In January, after getting snowed-out of camp the weekend before, our Jr. Highers’ disappointment was abated as we loaded the buses for the second time and headed up to Forest Home. We had a fun snow-filled weekend together, enjoying the time away, the chance to play in the snow, and also time spent in fellowship with one another and with God. From a ministry perspective, it was a fantastic opportunity for our leaders to have intentional time away from distractions to connect with students and engage in conversations about life and faith. Below are a couple of stories from our leaders that give a glimpse of the wonderful weekend we had together at Forest Home.

One thing that sticks out was a fun cabin conversation with our girls in which they were asking questions about judgment and hell.  I realize it is strange to refer to such a conversation as “fun”, but it was a great moment of honest questioning and getting to really talk about God’s word and what it means.  We looked up Romans 10:9-10 together and discussed the difference between saying something with your mouth and believing it in your heart.  As these girls grow up and gain independence from their parents, I see them facing the issue of “is my faith real?”  Forest Home facilitates such great opportunities for these real-faith questions to be asked and discussed.

During cabin time, [a leader] asked the guys what our purpose is here on earth. [One student] said that it’s to worship God and enjoy doing it.  I loved that his theology was spot on.

[One leader] and I had a conversation with our cabin about prayer. We walked them through the Lord’s Prayer and explained the different types of things we could use it for (i.e., “your kingdom come” could be a request for boldness to share his message and enlarge his kingdom currently on earth). Then, we spent a good amount of time praying through it with them line by line. I think this was a first for them all, and it gave them a practical understanding of what it means to pray and what to pray for.

High School Winter Camp

High school camp gave our students the chance to view their relationship with Christ as “3D.” By drawing an analogy with the increasingly popular method of movie-making, our students wrestled with the question of how they view God: in a 2-dimensional way or in a 3-dimensional way. The times of worship and learning from God’s Word helped invite them into a more intimate relationship with God, one marked by knowing the power of his forgiveness and living out his heart for the world.

For many of our high school students, the weekend proved profoundly impactful. One sophomore girl realized during Winter Camp that “God is always at work in my life, even when I don’t see it. And it’s great that I don’t always see it, because then I have to have faith.” One junior boy felt burdened to approach the Lord’s Supper in a different way, expressing more joy and rejoicing for what Christ accomplished on the cross.

Our students are consistently blessed by the ministry of Forest Home, and Winter 2010 proved to be no different. The opportunity to leave the everyday distractions of life at home long enough for God to get our students’ attention is a rare treat. Thank you for your prayers, love, and support as our students pursue a life lived for the glory of God.