Three weeks ago I spoke to a group of 9-11 year olds at Gardom Lake Bible Camp. Gardom is a camp that I have spoken at multiple times in the past and enjoy the culture there a lot.
It was a full camp and I had the opportunity to speak twice a day for the full week that I was there. The topic was “Soar” and when I got there I noticed that the camp had taken that word into the realm of space. The theme passage was Romans 8:37 37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Throughout the week we talked about how amazing and powerful God is, how incredible it is that we are loved by such a powerful and all knowing God who holds the world in His hands. We talked about the fact that God hears us, that He speaks to us and that we are adopted into His family through accepting God’s sacrifice of Jesus for us. We also discussed the fact that the Bible is a love letter and instruction manual for life, that God has a plan for us and that once we have received Jesus we are never alone because the Holy spirit comes to live inside of us. Through this knowledge we can trust God to catch us when we take leaps of faith for Him, we can live every day knowing that we aren’t alone and that learning about Him and learning to live for Him are vital to our continued acceptance of Jesus into our lives.
It was truly an honor because the kids sincerely and honestly responded to God’s word. On Wednesday night the Gospel was presented and kids received and chose to follow Jesus. At the last campfire on Thursday night those who wanted to were invited to come up to the fire (this year represented by a pile of rocks because of the fire ban) and add a rock to the pile as they share something that God did in them that week.
Child after child went forward sharing what they learned, how God brought them friends, and that they had received Jesus. Thank you Lord for speaking through me.
One child in particular caught my attention because he actually said that he had received Jesus for the “4th time” in his life, and as much as that statement could suggest that he didn’t entirely understand , I took the chance to think and pray about his statement to see what God might have to say about it.
I realized that his faith and openness to share, without shame, was an incredible testimony. As much as he may not understand that committing to Jesus is a one time thing, in the same breath he is teaching me that it actually isn’t, committing to follow Jesus is a daily decision and even if that means once a year at camp for this young man, perhaps he is on the right track more than I initially might have thought.
Here are some possible reasons why I feel this way:
- He noticed that God continues to speak and reveal himself year after year (and hopefully begins to figure out that it can be daily)
- He is recognizing the need to commit daily (or at least annually for him) to following Jesus with His whole life. How many of us get distracted with life and the world and forget about Jesus until Sunday anyway?
- He is acknowledging that there is no fear in sharing with the greater community of Jesus, and even more powerful is the need to share for the purpose of mutual encouragement and celebration. AWESOME!
So lets take this child’s faith and 4th commitment to Jesus to heart and apply it to ourselves, do we need to commit ourselves to Jesus again today? Have we embraced community and shared our hearts with others? When was the last time you were quiet enough to let God reveal something to you?
May this child’s example of faith be an encouragement to us all!
P.S. I received this update from Gardom Lake that I thought I would share with you as well:
“We were blessed to have Dave McVety Speak at our main camp and our Encounter Directors were the Speakers for Up the Hill. They Shared the Gospel well and clear, the Campers knew there was a God that deeply Loved them and Sent His Son for them. The fruit of your Prayers and moving of the Spirit brought 123 Spiritual decisions 87 recommitments and 36 first time decisions. Here is a quote from one of the campers that I Loved, “I learned strategies to keep following Jesus even when surrounded by non-Christians” Again feeling blessed to be in a place where we can freely share Christ, see kids make new friends, learn new skills and see young leaders develop. So Good!”
I am continually honoured that God would use me as He has.