If I asked you to recall some favourite memories from your Sunday School and Youth years, I am almost sure you would tell me about a camp. I have fond memories of church camps and those memories inspired me to plan a Sunday School camp this year! As the time came closer the nerves set in as I realised what a huge undertaking it was! But we were blessed with an incredible leadership team, a prayer group who covered us all in prayer, parents who supported and encouraged us and a congregation who supplied us with so many snacks I've needed to start a diet this week!
When I arrived at the camp on Friday I knew it would be special but I had no idea how incredible it would be! On Sundays we gather at Church for just over an hour, our children come from different schools and different circles of friends.. and yet we have something in common that brings us together each week, our desire to know and love God more. Last weekend was a gift. We shared about 48 consecutive hours together as God's family, we had time and space to really connect with each other and in so doing, connect with God.
We played games and swam and shared our beds with crickets and other bugs. We showered under the stars, went for long walks in the forest, ate marshmallows around a bonfire, wiped tears away, read Scripture, sang, and prayed. We studied trees, marvelled at an owl who joined some of us at the camp fire, we howled at the full moon and huddled together during a storm. We slept too little and giggled often and learnt an awesome new cup game which some parents have apparently banned from their homes. :-) And when we all had to leave on Sunday it was with heavy hearts we said our goodbyes.
One child shared that when he arrived at the camp on Friday he could feel the life of God there. We didn't want to leave that place where God was because His presence was really felt. The truth is He is still with us, even in our everyday lives. But how wonderful that so many children REALLY encountered Him at that camp, that they have rooted their lives in Him so that in the real world they can keep growing strong in Him and bear His fruit.
Next year's camp is only 356 sleeps away, I cant wait....!
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