It is a beautiful thing when young people embrace the truth and experience freedom in Christ.
And that beautiful thing happened at Teen Camp last week.
Strongholds broken, sins confessed, joy and peace restored.
In some of the campers’ words:
I learned that God will never not love me. It doesn’t matter what I have done in the past. He help[ed] me with my stronghold. Also how to overcome it.
One thing I learned that I’ll never forget is how to get rid of strongholds. I learned that I am a child of God, and that He accepts me as I am.
I got rid of all the lies and found the way of truth.
I’ve learned the truth, that nothing in all creation will EVER separate us from the love of God. I am loved, I’m accepted, I’m forgiven, and that in God’s eyes He sees me as a holy person.
One camper expressed this in a thank you letter to her sponsor:
Thank you for sponsoring me. I love you for that. If you didn’t sponsor me, I would have lost God. You helped me find my God so be proud because you helped someone.
Perhaps that camper’s words express quite well what really happens when we begin to believe the lies that the world, the flesh, and the devil hurl at us–we begin to “lose” God. It’s not that He’s hidden or suddenly out of reach, but our perception of who He is and where He is becomes grossly distorted. We need to hear the truth.
Truth such as:
You are loved.
You are accepted.
While you were a sinner, Christ died for you.
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
You are a new creation.
Old things have passed away.
You have a new name–a new identity.
You have value.
You are forgiven.
As campers heard and embraced the truth, they were encouraged to express it creatively by painting a verse or two of Scripture on a pillowcase to remind them of a specific truth.
Tubing in the Delores River is always a camp highlight; it just took a bit more perseverance this year because of the low water levels.
Little Miss Sunshine came along for her first camp experience. She played with Grandpa and Grandma Reed (who traveled all the way from Ohio to enjoy their first Colorado camp experience, too) during the day and made sure Mommy and Daddy had some nightly sleep deprivation.
Speaking of Mommy and Daddy, Caleb & Stephanie did an awesome job as Activities Directors, making sure all the counselors and campers got wet, sweaty, tired, and sore (and had so much fun doing it that we kept doing it again and again)!
It’s been a longstanding joke that there’s a Goatman who sometimes makes appearances around the campground. There were some high-pitched shrieks when this mask peeked through the window of the girls dorm one night.
The morning and evening chapel sessions were taught by Darrell — powerful times of seeing God at work in hearts.
We had great times of praise and singing the truth led by Tim, Juan, and Mario. Tim also led morning choir.
And….finally, if you want a taste of the Teen Camp Talent Show and a few moments of amusement, click here to watch a funny video. I’m still trying to figure out how a mustard-covered balloon qualifies as dessert. All I know is that my clothes would’ve smelled a lot better if it had been chocolate-covered!