The theme for this year’s Junior Camp at Wewoka Woods was RESCUE.
A crew of 72 campers and 35 staffers embarked on a special six-day journey to unpack the Biblical concept of salvation based on John 3:16, God’s ultimate rescue plan of love.
And God indeed was with us at camp! Whether in the evenings or mornings for worships or during the day for activities ranging from water sports, archery, go-carting, hikes, and horseback riding to crafts, God was there! He protected us outdoors as well as indoors, with old friends or those newly made.
If there ever was a special bond, it is the one at Junior Camp through shared meals and activities, shared laughter and tears, and corporate worships. You can imagine that by Wednesday night, we had become a family. And it was that special night at the lake we had asked if there was anything that came between us and God, that we would write that on a piece of paper and offer it as a “burned offering” to the Lord.
Many of the young ones pondered intently before writing, others requested more paper, yet others wrote down their burdens but had a hard time surrendering the paper to the Lord… but once the first person came forward, it encouraged the entire camp family to join.
Tears were shed, songs were sung, prayers were lifted and God’s Spirit moved to repent from old ways and be saved! Along with staffers, we made specific altar calls for recommitments and first-time commitments as a public demonstration of faith through baptism.
I so wish that everyone could have seen what happened next. Young leaders rose up from the wooden benches, some by themselves, others with their friends, over twenty souls came forward for a dedicatory prayer.
A deep and sincere yearning for God’s salvation was palpable among staffers and campers. An unforgettable evening where you could smell the campfire, see the setting sun over the calm lake and hear soft voices singing “I have decided to follow Jesus.”
Just as we were about to close our special service that night, a young camper behind me asked if he could say something. This is what he said:
“If you are still thinking about whether or not you should get baptized, I want to encourage you to make the decision today, we don’t know what could happen tomorrow. Make your decision today!”
Wow!! We ended up singing another stanza during which another two campers came forward. We prayed for the Lord to seal the decisions that night. We visited with each camper and shared the decisions with their families and pastors, several of which were able to join us in celebrating the Lord’s supper through a fine Agape feast and communion service as well as a number of baptisms.
What do you say? Praise the LORD!! Thank you to everyone who prayed and/or sponsored a child to be there!
If you know of a junior who was at camp, invite them to share their experience in your local church!
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” — Jesus (Matthew 19:14 NKJV)
by Pastor Erwin Nanasi