Camp Reflections

Written by Tabitha White

Valentine’s Day weekend is always one of my favorite weekends of the year…but probably not for the reason you expect. Yes, I adore my husband, but he’s not the reason I look forward to Valentine’s Day so much. Honestly, Valentine’s Day at our house looks like passing each other our favorite candy bars and getting a stuffed animal for each of our kids.

No, I look forward to this weekend because Jason and I, along with part of our team, spend the entire weekend with the most amazing 4th-6th graders you will ever meet! We load up the church van, and lots of other vehicles, with luggage, kids, and snacks and head to Springville. Every time we get close to the campgrounds, you can feel their excitement start to bubble! It’s like electricity in the van!

They start to talk about how much fun they are going to have and what activity they want to try first!

They tell the newcomers about the theme dress-up nights and the camp food.

The boys talk about their epic dodgeball battles while the girls debate whether they want a top or bottom bunk.

However, as soon as we pull into the parking lot of the campground, the excitement amps up exponentially! The kids jump out of the van ready to take on their newest camp adventures. If you could bottle their energy, you would be set for life! Even the adults feel the anticipation of what is going to be an amazing weekend!

When the time for chapel rolls around, you see a room full of kids that, by this point, are tired from an entire day of playing outside. Some people would expect to see kids that quickly get bored with a chapel service, but that’s not the case at all! Within a few minutes, you see kids leaning into lessons, dancing to fast praise songs, and then lifting their hands in the most sincere worship! They respond wholeheartedly to the altar calls and pour out their hearts to our God that they know hears their every cry!

This is why we choose to spend Valentine’s Day weekend at camp.

These moments in the altars that forever impact a child’s life. The moments where they feel God’s presence for the first time and realize that the stories of the Bible are so much more than antiquated legends. The moments where God speaks into their lives the calling that they were created to carry out.

Does that sound dramatic? Yes…But is it accurate? Absolutely!

See, one moment in the presence of our Creator is worth ten thousand anywhere else! In Psalm 84:10, the psalmist wrote, “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

I’m willing to bet that most people reading this blog can think back to at least one pivotal moment with Jesus in their lives! When you first gave your heart to Jesus, when He called you into ministry, when He showed you the vocation where you would make a difference for Him, when He answered that prayer that no one knew that you had been praying!

Those moments are the ones that we treasure and look back on when we are having the hardest days. The moment may have happened decades before, but we could take you back to the feel of the carpet where we knelt and heard our Savior’s voice!

Those are the moments that so many of our Revival Kids had this weekend at camp!

Come pull up a chair in my office for a minute and let me read from my journal a couple of the “takeaways” or “God moments” that some of our kids had this weekend:

From a ten year old boy, “I saw God move in a domino effect! I want that! I want to walk past people in my school and have them feel the Holy Spirit in my life!”

From a ten year old girl, “Before camp, I would only pray for people in my family…but Jesus made me bold enough to pray for other people last night! I want to take that home with me!”

One of our teenage helpers said, “I don’t want any of this to fade away from our group! I want God to grow stronger in us every day!”

That’s the prayer of our hearts too! We want each of these students to leave camp more in love with their Savior! We want a passion for Christ to burn so brightly in their hearts that others can’t help but ask what has made such a difference! And this group of kids came back ready to tell their friends what made the difference!!

Like the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:24, we want to be Christians that say, “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

Let’s read that again, “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus.” Whew! We only have one life, and we do all that we can to make it last as long as possible, but here is Paul at the end of his life reminding us of the most important aspect. Our lives mean nothing if they are all about us. Our goal should be to seize every opportunity that God places in our path to share the Good News of Jesus with the people around us.

Since we’ve returned from camp, I’ve been told of two students that jumped on the opportunity that God placed in front of them and shared the Gospel with their class at school! What would happen in our community if we, as adults, had that same boldness? I want to encourage you to think back on those God moments in your lives. Remember the passion that you felt for Christ, but don’t just live in those memories. Take time today to ask God to meet you where you are and to refill you with His power and love. 

Matthew 5:6 promises, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
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