This year’s student camp was an amazing week seeing God work in the lives of students and adults. The numbers tell one story: 160 in attendance, 14 students professed faith in Christ, about 20 others came forward for major decisions. But the real story is told by the students themselves.
On Thursday I just sat down to eat when a 14 year old girl came to my table with a big smile on her face. We visited for a moment and then I asked her how the week had been, what had God done in her life this week. She told me that in the days before camp she was begging her mom not to make her come to camp. She said, “I’ve been to lots of church camps and I figured this one would be boring like all the rest.” But her mom, who had already paid the camp fee, told her she had to go, the money had been paid. So I asked her if this week had been different. She said “it’s been great. God spoke to me and last night I got saved! This is the best week of my life!” Wow, talk about burying the lead 🙂
Then on Thursday I visited for a bit with Christian who agreed to let me record his testimony. Here is his testimony:
Christian said before I started recording that one of the biggest things in his life was how he was accepted by his youth group. He told me that no one had ever welcomed him like that and included him in the group like they did. That’s a powerful reminder to us.
And then there was Bailey. Bailey came to camp having to read lips. Four months ago she lost all of her hearing in one ear and 75% of it in the other. She told me that she couldn’t hear an 18 wheeler drive by her. Then one morning at camp she woke up and could hear her roommate talking. She could hear the air conditioner running. She could hear everything! If you were on campus that day and happened to be within eyesight of Bailey you were going to hear her story. She was smiling, jumping up and down and shouting praises to jesus. She gave Him complete credit for the restoration of her hearing. There was no doubt in her mind what had happened. It reminded me of the man healed by Jesus who was brought to the Pharisees. His testimony was simple and powerful, “One thing I do know: I was blind and now I can see!” (John 9:25) Bailey had the same simple testimony.
The rest of the story of ETC 2015 will be told over the next weeks and months in the lives of the students and adults who were there. We thank God for the faithfulness of our camp leadership like Mike Satterfield, camp pastor, and John Sherrill, camp worship leader. And also for the many volunteers and youth ministers who make a week like this possible. Most of all we thank Him for being faithful to His word, calling us to be consumed by His Son and redeeming all the terrible things in our past by the power of the cross. May He be praised!