...to bring to you a "live" update from Bible Memory Camp 2010.
God never ceases to amaze me. How He can orchestrate such timing and placement of all people and things to create another awesome week of Bible Memory Camp is nothing less than a miracle.
60+ little faces show up on Monday...some looking scared and some having "Adventure is out there!" as their life's motto...all loved by God enough for Him to bring them to BMC this very week so He can grow them up in Him! The Spirit of God fell upon our week in a big way...and the result was many children accepting Jesus as their Savior!
Christa's Bible time lessons were some of the best I've ever heard...and I've heard alot over the years, so I can say this with certainty. God gave her just the right words and examples to use for His precious sheep to understand His Word better (myself included). She taught from Matthew 4:1-11...the temptation of Jesus. One camper summed it up best, sharing at campfire one night, "This week I've learned how to use God's Word!" Indeed, God doesn't just want us to love and know His Word, He wants us to use it!!!
In addition to Bible time, of course, there were old friends seen and new ones made...lots of laughs...and tons of fun during games and activities. The most fun game I've played at BMC was this week with a huge soft soccer ball. What fun! All the kids got into the game...mostly because of the size and softness of the ball we were using...and in spite of the heat and profuse sweating we were all enduring, it was a great time.
And, of course, this week's water games were well received...it was a great way to relieve them from the heat.
Of course camp wouldn't be camp without music. Worship was such a great time of the day...both in the morning and evening! Levi has done a great job leading us in worship these past four years. He will be missed next year. It's exciting to see how God is raising up another to step in and help, though. In true God fashion, He will not leave a void. If Ryan does take over music, he has had a great mentor in Levi this summer. It again shows how God's timing is just perfect in all things.
During missionary time the first day, I spoke of my trip to Alaska...but mainly, spoke on how God has changed my view on "who" is a missionary. Young in life, I really thought missionaries were really high on God's priority list...almost perfect people who lived almost perfect lives to get to be on the mission field. God is showing me differently these days...and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to share what He has shown me with others.
Everyone of us as His children have a calling on our lives to be a missionary...one who tells others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While I was speaking on Monday afternoon, God gave me the words to speak and I know this because I said something that spoke to my very own heart. It almost brought me to a standstill as I was speaking because I couldn't believe what I was saying and the impact it had on me as I did. I read the verse, 1 Timothy 1:12, "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.' and then shared how this verse meant alot to me and how humbled I am that God used little ol' me to do His work when I know so many other people who have more experience on the mission field than I, at least 3 of them being in the audience at the time. Then I went on to share that at times I felt inadequate to do the job of a missionary (and a missionary speaker for that matter) but God put the desire in my heart to serve Him in these ways and asked me to do it, so I am answering His call. God reminded me in these moments of my own sharing that if God prompts us to do something, our response should be doing the job, trusting Him to give us the skills we need for it along the way. There are no comparisons needed between people and tasks...He appoints different people to different tasks for a reason. It's not up to us who has what responsibility on the mission field...if God tells us to do something, we should do it. There are no levels of importance with God. Just because I'm serving God in the US and not in a foreign country, it doesn't make me less of a missionary. It doesn't make me more of a missionary. It's not a matter of importance, it's a matter of obedience. I needed to hear this, so thanks, God, for the words to my own heart!
The second day of missionary time, I had them break up into their cabin groups and discuss places they go on a regular basis where they can share God with others...they came up with some great ideas. The fair, stores, hotels, beach, parks, church, homes, friends' houses, gas stations...now tell me, when was the last time you thought about sharing the Gospel with someone while pumping gas? I never have, but I'm sure I'll think more about it now. :) To follow up that question, I told them to pick one place and discuss ways to start a conversation with someone while at that location...and then think on how you could direct the conversation then to God. They did a great job answering these questions for being 2nd-5th graders...(and great staff, too). We always are told to tell people about God, but very rarely are we helped to know how to do it. This seemed to ease some fears about how to share Christ with others. It doesn't have to be big...just something in everyday life can be used as a conversation starter. I gave them the example of our trip to "Athiest Park" in AK when we encountered a couple who didn't see a need for God in their lives. That conversation started over their dog. A conversation can start in a very simple way and it's important for younger Christians to realize this. I had them wrap up with talking about the fears they have about talking with others and asked the counselors to pray for each of their campers that they would have courage to be missionaries and look for the opportunities around them each day to share the love of God with others in actions and words in the places they go on a regular basis. One camper shared that this week at camp helped him realize the importance of being a missionary anywhere we are and that he now realizes it doesn't have to be very far away from home at all. Yay, God!
Campfire is always the highlight of my camp days. This week was no different. Christa spoke the first two nights...and on Tuesday night, after a moving of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, several children came to accept Jesus as their Savior! Amen to that! Again, you could tell that God was giving Christa the words to speak and was opening the hearts of the kids to His truth in a very special way. Amazing. On Wednesday night, I led the campfire. It's the night we give the campers an opportunity to share something about their week at camp. This summer has been a summer to realize just how good God is at being God. He put things in motion years ago that were used for His glory at just the right time. He knew a campfire I experienced 5 years ago would be the basis for this year's sharing campfire. It was God and He is good. The timing and circumstances of Wednesday were perfect for His awesomeness to be displayed. Even the pouring rain earlier in the day was timely, just so a point of reference could be made and understood by those hearing me speak. Leading up to campfire, I can tell you I was nervous. This was a big deal and I didn't want to mess it up. As soon as Levi was finished praying, it was either time to speak or time to run... God asked, I had to answer...it's a matter of obedience, remember?! Once I started, a peace came over me. This was God's time to shine. All I had to do was speak of what He had done. He had lit a fire 5 years ago without a match...in the pouring rain, nonetheless. It was all Him. He only desires us to get the wood ready, He'll provide the spark to light it. And, He did. I challenged the campers that we get the wood ready in our own lives by reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping Him every day of our lives. In order to be a light in this dark world we have to be ready with wood for God to start a fire in us. It opened up to a great night of sharing from the campers. It sometimes takes a few awkward moments of silence for someone to stand up and share something, but this night a few stood up immediately...and they kept on standing. Kids were sharing about becoming a Christian the night before, wanting to go home and be missionaries in their homes, wanting to pray more...it was awesome to hear from them. Praise God for His faithfulness to His children, both younger and older!
I do love me some BMC!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.