Friday, July 15, 2011

BMC is real.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:10-12

Every year whether I've been a camper or a staff member there are butterflies in my stomach as I arrive at camp.  What's in store for the week?  What does God want from me this week?  How will I fit in?  How can I best serve Him and others this week?  Oh, the list of questions go on and on...sometimes to include, Who am I that I'm here?
God is so good to answer some of my questions right away.
Monday evening was all about getting there and settled in and catching up with friends I usually only see once a year at camp.  It was obvious from the get-go that it was a week destined to be full of laughter.  And, full of laughter it was!
Let me just insert here that I haven't been to MI week of camp in many a year and I had forgotten how healthy and hungry the mosquitoes are on the upper east side of MI.  When they fly over your head they sound like a jet plane crop duster.  You feel it when they land on you and oh. my. goodness. what a bite they have!  I think some must have been vacationing from AK this summer.  Crazy big mosquitoes!
There was something Good going on among us this week of camp.  It was there from the start and kept on going until the very last day of camp...and beyond.  God was moving in hearts even before camp began and if we choose to take that seed of truth home with us, He's still making changes in our hearts even today. 
Our camp theme was "Identity"...based on 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" but, throughout the week, God spoke mainly to me about being focused on Him.  I truly believe it all started with that frustrating trip into camp.  18 miles to camp and I was at a stand still until someone with more resources, more knowledge came to my rescue.  He's the One with the answers...the know-how...the resources to get through life one day at a time. 
The Holy Spirit was evident as we moved through our days and evenings.  The kids were absorbing what was being shared in Bible and Missionary times and at campfire.  The distractions were there, too, but our God is greater that even the loudest boat and peskiest mosquito.  
One of the most beloved activities at BMC is the Bible Quiz/Sword Drill night where teams compete for points.  It gives you a very clear sense of how much the campers were listening all week...and it makes us as staff listen as well so we can come up with the questions to ask. :)  It was such a blessing to see the campers answering the questions with little or no hesitation.  Tim was one of our team members being he was with me and he got our team 3 points...one question and both sword drill verses!  It was a joy to watch, indeed!  He's so looking forward to being a camper next year.
The appearance of Danny the Dinosaur at camp this week was something special.  A pink toy dinosaur with huge eyes, found discarded in the woods turned out to be a huge hit for everyone.  He was then united with Stanley Cluckers, a stuffed chicken rescued from "the claw" a couple weeks back.  Complete with voices to match their personalities, Danny and Stan made camp all that more memorable.  Sometimes it's the little things that make a week complete.  Solving a Danny mystery, building Danny a sandcaslte competition, Danny and Stan mc-ing the BQ/SD night, and many other Danny/Stan moments brought sheer joy with much laughter to our days.
During Bible time on Thursday morning, it was so amazing to hear what Christa was teaching and how she was doing it because it was leading right into what I felt led to share and how to start the sharing time at campfire later on that evening.  Our Bible times were based on the story of Jacob, and this particular day she had brought out who Jacob was before he knew the LORD and who he was after he knew the LORD.   Already having my heart primed to go this way from a message from my own pastor the Sunday before I left on this 2 week journey, this was a sure sign that it was the way to go for campfire that evening.  
Knowing what you're going to share doesn't take the nerves completely away, though, so as I stood up to speak I was still praying for things to go well.  God took over as I started to speak.  Kids settled down and listened.  Staff shared.  Campers shared.  God moved.  Hearts were stirred and the Spirit carried it right into music/Bible time again the next morning.  Oh, how He loves us!  To sense God's presence in such a way and know that He's among us by what is evidenced in the lives of even the youngest of His children...no words come that can explain how awesome that is!
During my quiet time one morning as I was reading in Romans 10, verse 20 virtually lept off the page at me..."And Isaiah boldly says, 'I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.'"  God impressed upon my heart that there were kids finding God who came to camp not even knowing they needed God. 
Among all of the fun stuff, God was revealing Himself to His children...and being found.
It doesn't get any more real than that.

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