Here is a lengthy post about my most recent experience at a church camp!
I’ve really grown to love going on trips with my church family. I come from a small youth group of probably around twenty people. But that doesn’t stop us! I have really noticed that there isn’t one person I do not trust in my youth group (even the middle schoolers haha). Church trips are great because you are separated from the outside world and surrounded with love, and fellow followers of Christ. This past week, my youth group attended a church camp in the mountains, and it was utterly inspiring. And I pray I will let it change my life.
One of my favorite moments of camp was during small groups. It was after a sermon, and a guy in my youth group admitted to “being dead” inside and feeling disconnected to God. And he started to cry. That broke my heart. Because he was a genuinely nice guy. We then went on to talking about things we needed prayer for. Another guy spoke about how he was doubting God. And this guy was someone I always looked to for the right things to say. It was hard seeing someone like him going through a rough time. I volunteered to pray for him. And I’m not sure what happened, but I became overwhelmed with emotion. I started to cry. And as my voice wavered, I felt a few girls put their hands on my shoulder and helped me finish praying. I noticed that the rest of our youth group had started to cry and I knew the Holy Spirit was working within us. I remembered a friend coming up to me and saying, “Sam, don’t make me cry again!” He is a funny guy. But I promised I would try not to!
Later on in the week, we have this special night out on the field and bridge where we did various activities. It was quite pretty, dark outside, stars bright, lights hung by the bridge. There were four stations. 1. Where you wrote words that speak life and words that destroy. 2. Hang note cards of your current trials on the bridge. 3. A wall where you write what Jesus is to you. 4. A prayer cove. We first started off with writing words of life and destruction. I wrote the words kind- hearted and then annoying. I noticed one of the guys in my youth group sitting by himself and writing a long list of words under destruction. It was very hard to watch, because I knew these were words that have been directed at him before. When he finally finished, we all went over to him and gave him a hug. And he started to cry. And we all started to cry. I think that night as we continued to pray and cry. We saw sides of each other we have never seen before.
Camp wasn’t all crying though! We did some crazy recreation games such as trying to get each other over 10 feet wall-like things! We also had some great worship. We sang a song with the lyrics “He’s a good good father, it’s who He is, it’s who He is. And I’m loved by Him, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.” Amen! Worship is great when you just feel it consume you. And you lift your hands up surrendering and praising to God.
And camp, wouldn’t be camp without bugs, bunk beds, hills, hiking, etc. Those were not my favorite parts, but hey I had a great time overall. I felt so blessed and content and I thank the new people I met, and the greatest kids in my church family.