Working as the Youth Pastor at Camp is always wonderful, but this summer God appeared to work in extra special ways.
I’ll do my best to share what happened so you can be a part of the amazing ways God moved.
You’d think that at a “Christian Camp,” we’d get kids that “have it all together.”
That’s not the case at all!
About 1/3 of the kids come from homes where they do not attend church. For them, this week at camp is all they get for learning about who God is, who God says they are, their need for salvation, and how to become a child of God.
Many of the kids, and teen staff, shared with me about their broken homes, the hurts of divorce, and abuse.
As Youth Pastor, it is my privilege to preach 11 times each week:
- A 5-Day Series on “The Gospel Through Creation,”
- A 5-Day Series on “The Early Ministry of Jesus,”
- A stand-alone evangelistic Bible message to close out the week.
These messages are very powerful because they’re right from the Scriptures. I believe that kids are very intelligent and can understand Theology if it is explained to them, and that was definitely the case this summer. So many kids reacted so positively to the Word of God and the Gospel Proclamation!
Approximately 130 kids attended camp the two weeks I Pastored there.
Of the 130, about 27 kids publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior! I find that astounding!
Many more confessed to not living the Christian life they should and committed to turning from idols in their lives. Please keep these new brothers and sisters in Christ in your prayers, and let’s praise God for the tremendous work He’s done!!!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1)
Each Friday evening, the kids can share what God did in their lives that week. Want some encouragement? Need to be uplifted? Hear these kids (and older teens) share in their own words how God worked in their lives at camp this summer. Very cool!
In addition to the preaching, I also presented “object lessons,” or “Gospel magic tricks.”
These help to reinforce the teaching.
(And they’re fun too!)
I believe we can understand and retain information when we can both hear it AND see it.
The “object lessons” and paint board messages are very helpful for the kids to hear and see the message!
This year I decided to try five brand new object lessons I hadn’t done before.
One of them is called “The Instant-Solved Rubik’s Cube.”
If you have 2 minutes and 12 seconds, you’re welcome to view the video of it below:
If you would like to see all five of the new object lessons, you can do that at: http://luke-15.org/2014/09/5-new-gospel-magic-tricks/.
Give It To Phillup!!!
Tragically, he was trampled while playing a game with the other campers.
He was taken away, in tears, by ambulance.
God took something very bad, and turned it into something really tremendous!
Please please please check out this amazing and inspiring true account of what happened to this boy at: http://luke-15.org/2014/08/give-it-to-phillup/.
A Moment of Insanity…
The camp has a 40-foot-high zip-line, and during my free-time one day, I was talked into jumping off of it.
Why did I do this? I’m not sure. I’m thinking temporary insanity. Maybe not temporary???
The staff duct-taped my phone to my hand so I could make a “video-selfie.” They played the video before I got up to preach one night and the campers loved it! If you’d like to see me humiliate myself, here it is. Enjoy!
What the Teaching Is Like:
When the Word of God is preached, God works powerfully. I never know how God will work through His Word, and it’s fun to see what He does.
This year I developed a brand-new message for “The Early Life of Jesus” series. This message was #4 of 5 in the series.
Out of all the Bible Messages I preached at Camp this summer, this one on “Jesus and Nicodemus” appeared to have the strongest impact. After I was done, at least 7 campers (that we know of) asked an adult how to be born again, and committed their lives to Jesus Christ!
God’s Word is powerful because God is powerful!!!
So if you have a spare 29 minutes and 27 seconds, please watch this vital message entitled “You Must Be Born Again.”
I have some photos that will also show how God moved at camp this summer. I pray you enjoy these…
Another neat thing that happened is that my 15-year-old daughter, Vivienne, was asked to volunteer to be a part of the Horse Staff this summer. That meant that she went up to camp a week before it started and stayed there all summer!
I’m so proud of how hard she worked too. It’s a LOT of work to clean the horse stalls, carry the heavy saddles, move the bales of hay, and the many other chores that need to be done early in the morning until evening time.
Not only that, but she worked with campers, helping them with the horses, and even walking alongside as they went on trail-rides in the heat.
Way to go Vivienne!
We missed her soooooooo much, so it was extra special for us when we’d drive up to camp for my preaching weeks, because it meant that we were reunited with Vivienne for another week!!! Yay!!!
I hope this post has encouraged you. God is working in the next generation!!!
Thank you for your partnership, prayers, and financial support, without which we could not be reaching the lost for Jesus Christ!!!
Please share this update with others you think would be blessed by it!
all for Jesus,
Mark (and family)