Wow!!! What a week. The Rock Staff and rockyouth leaders have been preparing and praying for this event since March, hoping and praying that God would prepare and move in the hearts of the teenagers. But none of us never expected to see God move in the way he did.
When we were preparing and praying, the idea we had of what it looked like to see God move at a camp was based off of our previous camp experiences, and we were hoping that God would move that way again. Many times, this looks like about 20 percent of the students truly get moved by the spirit and maybe 10 percent continuing in it when they return home.
But that is not what happened this week at camp! God let all of us experience something that to us seemed almost straight out of the Bible, like when Peter was preaching in Acts 2 and 3000 people came to know Christ, or when Jesus met the Maniac of Gadara and cast the Legion of Demons out of him.
First off, leaving for camp we had 108 campers which overshadows last year by nearly 20 more students. In a leader’s mind, we were expecting to see maybe 20 students truly moved by God with 10 of them being the good soil that the seed fell on. But God wanted to glorify himself and amaze us all!
The theme that he laid on our hearts to teach was “Plunge.” We encouraged the students to take the God Plunge and experience what God is like. We asked them to forget their fears and insecurities about who God is or what it means to be his disciple and Plunge into his love. We derived this from our theme verse, Philippians 3:13, “Forgetting what lies behind, straining towards what is ahead.”
The picture we gave them is that they are standing on the edge of the high dive and around them are two groups. There is the group that pushes them to take the plunge before they are ready and there is the group that then mocks them for taking that plunge. We encouraged them to do what our theme verse taught us to forget all those voices and listen to God alone. Forget your past and all the hurt and pain and listen to God. Forget the sinful aspirations you have and listen to God. Then take the plunge off the diving board and experience the “abundant life” Jesus promised us in John 10:10
Even through all of our hopes and prayers, we never expected to see the students respond in the way they did. EVERY STUDENT RESPONDED!!! From as small a thing as not talking to anyone their first day but by the end of the week sharing what they learned to their whole 28 person team, to students asking for help with spiritual warfare and drug addictions.
The parable where having faith like a mustard seed can move mountains was proved this week, as our small faith was used by God and he moved mountains from these students’ lives.
By the end of the week, 11 students prayed to receive Jesus as their savior. 72 students wrote letters to themselves of the commitments they made to God. We will return these letters to them in a couple of months to remind them to stay on the right path with Christ. Finally, countless seeds were planted or watered that will one day sprout and bring forth fruit for the kingdom of God. We are so humbled and blessed to be a witness to it all.