A Word of Praise From the Youth Leader…

For the past four years, our youth have had the opportunity to join with other churches for a spring retreat at Camp YoLiJwa.  It is wonderful that we are a church who supports our youth and recognizes the value of youth ministry.  Camp is one of the best ways we can reach our teens.  I’m so grateful that we have a pastor who has shared her passion for camp with us and encouraged us to get as many kids to camp as possible.

What does camp do for our kids?

  • Camp gives them a chance to focus on Jesus with a group of other kids who are there to do the same thing.
  • At camp, they get to forget about their phone, the TV, and all the other distractions the world and Satan throw at them.
  • At camp, the Holy Spirit is able to move more freely because He is not competing for their attention.
  • At camp, they get to build relationships with kids from our church and make new friendships.
  • At camp, teens learn they don’t have to be alone in their walk with Christ but can lean on one another and on their leaders.
  • Just like Jesus spent time alone with God to prepare for the ministry He was called to do, camp allows our kids to spend time alone  with God so He can prepare them to do the ministry He is calling them to do.
  • Camp is also a great place to have fun!  God has blessed our conference with an amazing lodge, a  gym, a game room, lots of activities and great food.

This year, the retreat focused on “The Power of the Holy Spirit.”  The weekend included four Bible classes, all teaching about the Holy Spirit.  The sessions were led by pastors and youth leaders from various churches in our conference and allowed for questions and participation, focusing on specific Bible passages.  In addition to these classes, there was a time of worship each day when speakers also presented a message about the Holy Spirit.

Our kids were totally engaged in the worship experience.  It was our kids who were not afraid to lift their hands in praise and publically worship God.  While at camp, we challenged our kids to act at church the way they do at camp.

At the retreat, each church group spent time together in prayer.  Much like our “Yay God!” time in church, the kids were given an opportunity to share how God is working in their lives and express prayer requests and concerns.  The kids than prayed for one another.  The Holy Spirit was at work during this prayer time, and our kids–again–were not afraid to publically worship God.

Every night before lights out, we had devotions in our prayer groups.  It was a time to recap what they heard that day and ask questions.  We were able to go deeper in our understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role in our lives.

Kids are expressing their desire to join the church and be baptized because of what they learned at camp.  We have had numerous kids give their lives to Christ at camp.  This month, we are asking people to sponsor a kid to go to camp for a week this summer.  If the Holy Spirit can do all that in two days, imaging what He can do in a week!

Blessings!

Mike Coleman, Youth Pastor

 

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