Wow, what a summer it has been! Not only have I seen God do great things in other people’s lives, He has also done some pretty amazing things in my life. That is what I want to share with you.
To kick off summer, my youth group went to Youth Camp. We go to John Brown University each year to a camp with so many kids. I am thankful for the people who allow us to use the facilities and dorms at JBU.
This year going into camp I really wasn’t sure what God was going to do through me and my youth group. I went in with a low confidence level and a half mass work ethic. How I came out, well you’re about to find out….
Let me take you on my summer journey.
My youth group got into the vans. All I could think about was, are we there yet. We were so stuffed we looked like a bunch of penguins huddling together. And to think we have a two plus hour drive. We played mafia most of the drive and the other part of the drive I made everyone play the quiet game. The only way I got them to play it though was offering the winner a couple dollars. And boy did that work. It turned out that Joshua (one of my closest friends) and I won this competition.
We got to JBU safely and unloaded our luggage and got to our worship site, a cathedral at JBU. In the cathedral, the directors of this camp went over some of the rules and regulations of camp. Then we got with our breakout group and went over how we are going to meet each day and who we are meeting with. Now breakout groups were just kids from my church.
After this we participated in worship. We sang so loud I couldn’t here myself. Then after a refreshing worship session we went to the cafeteria and ate dinner. The people who served us all week in that cafeteria deserve a whole year off. They worked so hard.
During that first day God broke my heart for the kids at this camp. I would look around and see brokenness in these kids’ lives. That is why I was telling myself and others that we are at camp, but this is still our mission field. The Gospel needed to be proclaimed and lived out. That’s what I set out to do.
The days went by and I continued to have opportunities present themselves and I attacked them. First I wrote up a study for the guys in my youth group and led it. Also I got to be on the camp video by giving my testimony. I give all the credit to my amazing youth pastor Brandon.
It was a great relaxing week.
The next trip was the exhausting one….
In July each year my youth group takes a trip.
Well not any normal trip, more like a Mission trip.
And it was great.
I went into this confident and scared. Confident because I have been on this trip before, scared because of the trials that I would face. We did some training before we went on this trip to KC, because where we would be it would be around 90 percent non-Christian. We were trained very well.
Once again we hopped into vans all squished and ready to get to KC. Playing mafia and talking to each other the whole way there. Once we got to the church where we were not only staying but would minister, we put our luggage in the rooms and went to eat before we had to be back for our worship session.
The next day was going to be the most exhausting by far. All day we trained and listened to sermons. It was a long one. The next day we went to the church service and then went canvasing out in the neighborhoods. That is where I started to get scared. As we went out, the first couple houses were a little worrisome for me, but as the day went by I really was enjoying the whole process. Not only did we canvas on Sunday, but also on Monday after we ran our VBS for the kids.
VBS was really great this year. Last year I was in charge of games and I really struggled. This year I feel like I blossomed. I felt like God put me back there for a reason. It was awesome. Each day the relationships between the kids and I grew. Yes, the kids can be difficult sometimes, but it is all worth it.
I would say this trip really helped me grow in my relationship with Christ. It gave me a bigger love for kids. It was a success. But that isn’t the last trip I took this summer.
I was heading to Kids Camp.
I went as a student leader, arriving early to set up for the kids. It wasn’t really that difficult. We just blew up a few thousand water balloons and carried a few tables. The best part was riding on the back of a big truck that kept the supplies; as you can see easy stuff.
The kids came the next day and were full of excitement; so many campers. The church who really runs this week of camp has hundreds of kids and volunteers and Lifepoint has roughly twenty each year. Not that many, but our group is so awesome. I was rooming with the sixth grade boys from our church and the adult sponsor was none other than my old Impel teacher, Kit (No I don’t mean old as in age).
The week started off with an awesome worship kickoff. Something I really love about this band is that they aren’t your typical band, they get up there in there casual clothes and rock hard. They enjoy it so much too. After worship we enjoyed free time, a time where you can grow relationships by just having fun and enjoying time with the campers. It was awesome. I played a little basketball and then got ready for spring time. What I mean is that we go to this immensely cold spring and swim. There is a blob, slide, and plenty of other things to do while down there.
It’s so awesome!
After this we went back up to the cabins and got ready for dinner. Let me tell you one thing about this camp food.
After eating the amazing food we went back for worship and a sermon. I will tell you sermons change when you get older, but it was fun going back to being in this age. Basically each day we would repeat the same things and just enjoy being with each other.
There was this ball of energy kid named Calvin. He is part of our church and is in the sixth grade. I really didn’t know who he was when he first came, so I really got to know him by the end of the week. Now when I say he is a ball of energy I mean it. He talks a whole lot and is crazy all the time. It sounds like me. You’re probably wondering how you would have dealt with an energetic child the whole week. Well, I was a friend to him. He showed me who he was and I showed him who I was. Getting to know someone is the first step. I wouldn’t have replaced him for any other. He is a great kid. I really enjoyed being in his company at camp. I hope and pray that he will continue to love the Lord and spread His amazing news to the world.
As you can see it was a really long summer, but it was a refreshing summer and I believe God did some amazing things in people’s lives. Actually I know that he did; about eight or so people from our church accepted Christ into their lives. How Awesome. God does amazing works.
Thank you for joining me on my summer refresh. This was the longest mission trip I have taken. Three trips one mission, to spread His Great News and lift His name higher.
“And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20
Nice work, Zack!
Great Stuff, Zach!