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As you’re reading this, a group of 56 students, 10 adult leaders, and the Donison family will be in the midst of our first full day at Camp Eagle. This is now our third year of doing Student Ministry camp at Camp Eagle and we always enjoy our time together. Something that I appreciate about the camp is that they are able to teach the Bible as we go along our day while also building relationships and trust in our group. Students will learn that the church community they are part of will sustain them, not the camp experience itself.
Sometimes we can so privatize our relationship with God that we want to go after a particular experience or feeling apart from normal life. God always seems nearer at camp or a retreat. And while it’s amazing in the moment, it dwindles away over time. Even our students understand this; they call it the ‘camp high.’ But the problem is that it’s like the energy drinks that some of the students pack: it gets them going for a while before the inevitable sugar crash. Maybe you’ve even had a similar experience with weekly worship. But what if following God didn’t have to be like that?
Thankfully it doesn’t, because God is near to us every day if we take the time to acknowledge Him. The reason that we go to camp is not just to give our students a special experience of God, but also that they would know God meets them in the community we call church and that God has chosen our rag-tag bunch to be the primary way that His love is shown and known in the world. Learning these daily rhythms of love and grace is better than camp itself!
Every year I don’t just pray for students to meet God at camp; rather I pray that the Holy Spirit would sustain them throughout all of life’s ups and downs. Would you pray this for our students as well?
A prayer for young people: God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Taylor IshiiYoung Adult Ministry
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