Friday, August 1, 2008

Suit Up Epilogue

It's now twelve hours since we closed our last chapel. Karla led our last worship session with all our favorite songs of the week. We raised oner $1300 for our 5 World Vision children. Carol closed out her cliffhanger missionary story and told us how God was able to provide for her friends' needs with mangos. (ask your kids about that one.) We also heard from our speaker Chris for the final word. All week long he has been speaking on the armor of God in
Ephesians 6:10-18
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."(New International Version) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

The campers have been challenged to put on the armor and to stand firm when facing our enemy, Satan. When we rely on God and His power, we can do amazing things as Chris was able to testify about.

We want this week's camp experience to be more than just a temporary "camp high" but hopefully we have equipped each camper to be effective spiritual warriors who are able to impact their neighborhood, their family and their schoolyard -ultimately even reaching out to the world. Otherwise, we just sang some great songs and had a lot of fun. This is why Lightseekers has existed for these 24 years. Considering that many of our younger leaders were once Lightseekers campers themselves, some of our campers do seem to "get it".

Until next year,bye for now. Be sure to check in for more pics added and info on next year's camp.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Last Night

"If we could harness their energy, we could power a city...", so said one of the design team members in reference to the children's worship tonight. I don't know when I have seen such enthusiasm for praising God as was demonstrated tonight. No one wanted it to stop. The campers sat just minutes earlier listening to Chris talk about the Sword of the Spirit, the only piece of the armor used for offensive purposes against our enemy Satan. He then topped off his talk by reminding us that we are to pray always -our vital link to the Holy Spirit's power and especially to pray for others.

Now many of the leaders have started to pack away the remains of the week. We still have morning chapel to go, but we can honestly say that we have seen the presence of the Lord in this place this week, particularly tonight. I will blog at least one more time to wrap up our week of Suit Up.

Suit Up -Day Four

This morning we were reminded of why we do Lightseekers Camp. Thursday is traditionally the day that we provide the children with an opportunity to receive Christ as their Savior. Following worship songs, offering and the missionary story, Jim explained that Jesus came to rescue us and to give us the gift of eternal life. He told them that the gift is completely free but it does not become a gift until a person receives it for themself. At the end, he asked the campers to raise their hand if they wanted to receive that gift of eternal life and many of them raised their hands to indicate, yes. Then there were others that indicated that they wanted to rededicate their lives to Christ. Those who made decisions stayed to talk with their counselors afterward.

I asked one of the counselors what she thought of having the opportunity to help lead children to Christ. She was definitely touched by it and even more amazed that although she should be physically exhausted from the activity and lack of sleep, she had supernatural endurance from the Holy Spirit to be able to minister all day long. She knew that the prayers of her friends and family back home were effective this way. I reminded her of God's promise in Isaiah 40:31. This, my dear blog readers, is why the adults give of their time and energy, sometimes months ahead of camp to touch the lives of these children. It's all worth it!

But there is still more to come...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day Three Redux

I started our last post talking about people going on a hike for free time. What I didn't tell you then was that a bunch of campers had gone off to do paint ball and were using the counselors (in protective gear and more than 30 feet away, mind you) as moving targets. Another group had fun with shaving cream near the pool. You have to see the photos once they are posted. Fortunately, all these activities were remedied by quick trips to the shower.

Our evening chapel was definitely the best so far. Our speaker, Chris, talked about the next two pieces of God's armor -the helmet of salvation and the shield of faith. He shared that faith means trust in God and told us how he and his wife had to trust God when faced with bad news from the doctor -they thought Jenn had cancer. In trusting God to take care of her, they were able to see God's healing power (there was no cancer found when the doctors operated). He talked about how God provided salvation for us by sending Jesus to die on the cross for us. Chris also gave us an example of a father's love by showing a video of Team Hoyt (Google them to see the Youtube story). This a man who competes in Triathalons while pushing his son with Cerebal Palsy along too. Very Inspirational!

Ooh, I gotta go to a leadership meeting, I'll blog more tomorrow.

Day Three of Suit Up!

"We're leaving to go on our hike," the voice on the other end of the walkie-talkie just said. And so begins another afternoon of freetime here at camp. It's my chance to to blog and catch you parents up on the day's events. After sleeping soundly last night, we were awakened to go to counselor meeting then breakfast. This morning's chapel followed shortly thereafter.

Once our musical worship was over and the offering taken, Miss Janet shared the morning message. She talked about how God never lets go of us even in the most difficult times of our lives (and believe me, she really has experienced some tough days.)She shared with us about how she found and met Jesus; she also shared about what He gave her once she put her trust in Him. One of the verses she shared was:
"The Lord loves us very much. So we haven’t been completely destroyed. His loving concern never fails. His great love is new every morning. Lord, how faithful you are! I say to myself, The Lord is everything I will ever need. So I will put my hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-23
After that Miss Carol, began our cliffhanger missionary story which will continue tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

End Of Day Two (Part 2)

I wanted to post a rock climbing pic in the earlier post but blogspot wasn't cooperating.

End Of Day Two -Suit Up

It's very quiet right now -the only sound is the sound of crickets and the frogs in the nearby pond. All the campers (except for a few of the leaders and missionary students) are safe and sound in their cabins. It was a wonderful day in which God did many amazing things. The kids of course, had a blast rock climbing in addition to all the other activities mentioned previously. Tomorrow, some will try paint ball.
After free time, they cleaned up for dinner and went on to chapel at 7.

Tonight was the best night for worship so far (hopefully I can get Karla to blog and give your her impressions too). She introduced a song -Take A Stand that we have deemed our camp theme song and is based on Ephesians 6:10-11. Although how we got this song isn't nearly as fantastic as last year's theme song story, it is still an example of God working in unexpected ways.

Prior to camp, Karla had not found a song she liked for a theme song and instead planned some other new songs that she thought the kids would like. Karla had asked me to throw in a children's worship CD to play before chapel started. Since I don't have children of my own and don't work in children's ministry regularly -I volunteer in High School ministry, I just grabbed the only two children's sampler CDs I receive as part of my subscription to SongDiscovery. (Note: they send out ONLY 1 Children's sampler per year). The CDs were still in their wrapper when I got to camp because I hadn't time or desire to listen beforehand. I popped one in the player just before the first chapel but I really didn't care for the style of music -not upbeat enough for our high energy opening chapel. The second one started out better but I didn't pay attention to the lyrics last night because I was busy with last minute tech issues. As it was, I only played the first few tunes before the worship band started. This morning however, I got to the fifth song and recognized they were singing the words to our Bible passage for the week. I grabbed Karla and replayed the song for her. She said that all we needed was the music for the band to play. Well, the sampler contains the chord, leadsheets (with all the music on them) and the words. I had the computer, the printer to make the charts and she taught the band, so tonight we sang "Take A Stand".

Oh, I must not forget our speaker Chris (That's him with his wife Jenn). Tonight he spoke on putting on the armor and described three of the pieces -the belt of truth (which holds all the armor together and is used to counteract Satan's lies), the breastplate of righteousness (which guards our most vital parts and comes from being in right relationship with Christ) and the shoes of preparation in sharing the good news of peace. All of these , plus the ones we will learn about tomorrow night, enable us to stand against the the evil schemes of the Devil and his demons.

I'll continue to keep you posted on what we are learning. Right now I'm going to bed.

Put It On! (God's Armor)

It's Day 2 on our Lightseekers Camp Adventure. If you've following along via the blog and the flickr pics on the lower left, you know the kids are having a great time. This morning's chapel started out with worship led by Karla & Co.(they sang one of their favorites, The Fruit Song in addition to many others) and featured a talk by Mary who reminded us that our enemy is Satan. She also told the children that everyone must not only acknowledge that we are sinners and in need of a Savior, but we must receive Him into our lives. Miss Janet also shared about our remaining World Vision children and then we collected our offering for them.

After chapel, the kids had recreation time which is broken into 3 groups (we call them Units). One group played games in center camp, another did a special craft and the last group was at the pool. Tomorrow they rotate to a different activity so that each camper does all three recs by week's end.

After lunch (BBQ Chicken), we had our Walk The Talk teaching times which are also divided by Units. Today we talked about hiding God's Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11 & 105). The best part is that each child received a brand new Bible of their own (which is why they were told NOT to bring Bibles to camp, BTW). Each Bible had been highlighted with the favorite verses of the Design Team. The students were then able to highlight their own fave verse inside as well.

Now everyone is off to free time. I will post more tonight after chapel, God and internet willing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our First Day

Greetings from Lightseekers Camp. We just finished our first day of camp and all the campers are off to bed. Definitely, today has been a very tiring day beginning with the bus rides here. We then had a very full afternoon swimming, playing minature golf, playing in the gym and doing crafts. Of course, we also were treated to a wonderful lunch and dinner by the Oak Glen staff (wet burritos for lunch, ham and great mac n' cheese for dinner).

Our chapel began with the ever fabulous worship music led by Miss Karla and the band. Karla usually chooses songs that are based on Scripture. This year she's introduced a new song based on Colossians 3:17 (ask your kids about the whatever song when they get home.)
Jim then had the kids play some crazy games (with food-ewwww!)followed by our missions spotlight on our World Vision children. We closed our evening with our speaker, Chris Charon who introduced our theme of the week, Suit Up, The Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). As the week progresses, I will post more on what we are learning.

We're Here (At Least the Design Team)

A new week of Lightseekers Camp is ready to begin. The Design Team, grunts and the student missionary helpers all arrived last night. After an early dinner at the local coffee shop, we set up the chapel for worship and the leadership "headquarters". Right now, we are about to meet for prayer before the children arrive. You can be praying for all the children too. Of course the leadership team would appreciate your prayers as well.

To see what God is doing, check into this blog later today - I typically give updates twice a day and I will be posting the first pictures later today.