Friday, August 19, 2011

Farewell to Lightseekers Camp 2011

The church buses, vans and cars have returned with their precious cargo of campers and all their luggage (hopefully it all made it home). The children have replayed the events of the week with you parents as they made their way from church to home; a week's worth of dirt on clothes and kids is being washed off. But as life returns to "normal" for the nearly 200 who spent the week at Lightseekers' Camp, there are those whose lives are very different because of their encounter with Jesus this week. Some campers trusted Him to be their Savior and have entered God's family. Others have decided to step up their commitment to Christ and shine their light to those around them. Dale Torry reminded us this morning that Satan will try to distract us from looking to Jesus; just like the wolf that licks the knife blade coated in frozen blood and left upright in the snow by the Eskimo hunter, we can be ensnared by our sinful desires. Pray for our campers that will be able to live for Jesus, serving Him and others as easily as it was when surrounded by their fellow Lightseekers. We will be back together again, God willing, in August 2012, but until then, keep looking to Jesus.

P.S. The remainder of the 1500+ photos (still about 300 to 400) will be up on Flickr over the next few days. The camp video can be seen on the Lightseekers Camp Facebook page.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Serve to Love

These pictures were from our unit competition held after dinner. The campers in each unit were challenged to depict their version of The Last Supper. I'll let your campers tell you which unit won.
Tonight we heard Carol finish the story of the Marshalls and Mpese Andre, how God was able to use them to build the church community in Songo, Congo despite the dangers of civil war and poisonous black mamba snakes.

Dale told us the story of the paralytic man who was brought to Jesus by his friends; they didn't let the large crowds deter them from having their friend see Jesus, they just opened up the roof and lowered their friend right in front of Him. They loved their friend by serving him, giving him the opportunity to meet Jesus and be healed. Dale then invited the campers to make decisions for Christ -1. To begin to follow Him by trusting Him as Savior, 2. To follow Jesus more closely, especially if they hadn't been living for and serving Him, 3.To be one who helps others look to Jesus and follow Him. Many children stayed behind to speak with their counselor as had many during the morning chapel when Jim spoke.

As you read this, please pray for the children who made decisions this week; there were many more who raised their hand indicating a decision, but were either too afraid or unsure of what would happen if they stayed. Transformed children's lives are why we do this camp. I post our final words tomorrow. Check out the Flickr link -there are over 1000 pics posted and I'm sure there's at least one of your child.

Love to Serve and Serve to Love

Today's word of the day was serve. Tuesday it was love and yesterday was shine. Putting them together with our camp theme -Look up to Jesus, we are to look to love (Jesus and others), look to shine (Matthew 5:16) our deeds, and look to serve. From what I've seen at this camp, the campers do love to serve. Right now, it's OTS (which stands for Opportunity to Serve)- this means they are setting the tables for dinner and will act as host/hostesses for their tables. All week the OTS kids have been offering to take my plate and bus the table with gladness. (Keep that in mind moms and dads). One of the reasons Lightseekers exists to help the children learn how to live like Jesus, in this case by serving one another. As Mary just reminded the OTS helpers, as we shine our good deeds before others, it points them to Jesus. It is our goal for them to serve others, not just at camp, but also at home, at school or in their neighborhood. Later, I will recap the evening...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let it Shine

Tonight was immensely fun - worship as always, was filled with loud voices and vigorous hand/body motions, Carol continued her missionary story (Andre escaped the rebel soldiers we heard about last night), and Dale continued to tell us about the Botfly who seeks out a host to live in. He used this gross story to talk about the blind man healed by Jesus. Jesus spat in his eye to heal him -He could have just healed the man but Jesus used this strange method instead. The point was not how he was healed, but the first face he saw when he was no longer blind was Jesus'. The man then was able to shine for Jesus once he saw Him. That's the point of the day, we too can shine for Jesus, but we have to see Him for who He is first. After chapel, we played a nighttime game in which some people were in complete darkness while others shined a flashlight. It was hilarious to see the ones who were in the dark trying to sneak past the ones with the light to get to their "goals". They've all gone off to bed now, to get a good night's sleep as we face a new day.

The Middle

Here we are on the middle day of camp. We've seen and done so much but there's still a lot left in our week. Today's theme was "shine". Breakfast was great with waffles, eggs and sausages. Then we went off to chapel with probably the most enthusiastic worship of the week so far. We took our offering again for our Rice Bowl mission project (so far the girl's are "winning" in amount given). We heard from Mary again who told us our Bible story about Paul and how he was able to shine before men. Dale teased with tales (gross ones ) of the Bot fly. (I don't know if I want to hear more, yuck!)
For now the campers are still at free-time with the line for zipline 10 deep. They are also climbing trees and going swimming. There was a touch football game in the middle of the big grass field too.

Dinner is coming in an hour and I still have a few hundred pics to load... later

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

End of Day Two

In chapel this evening, Carol continued her story about the missionary John Marshall, who lived in the Congo. She told us of all the dangers from animals and civil war that surrounded them. She also told us of the young stranger, Mpese Andre who came into John's life one day. This young man who had gone through many challenges to go to a Christian school 100 miles away from home and was in danger of being conscripted by the rebels as a soldier - even to the point of seeing the rebels cross the river approaching his school as the sun set. Of course, Carol left us hanging there.

Dale did finish his story about "Farmer Bill" -the name he gave the man with leprosy who is mentioned in Mark Chapter 1. This man before his encounter with Jesus, was barred from publicly entering his village or living with his family and had to warn people who might come near that he was unclean with this terrible disease. After Jesus healed him, the man proclaimed to everyone how Jesus had done this miracle. He looked to Jesus and was consequently restored to his family and friends, but he was also transformed into a witness of God's power.

We have seen God's power in many ways so far this week and will continue to Look to Jesus as He does even more wonderful things in the lives of these campers. But like the other storytellers I have described, I will leave you with a cliffhanger for want will happen next.

I Shot an Arrow in The Air

Or so goes the old poem, however, today I mean that literally and not just figuratively as I just came back from archery. After shooting a few arrows myself, I was helping the campers learn how to shoot and then watching as the screamed with excitement as they hit the target for the first time. Even Pastor Jeanette took up her bow and scored a bullseye. Their were also screams of delight as students rode the zipline BACKWARDS! However camp is not about free time (although we have much fun), camp is about looking to Jesus. Mary shared with us the story of Saul on the road to Damascus, how he met Jesus there, was made blind, and was then sent to Ananais where he was healed. Saul later became Paul and went all over preaching the Gospel. Mary also shared how much she and God loves us. But as much as she loves us, she could never send one of her sons to die for anybody. God the Father did love us that much, however and she explained how we can live with Him forever if we have faith in Jesus to save us.
We also heard from our speaker Dale who started a story about Farmer Bill but stopped when it got to the exciting part -we can't wait for the rest of the story. Worship was fabulous as always with much more to come. I'll post after chapel later. There's now 500 pictures on Flickr, so check it out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The End of Day One

What an awesome day! As I mentioned earlier, the kids had a blast during free time on their first day. Dinner was spaghetti and green beans tonight with a yummy banana cake for dessert. The children then spent some time getting to know the others in their units (we divide the campers into three different groups called units for competition, morning rec, walk the talk, and OTS.) At chapel we had an extended period of worship through singing, we also heard about our Rice Bowl missions project, Miss Carol introduced our Missionary story about the Marshalls, and we got a preview from our speaker Dale Torry -he talked about the paralyzed man who was healed by Jesus, but when he was asked who healed him, he didn't know it was Jesus. Our theme, based on Hebrews 12:2-3, is "Look Up" -we are to look to Jesus. It is our goal this week to help students see Jesus for who He is and have a growing relationship with Him. More to come tomorrow. . .

The Kids have Arrived

Every one of our campers arrived safely this morning and after doing their own exploring, grabbed some lunch before heading to free time. Free time meant jumping on skateboards at the skateboard park, zipping down the zip line, shooting bows and arrows, diving into the pool, playing chess with giant chess pieces, riding mountain bikes and playing soccer. There was also arts and crafts where students made beautiful projects, especially those who were in Mr. Joe's art class. Right now free time is winding down and soon it will be dinner followed by our first chapel. I have posted some pics on Flickr for you to enjoy. More to come later.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Are Here (The Design Team, That Is)

It's Sunday evening and I thought I'd give you the first update of Lightseekers Camp. It's hard to believe but it has been 54 weeks since our last Lightseekers Camp blog post. After a very long day of church this morning, packing all our vehicles and driving for a few hours, the Design Team and the Missionary Kids arrived at our new camp home, Ponderosa Pines. We then unloaded and set up the craft area as well as all the musical gear for the worship team, then finalized all those last minute preparations so that we will be ready for the campers when they start arriving 11 hours from now. Some had to explore and play in our new camp digs. There will be so much for the kids to do - archery, zip line, human foosball, bikes, hiking, swimming; it will be a blast. Most importantly, the children will learn about God and some will begin a relationship with Him. I can't wait to tell you all the wonderful things as they happen. Send your kids email at Be sure to include their name and the church they are with. You can see pictures on Flickr -look for the link on the side. Or follow us on Facebook. Go to the Lightseekers Camp page and "like" us. Time for bed, tomorrow is a big day.