Saturday, August 18, 2012

Suit Up! - The Conclusion

Although the week is now over and everyone is now home, sleeping in their own beds, eating their mom's cooking and has washed off their bodies a week's worth of camp dirt, the lessons we have learned this past week aren't really over; they have just begun. For some, they just put the Armor of God on for the first time as the trusted Jesus to be their Savior - they have a brand new Helmet of Salvation, a Belt of Truth, a Breastplate of Righteousness, Shoes fitted for readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace, a Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit. For them and most of the others, they now get to learn to wear their armor daily in world where the devil will use the environments of school, home and the neighborhood to launch attacks. To forget to "SUIT UP!" leaves them vulnerable to Satan's fiery darts. So rather than saying that this is a conclusion, it is more accurate to describe it as a continuation to camp. Lightseekers will gather again next year, possibly at a new location (you can pray for us about that!), but with the same determination to help kids find Christ and grow strong in their faith. I will close with our theme verse for this year:  
"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." (Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV)

More pictures will get loaded into Flickr over the next few days, so keep looking and be patient for them.

See you next year!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Suit Up - Day 4 Part 2

Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has truly blessed us this evening in our chapel. Chris spoke about the Helmet of Salvation. What does salvation mean? We use that term a lot in church, but it means that God has rescued us from our sins and offers us forgiveness. Forgiveness is critical because everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23) and deserves to die, being separated from God for all eternity. But God has freed us from sin by Jesus' death on the cross. Chris explained that we have a choice to make with the gift of love that God has for us. When we surrender our lives to Him, we get eternal life! Many of the children responded tonight to that simple message and invitation that Chris gave. Many more stayed after to rededicate their lives to Jesus. As I walked around the chapel watching the kids praying with their counselors, I was reminded that this is why we do Lightseekers Camp. I will blog tomorrow as we close our week.

Suit Up Day 4

This morning began for me at 6:40am when one of my fellow Design Team members gently shook my bed to wake me. As I hurried to get ready, I thought about the day ahead of us, knowing that today would be a day of decision for many campers. I downloaded and printed a bunch of emails sent to the campers by their parents to pass out at breakfast. Before I knew it, it was time for chapel where Chris  talked about the Sword of the Spirit which of course, is the Word of God. This piece of the Armor is SOOOO IMPORTANT to us because it is necessary to counteract the devil's  lies. Jesus, when tempted in the wilderness, used the Word of God to respond to every one of Satan's temptations. He, of course, knew that the Word was true and right, not distorted like what came out of Satan's mouth. Chris talked about how after Jayden was born, people often said cruel and awful things about her and them. Chris and Jenn had decided to rely on the truth of God's Word instead. Tonight is our last evening chapel, so I will report later about it.

The kids are out having fun right now -free time has just started. I think I'm going to go take some pictures and try to post them. Here's the camp picture from yesterday, as promised.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Suit Up - Day 3

Today was such an exciting and jam-packed day. We began the morning with eggs and waffles (yum!), going right into chapel afterwards where Chris continued his teaching on the Armor of God and the story of Jayden. This morning's talk focused on the shoes (or boots) for feet fitted with readiness that comes with the Gospel of peace. He told the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego -three young Jewish men who had been captured and hauled away to live in Babylon. One day, a law was passed that forced everyone to bow down to a huge statue of the king or be thrown in a fiery furnace. These three made their stand to obey God and refused to follow the king's rule. They made this stand because their feet were secure in the knowledge of God and His truth. So strong was their stand and determination to follow God, that although knew God had the power to save the from the flame, they were prepared to face death despite the king's warnings. Of course we know that God delivered the three completely from harm -even though they were cast into the fire, they were not burned nor did their clothes even smell of smoke. And although there were three who went into the fiery furnace, a fourth (who "looked like a son of a god") appeared with them. Chris also continued the story of his unborn daughter and how after he and Jenn had received the terrible news that Jayden might die, people from around the world began to lift them up in prayer, helping them to "stand firm" as well.

After chapel, we had our Walk The Talk breakout sessions which reinforced the the concepts of the Armor making us ready to move and being ready to trust. Then we went to our various unit activities held before lunch -either the pool, crafts or games on the field. After lunch, we took our camp picture (I'll post it tomorrow.) and had a fun-filled afternoon.

Tonight at chapel, Karla led an excellent time of musical worship and Miss Carol continued her missionary story about Ringu, the boy who lived in fear of evil spirits. Yet, as good as all this was, Chris's story about Jayden's birth and his lesson on the Shield of Faith were definitely the highlights of the day. He talked about the time that Jesus came walking on the water out to meet the disciples who were out on the Sea of Galilee in a boat. When Peter saw Jesus, he wanted to come out on the water to him. He climbed out and began to walk towards Jesus, but when he saw the waves, took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Jesus rescued him but questioned why Peter had lost his faith and doubted. In the story of Jayden, there were lots of reasons for Chris and Jenn to doubt God. Even Jayden's birth was a very anxiety filled time with wonder if she would ever take her first breath. At the moment of her birth, Chris and Jenn, surrounded both inside and outside the hospital  by the prayers of friends and family, had to rely on their faith in God for Him to perform a miracle. GOD DID! Jayden was born and let out a cry which the doctors never expected to happen. They predicted that she would be in the the hospital, on oxygen for six months. It turned out that she was only there for three weeks before she went home with her parents, breathing without the aid of oxygen assistance. The doctors could only remark that there was Someone definitely watching over their child. God is watching over her, but he also watches over us, giving us the Shield of Faith to go  up against our Enemy's fiery darts. Chris closed with a video showing their journey and leaving us with Jeremiah 29:11. (I'll let  you look it up and read it yourself).
Well that wraps up Wednesday. We played our night adventure game tonight after chapel and I'm tired from chasing the campers around in the dark with a flashlight. I'll post more tomorrow.

Suit Up - Recap of Tuesday Night

I forgot to post last night before going to bed... Last night Chris (with help from his wife Jenn) continued speaking on the Armor of God, relating the story of his daughter Jayden.What we knew so far was that Chris and Jenn had discovered that their unborn daughter, just a few weeks before her scheduled birth, was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism - a condition, that due to the size of her chest cavity, would give the baby only a 1% chance of survival. However, after some additional testing (and prayer by many on the family's behalf) the doctors were surprised to discover that Jayden DID have some lung tissue and the chance for survival had become 50/50. This Chris, explained, was his and Jenn's opportunity to stand firm in God's power (as our Ephesians 5:11,12 passage teaches.) All around us are forces of  evil that seek to do battle against us. In Chris's situation, the Enemy tried to get him to believe the lie that Jayden's condition or her potential death was the result of  his sin, that he was not standing right before God. The truth of God is that He has declared us RIGHTEOUS because of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus died for us, He has taken away our sin and so we wear the Breastplate of Righteousness which protects our heart from being discouraged by Satan's weapons. We have more to hear of Chris and Jenn's story, but I'll post as that unfolds in the messages.

More pics are up; yesterday, many tried the zipline in addition to the pool, archery and climbing the giant trees. There were many crazy games and crafts to go with all the learning about Jesus. I'll post again later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Suit Up -Day 2

It's been such a busy day so far, I haven't had time to post before now (at this moment,all the campers are playing games on the field.)

This morning Chris spoke about the Belt of Truth (the first part of the armor of God). He talked about fear and what we do when we are afraid. He told us about Joshua, the man of God who had been with Moses and had seen God do really incredible things. But when Moses died, Joshua was the one who had to lead them into the Promised Land. Despite all the reasons he might have to be afraid (he didn't want to disappoint God, he was leading a people who didn't always follow God, and there were scary enemies in the Land), Joshua was told by God Himself to be strong and courageous. God promised to be with him wherever he went too. He (and we) would be successful if we take God at His word and trust Him.

In the armor of God, the belt holds all the pieces together, without it they all fall apart -it's the core! God told Joshua to trust in Him and His truth. Trusting in God and His promises holds our entire Christian walk together!

I'll post more later tonight.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Suit Up Day 1 -Be Strong in the Lord

Tonight, after freetime, dinner and games, we had our first chapel. As we sang the words to the song "Take Your Stand" we were reminded to "be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." Why? "So that you can your stand against the devil's schemes." Chris Charon, our speaker continued this in his first message; we are in a fierce battle that's been going on since the Garden of Eden. Satan tries to get as many people away from God, but God Himself  is our hero-He has our back. Even though Satan tries to get us to disobey God, God is there helping us find the way of escape and enabling us to resist the devil. He has given us His armor to wear and protect us. Tomorrow is another day. Pictures are slowly being uploaded to the Flickr stream too.

Suit Up -Day 1

They made it! All your kids are here safe and sound. Now their bellies are full since we just left lunch and are headed into free time. We have an exciting week planned for them  so they will need every last bit of energy to survive.  Continue to pray for the campers as they hear our speaker Chris Charon talk to them for the first time. No new photos posted yet, but expect some tonight after chapel.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lightseekers 2012 - Pondo 2.0

I can't believe a year has gone by already, but here we are (at least the design team and Missionary Kids) at Pondo (Ponderous Pines) for another year of Lightseekers Camp. A lot has changed in the past year, for one our beloved camp pastor, Bob Neill went home to be with the Lord a week ago. We miss him so much already, but we know that his vision for Lightseekers lives on each of us. There is a sadness because he is no longer with us, but we have great joy knowing that our campers will start arriving in less than 12 hours from now. Everything is ready, but despite our plans, God can move or work in a way that is beyond anything that we can imagine. Our theme this week is "Suit Up" - which is talking about putting on the armor of God. Of course, this is something that we as Christians need to do every day, however with all that has been going on, we especially need its protection against the devil's arsenal. Pray for us, pray for the campers that God would indeed exceed our greatest expectations.