I'm back home from two weeks of summer camp! Although this year was very tiring for me, I had a great time at camp. The best part was watching kids respond to the preaching (yes, we had lots of preaching at camp!), and the fellowship with so many other people all in one place is always refreshing.
Last week the weather was beautifully sunny . . . but we set and broke high temperature records. It was very hot, hotter than I've known it to be here for such an extended period. We've had individual days, sometimes 2 or 3 in a row, that were hot, but this was an entire week. The hottest day was well over 90 degrees, even where we have camp, which is a point surrounded by the ocean. Working in the kitchen was a challenge, as we used the industrial-size stove and oven to prepare food for around 65 people. On the hottest day, stepping outside into 90-degree weather was cooler than being in the kitchen! Of course, it didn't feel cooler for long, but I really enjoyed that first few steps outside! ;) Sleeping was interrupted a bit with the hot weather, but we got some relief on Thursday night: I actually used some cover that night!
We saw several teens make sure of their salvation last week, and I heard one testimony of a girl who said she was so glad for camp because "I got saved this week!" The preacher for the evening services was Bro. Dane Keely, a staff member at West Coast Baptist College (and Sam's Greek teacher last year). He was the sponsor for the college tour group that came up to the Pacific Northwest and the Lower Mainland of Canada this summer. This was a group of three girls and two guys - plus Bro. Keely's daughter. All of them know Sam, so it was easy for me to introduce myself: "You know Sam Hutchens? I'm his mom!" I got to talk to a couple of the girls at length and learn a bit about them, what they're studying and where they're from. That was fun!
Anyway, Bro. Keely preached from Proverbs 1:10 all week, building four sermons from various words in that verse. At the last service, on Thursday night, he presented some rocks that he had collected, cleaned, and written "I said NO at Camp YES 2009." At the invitation, he had any of the kids who wanted to, come up and take a rock and carry it out into the field (the field is our altar at camp!) and pray over the decisions they had made at camp that week - decisions to say NO to whatever God had dealt with them about. Two rocks came home with us! I still get tears in my eyes over how good God has been in keeping our children's hearts!
There's so much I can and want to say about camp, but I think I'll divide it up into other posts. I don't have all my thoughts straight yet. Are they ever completely straight?! I especially want to tell you about a typical day at camp. I've read and heard so much negative things against youth groups and youth activities that I want you to see how a Christ-honoring camp is run. We love Camp YES and so admire the way that Pastor Conner runs it, so that will be my next camp post. Hopefully I'll be more consistent in posting now that the bulk of our summer activities are done and August is a fairly quiet month!
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