It’s Campfire Saturday! Please enjoy this sneak peek at The Campfire Blog that I write for Camas Meadows Bible Camp where our family lives and works.
Middle School Camp 1 started out with some of the only rain we’ve seen all summer. Look at those beautiful clouds! As the campers began to arrive, the wild thunderstorm stilled and our wildness came from this delightfully rowdy group of campers instead.
How do you keep the attention of a large group of Jr. High children?
With stories, of course!
Our speaker for the week was Wiggin. He came to us from a large family full of great camp counselors. First as a camper, then a counselor, and finally as our amazing camp speaker!
This year, his theme was STORY.
During Monday’s chapel Wiggin spoke on “Knowing Your Story.” Yes, a variety of events have happened in your life. But what is the significance of each story event? What does each stop mean on your journey toward Jesus?
That day’s Bible passage … Mark 1:40-45!
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
What an amazing moment in that man’s story with God!
Now, if you have ever tried to teach a Bible lesson you will know that it is incredibly hard to gain the focused attention of children who do not know and trust you.
It is the same for adults. How many of us have stopped paying attention to the words and teachings of a minister or even a friend when we discovered that they had missed the mark?
Some people think that the ministry part of camping ministry only happens during chapel time and cabin discussion.
This is so far from the truth!
Archery, mini golf, Gaga Ball … each and every activity shows the campers that the counselors are people who have sacrificed their summer so that they can show the love of Jesus to kids just like them.
A child who shrugs off the good teaching of someone they don’t know, just might listen to that camp counselor who listened to their wild stories on the Star Trek to Inspiration Point to see the stars.
Who taught them how to play carpet ball.
Who made sure that they drank enough water and had a flashlight for the dark parts of the trail.
The one who leaped into the pond with them and made sure they didn’t miss their horseback ride is the one who children trust to have a listening ear and to tell them true things about God.
And so, with the important work of play building strong cabin bonds, Middle School Camp 1 was off to an amazing start!
On Tuesday, Wiggin spoke on Story + Identity how our stories shape who we are.
The passage, Luke 19:1-10.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
It is so amazing to see how that short story with Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ identity.
He went from an enemy of Israel to a man welcomed by the Son of God.
He was a cheat and a thief who became a generous man.
Zacchaeus went from being an outsider to welcoming the Messiah into his home.
The man who was accustomed to being despised was the beloved of his maker.
How will our story with Jesus transform us?
Wednesday’s chapel was about story + belonging. We find a place to belong through inherited story and when our story intertwines with the stories of others. The great news Wiggin was able to share with campers was that Jesus became human and came to dwell among us. He sacrificed so much to intertwine His story with ours.
John 1:14a–“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
or as the message puts it:
“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
I saw multiple stories intertwine with Jesus’ story this week. One story from the very beginning of Camas Meadows Bible Camp. Another story that began before this blog was born. And a final story that started with a tragedy and showed itself this summer in a young man we know and love standing up to share his story and to change all of us in the process.
Let’s start with a tragedy that somehow someway, still shows God’s glory in the end.
OK, folks. Head on over to The Campfire Blog for the rest of the stories and pictures from our amazing week of camp during Middle School 1!
I hope you enjoyed this Campfire Saturday!