Saturday, December 16, 2006

Youth Camp

Ah, youth camp! It is finally over!

Thanks everyone for your prayers and your encouraging smses and calls throughout!

How was it? Where shall we start?

Perhaps we could start with L brandishing a cake knife about, proverbially in the face of the Devil, whom, she was convinced, was certainly up to his tricks, becaus
e leaders were down with the 'flu and/or completely inundated with work just before camp, because last minute prep was so last minute that emails were still flying about in the wee hours of the morning before camp.

Perhaps then we could continue with how some campers, arriving at camp under imperial parental edict, had faces black and grumpy enough to scare Medusa; and also how despite best efforts and detailed planning, loads of things didn't quite turn out right; and also how there was fighting sleeplessness and tiredness and infected insect bites and general sinfulness.
Palm Trees and Blue Skies
Ah, but then we must thank God that all the campers went home, still living and breathing, in one piece (dislocated fingers still count, innit?)! And we must thank Him also for the Chair Name Game, the loads of people who didn't like their neighbours and K's cheesy human bingo and Giants, Elves and Wizards, which got everyone warmed up; and also for how, every soon, there were smiles all around; and also for the sun in the morning for crocker and beach volleyball and beach soccer and frisbee in the sand and ice cold Ribena after; and also for people who kept us fed and tanked up on sweet apples; and also for DY who modelled in small but important ways how the Christian life is lived in the context of a youth camp; and also for people whose apologetic knowledge extended to Taoist scripture and dinosaurs; and also for a brill couple who interrupted their hol to lend us their much-needed gift of tongueslanguage; and also for the wonderfully faithful teaching everywhere (and I mean everywhere) in people's bedrooms, by the pool, at bistros, in food courts, by smoking barbecues and along the beach, so that no one, that is, no one even if they were half-asleep and had half a brain and spoke a different language, could have missed the good news of the chance to be saved from the terrible consequences of our sin.
And that last thing is most important. Surely we want a fun, entertaining, comfortable holiday for the campers, an environment conducive for them to hear and perhaps accept the gospel. But, really, the most crucial environment is the soil of their hearts and minds. And only God alone can (and we pray that He will, even as the campers go back to their lives) make things grow.

For the praise of His glory.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)
Oh thank God for the mercy of God.

So then, we must also thank Him for allowing us fallible sinful human agents to be part of His great work in gathering His people to Himself. Nice stuff. Ged jiggy widdit.

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