This past weekend, I went to a snow camp. I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but there’s something about the essence of a summer or winter camp. In this case, it’s a winter camp (duh). Maybe it’s having a cabin in the middle of a snow-covered forest. Maybe it’s snuggling by a fire with your warm fuzzy slippers and nice, big, wool blanket. Or maybe it’s waking up twenty after midnight to hear the fire alarm in the upstairs kitchen only to find two girl camp leaders looking really annoyed and one guy leader struggling to put on a jacket and pants over his boxers. Then later staying up until three a.m. cleaning off melted plastic tub from a very large floor heater.
Yes. That happened. And thanks to that experience, I got nearly no sleep, and I have winter camp to thank. No, no. Although I didn’t get enough sleep on the LAST night there, it was a total blast. We got there at night, laughed, ate pizza, had some Jesus discussion, and crashed in abed that felt like a rock. The next day, we woke up, had breakfast, and got dressed. Maybe you want me to stop telling you the play-by-play of my weekend, so I’ll skip to the good part. We went to the SNOW! It might be the fact that I haven’t seen and played in and sledded in snow since I was like five, that made me so very happy to be there. Or maybe it was how may awesome people were there with me to just have an awesome time together. When we got back, we played loads of Quelf (thank you the Oatmans for introducing us -the Gotthardts- to this heavenly game that has a legacy throughout SCBC’s Middle School group), baked some cookies, played some Life, and slept a wee bit. Then came that night and we’re back to where we started… the fire.
“WAIT” You must be thinking! “What happ
ened to the Jesus talk and the worship and the tears that happened this summer?” Oh yeah… that story…
So after the crazy first night of being late, and only doing small groups and no message, the next night was something everybody wanted to witness. It was almost as perfect- yet so dramatically different- as this summer’s story (see the first blog post). There were only about 35 students crowded in a decent sized room with about 10 leaders. When we started out with worship it was very bland. No emotional experience. No thrilling God event. Then Brandon (a youth pastor) started talking about some intense eternity stuff. To be specific- Hell. Pretty. Intense. Stuff. I mean Hell really is the definition of sin. And sin is everything that tears us away from God. It all ties together. Every kid in there is scared out of their wits because they don’t want to go to
somewhere like that. That sounds awful. Especially if you add Satan to the mix.
When Brandon closed his message, all thoughts were really heavy and when worship started, that’s when the tears rolled down. Let me clear things up. My middle school group isn’t exactly the strongest Christian group. So when I see both girls and guys closing their eyes and praising God, that’s really cool to see how powerful God can be. I, myself just started praising and rejoicing, even just spending some silent time with a God who was. And is. And is yet to come to this wretched Earth that deserves nothing of the sort.
The next morning, when Brandon spoke about Heaven, it was mesmerizing. It made me really think about what it means for me to really serve for God and the church. I came into last weekend not knowing what would happen, and just intending to have a good time. I got way more then I could have ever wanted. Food (yay!), people, and a stronger faith in Jesus.