Getting ready for Great Escape 2019- summer camp with my high school small group for the 13th time. I’ve had great co-leaders and terrible ones. Small groups that loved Jesus, and guys who were just there to make out with their girlfriend. Decades of students leaving high school to go on and love Jesus with all the life they have, and some who leave to crash and burn.
For whatever reason, I’m really looking forward to this year. Job-duty wise, I’m a bit stressed, not from camp but to leave work for two weeks when we’ve been in the midst of a very busy year with lots of places for me to serve.
But camp wise, I’m going into it thinking I’ve got a pretty great situation here- guys that love Jesus, seniors that are all in for leading and disciplining. I’m pumped to see how they treat this not like their own last hurrah, but rather a mission week for them to be reaching out to the lost within RIOT.
Last time I went into summer camp feeling this primed for a great week of ministry, God allowed for it to be pulled out from under me- so many senior dudes showed up that Russ Clausen took our normal guys, and I spent the week with 5 totally unchurched dudes who humbled me. I said all the wrong things, led terribly, and at the end they all accepted Jesus. None came home and lived it out, but I’ll count it as some long term seeds I can’t wait one day to see how their lives played out.
I’ve got a young man in my group right now that brings me so much joy. His family couldn’t afford camp, and he really wanted to go. Homeschooled and odd, he didn’t have many friends and really wanted a way to get connected. He’s been looking for a way to get ingrained into the group and I told him camp is the best place for that to happen. He signed up, funds unknown, and we prayed and talked about trusting God and working hard.
Suddenly, in about a month, the funds all come together. He had cans donated to him both by the church and by people in his neighborhood, and he went and turned them all in for some big chunks. Then we at the church got a call of someone needing a young man to just operate a driveway for an event, which he was willing to do. That’s the best part- he wasn’t looking for a handout, he was looking for a means by which God would provide. Perfect. And in the way that only God can, it all came about just perfect and this freshman is coming to camp, and I can’t wait to see how God will use it to work drastically in his life. What a joy it is to watch these things from the front row of life change on a week by week basis. Really, I love what we get to do….