BY EMMA YEE
It was a time of crazy fun, chilling out with your youth group, being impacted by the message of the cross, and not just learning about but encountering the Living God. EC10 brought together 860 people from 32 youth groups throughout the lower North Island for our second year at Manfeild Park in Feilding. It again proved to be a fantastic site.
We were privileged to have Danielle Strickland (a Salvation Army officer from Australia), Gary Grut, Stu Print and Merrilyn Withers as our speakers this year. Gary Grut, the national manager of Baptist Youth Ministries, set us off to a great start, speaking on such topics as being awakened by love and the importance of coming back to the cross. Stu Print, Senior Pastor at Wellington South Baptist, brought to life the Easter story over several sessions with creative use of drama.
For all who were there, we will never be able to watch a Pink Bats advertisement without thinking about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (Ask someone who was there!)
Merrilyn gave some hard-hitting messages, challenging us to genuinely reflect about where we are on the journey with God, and invited response to God and His call on all our lives.
Along with our speakers, worship times were also powerful and allowed the freedom to respond openly to God. We had a new worship band from The Rock Church who shared their passion for God and had a heart to lead and guide people in God’s presence. We were also blessed having the acoustic worship team from Miramar Baptist Church.
During EC10 some of the cool, crazy fun involved awesome motocross displays, the World Vision Nathan King gig and other bands in the Village Marquee, the Talent Quest, a rave, the traditional Top Team challenge, sports competitions run by Ignite Sport, comedian Dave Wiggins, excellent workshops and seminars, and mural paintings for classrooms in Tanzania.
Easter Camp is all about connecting young people with God, which can mean different things for each person. For some it is simply a realisation of who God is or what a “Christian” really looks like. Others make the life-changing decision to follow Jesus. People are drawn to deeper levels of surrender or come away with clarity or empowered for the challenges they face in their lives. Easter Camp is certainly a place where we see God touching lives.
Easter Camp is also about strengthening our local youth ministries. Youth groups grew closer through creating and enjoying their own tent communities. There were impressive walls and gate structures, fairy lights, couches, gazebos, sound systems, a mock bonfire with driftwood seats, and even an army base!
Groups got to know each other better with community times that involved playing crazy games, small group studies and taking communion.
The real challenge now is living every day in light of our EC10 experiences. As God’s body, let us support our young people by asking what God did in their lives this Easter, by encouraging them in their walks and being examples to them of what a Jesus-follower is. Let us uphold them and their leaders in prayer that God would grow what has been planted during this significant weekend.
We have an amazing God who did some amazing things at EC10. Thank you to the many volunteers who gave their time and talent.