BY BLUE BRADLEY
Every year I wonder how it’s all going to come together. At best we go into this camp with some ideas of what God has been saying, some ideas about what the kids might like, some ideas of how we could serve the youth groups. They are just ideas. It’s really up to God to pull it all together, and pull it together He did.
Northern Easter Camp 2010 at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, was a blast; so much fun stuff going on for a teenager to hook into. Massive blow-up Mission Impossibles, mud bowls, water slides, big air motorcycle displays, hoe down, concerts, paintball and sports were among the activities – such a safe and fun environment to be involved in.
The theme this year was “illuminate.” We talked about what happens when God switches the lights on in our lives. Darkness has no place in the light. Things that have been in the darkness are brought into the light and, boy, God got busy, lives were changed forever.
We had some great speakers this year, including Merrilyn Withers. What a joy to hear stories from someone who has been carving it up with youth for so long and is still as passionate as ever.
Mr Kent, a local bloke who was raised in Taranaki, likes pig hunting and telling young guys about the power of God, and Danielle Strickland, a Canadian-born Australian Salvation Army officer, spoke on justice and change.
One of the highlights for me was from an appeal we took to raise money to help build high school-based awareness to help stop the human trafficking trade. Watch this space.
We have so many stories from youth groups of how God worked powerfully in the lives of the youth in the main meetings, the seminars that were held and in the small group sessions the youth groups ran.
To see 35,000 youth lifting their voices and hands praising God is amazing – to see thousands of youth responding to the challenges from the speakers to make a stand with Christ in areas of their lives was great stuff. Most groups had taken up the challenge of being a light in dark places and brought more teenagers to camp who have never know the saving power of Christ in their lives.
It’s amazing to think of the scores of youth who now know Christ and follow Him. It’s eternal work we are part of here, Christ’s work we join in with, His light that we shine together.
What a privilege it is to serve our God by running camps like this that change lives.
Come on 2011, it’s going to be great.
• Blue Bradley is Director of the Northern Easter Camp