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Praying Parents; Before, During and After Camp SWO

 

 

We are just days away from Epic Summer Camp SWO and we are so excited and expectant to see what God is going to do in the lives or our students. As parents I’m sure it must stink to be left behind as your student gets the opportunity to engage in the incredible adventure that is CAMP! But we at EPIC we thinking of you this week and we have created for you a Prayer Challenge for you.

Here is the Before, During and After camp Prayer Challenge:

Before Camp Epic:

1. Ask God to prepare your Student’s heart for what will happen to him/her at camp.
2. Ask God to reveal to your Student the importance of this week both spiritually and relationally.
3. Feel free to let your Student know that you are praying for them and looking forward to hearing what God does when they return.

During Camp Epic:

1. The key to praying for our Students at camp is according to the schedule.  If we are eating, pray for social walls to come down and new friendships to be made. If we are out on a high adventure excursion pray for the safety and excitement of our students. And finally, if we are in a service, pray that God will hit hard the hearts of our Students. You can view the 2012 SWO schedule here: SWO12 Schedule

2. Pray for our travel both to and from camp – it’s long trip to Andrews, NC and with two buses and two vans full of teenagers it can seem even longer – pray for safe travel but also for patience and wisdom for all our volunteer leaders.

After Camp Epic:

This is perhaps the most crucial time to pray for your Student. Often, students are challenged and recharged with a renewed sense of devotion and love for Christ while at camp. And though these commitments are made, and new levels of spiritual growth are attained at camp, unfortunately, soon after, the ‘mountain top’ experience wears off; and our students can feel as though they are back in the valley. Pray that our students will stay connected to God long after the week of Camp is over. Pray that our students will see and understand that it’s not that the decisions made at camp are changing their lives but rather, changing their direction – and it is a path that continues all their lives – even into school, home and personal lives. Parents, you will play and integral part in helping your student understand more fully what God has done in their lives at Camp SWO!

Pray that Camp Epic will be the means to the end of growing closer to Christ not the end in itself.

Here are some verses for you to pray through:

“All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.” Isaiah 54:13
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

-Rob Jr.

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Camp Epic 2011(Part 3 of 3)

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Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you…(1 Corinthians 15:1-2a NLT)

Camp is officially over. It’s hard to believe really. Last week at this time we were just about to arrive and embark on this life changing week. The week was everything that we hoped and prayed for; 12 students age their lives to Christ for the first time, nearly 25 students rededicated their lives to the cause of Christ, a few students even talked with me about missions. There were tears shed, personal faiths renewed; for many students this message of the gospel ‘clicked’ for the first time. The week truly could not have been better.

As I have been reflecting on camp the last few days, thinking back to the decisions made and the experiences shared; I have been trying to process mentally what it was that God used so significantly in the lives of our students this week. What did God use to ignite our students so strongly?? Was it the daily recreation? The awesome worship? The engaging teaching? Perhaps it was getting away from the norms? It couldn’t have been the food! What was it that God used to so affect our students?!?!!?????

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you…
(1 Corinthians 15:1-2a NLT)

It wasn’t any of the external things this week!! It wasn’t white water rafting or the zip line. It wasn’t the captivating worship songs, or the skits. It wasn’t even the polished teaching. It was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was clearly and frequently proclaimed. It was the gospel! So often we get caught up in the do’s and don’t’s of Christianity- focusing on behavior and the outward affects but this week we focused on the heart changing Gospel! We weren’t focused on results; we were focused on the truth of the Gospel of Christ and it produced results we could never have dreamed!! It was so unbelievably simple- the gospel. It’s sad how quickly we can move away from the truth and love and grace in the gospel. But this week we simply focused on the Good News and students responded- wanting to embrace God more, serve him harder, know him deeper. I think many of our students realized this ‘God Stuff’ is so much more than a list of rules and regulations but that it is a love relationship with the Creator- and this Creator has created them for a purpose! INCREDIBLE.

Now we are all back home, back down from the mountain top experiences but this is the reality we all live in- this is the day to day. I encouraged our students by sharing that camp isn’t just a bump on you life road but that it changes the ultimate direction of the road itself. Parents, I encourage you to ask an many questions about camp as possible. Get all the details you can about camp and encourage your students to write down as much as possible about what God did in their lives this week! Here are some good starter questions:

1. What was your favorite part of camp?
2. How did camp measure up to your expectations?
3. What did God teach you this week?
4. What songs did you sing? What was the teaching about
5. What was your favorite skit?
6. Who did you get to know better this week?
7. What did you share with the SWO staff leaders during share times?

These should get you off to a good start! I will also be mailing a letter to each parent with some helpful tips at the end of the week. Please, if any of you would like to speak to me directly about your son/daughter’s experiences at camp, I would be more than happy to make that happen! Just email students@stfchurch.com

Camp was incredible, and it was so much more than an experience! God has his hand on this ministry- I can hardly wait to see whats next!!!

-Rob

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Camp Part 2 (of three)

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So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (Galatians 4: 7-9 ESV)

These are the fundamental verses for camp this year! What incredible verse they are!? We are no longer slaves to sin but bought at a price to be loved by God and used by him. This is one of the fundamental truths of Christianity- and our students are beginning to mentally digest this truth in big ways. Students are realizing that they have the power of God in them to overcome sin, to serve beyond themselves, to overcome adversity and past hurt. Students are being healed by this truth- AND IT IS AWESOME TO SEE!!

This morning I had the privilege of taking a few students up to the prayer chapel to pray and spend some time reading God’s word before the the day started. In this chapel students spread out, praying and reading. As we entered, we removed our shoes and prayed for soft hearts and willing ears- when we got inside I was so encouraged as I saw at least 5 other Epic students in the chapel already praying, journaling and connecting with God. And remember this is the 4th day of camp at 7:30AM. One of the stations in the chapel is a station where you are challenged to write down the biggest sin obstacle in your life that keeps you from growing closer to God- but then you can trace a cross over the word you’ve written and then there is a stamp that you can press over the word that reads, PAID IN FULL.(I put a picture below) I watched as a a few of our students worked through the exercise and then they posted their index cards on a monstrous wall full of other students index cards- it was a neat site to see; our students admitting their sins but knowing they are not alone in their struggles.

Today we will continue to challenged with our morning services and breakout sessions. Then tonight we have the Revelation skit- where the camp enacts in graphic detail the return of Christ – I can’t wait to see it!

Today’s prayer list:
1. Pray for relationships being formed between leaders and students will continue to grow and now produce the fruit of students being challenged to make decisions in their faith journey.
2. Pray that the Revelation Skit will connect and convict students tonight
3. Pray that our hearts will stay open to whatever God may be doing at anytime at any place

Hope you like pics.

-Rob

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Before We Leave For Camp Tonight

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We will meet in less than 12 hours to leave for Camp!! I can’t believe it’s finally here- I have been super-pumped for this week for a looong time! Summer camps in Student Ministry can be incredible, life changing, spiritually challenging – absolutely life shaking. But…. Camps cans also be dull, spirit-squashing, even provoke the “been there done that” feeling. So how do you know what our experience will be like this summer? It’s all determined by how prepared you are for the week! It all starts long before we set foot on the camp grounds. Think of it like an athlete preparing for the summer Olympics- mountains of prep go into a few days of action.

This is the same concept spiritually, we need to prepare our minds, our hearts, yes, even our suitcases for what God is going to do at Camp. The best way to do this is prayer. I hope you have each been praying and thinking about what God wants to do in your life this week – I sure have. As a tool to go by today, here has been my Pre-Camp Prayers:

FOR STUDENTS
God, I pray that this Camp experience will be unlike any other experience these students have ever had, not simply for the adventures and excitement but for the sake of their relationships with you. I pray you challenge our students to deeper more intimate relationships with you, our creator. I pray not for them to reconnect with you , as though they have been disconnected, but that they will connect with you in a new and fresh way- perhaps they will connect in a deeper way, or in a more creative way. Maybe they will connect with you in a new perspective or better understanding. However you connect with our students this week I pray that their brokeness is evident and that this growth will continue long after Camp has come and gone.

FOR LEADERS
Father, thank you that we have so many leaders willing and able to take a week and give back to you and to our students. Thank you for the gifts and individual personalities that they each bring. God give them understanding, compassion, wisdom and the ability to build new and deeper relationships with our students. Above all, I pray father, that all that they do, say, demonstrate and share will all point back to you this week- challenging the faith of our students.

FOR MYSELF
God, let me lead with wisdom and humility. If Solomon was the wisest person to ever live- give me wisdom just a notch below that. Please allow me to lead with discernment and compassion. And above, give me patience- with the long hours, high relational output and constant outpouring to the students strengthen my spirit and give me patience.

FOR ALL
Thank you for this opportunity, please keep us safe, challenge us, break us and bring us closer together in unity to one another and with You!

Students and parents, I challenge you to take some time to pray for our Camp week today. Prepare your mind and heart for what God will do this week. It’s gonna be Epic….

-Rob

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Leader Video

Untitled from Rob Flint on Vimeo.