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Looking Back, Moving Forward: Crossings Camp

 Thirty-two middle and high school students and seven adult leaders from our church attended Crossings Camp at Jonathan Creek from July 12-16. We had a great time studying God’s Word, singing gospel truth, and bonding together as a student ministry.  

 Camp offers the opportunity to disconnect from the outside world – social media, video games, work, and sports commitments – so that we can tune into God’s voice. When we intentionally listen, we can hear God speaking through His Word and the Holy Spirit living within us. Our adults and students were challenged by the sermon and Bible studies. 

 One highlight was seeing a student who graduated from our ministry, Gracie Rightnowar, serve as a summer staffer at Crossings. Her three brothers came to camp with us, and our students loved seeing her again. Through ten weeks of student camp and four weeks of kids camp, Gracie and her fellow staffers are impacting thousands for God’s Kingdom this summer. Staffers endure many long and hard days, but that is a summer well spent, and I am proud of her. Please keep Gracie and the other Crossings staffers in your prayers as they continue ministering at kids camps. 

 Many of you may have been to camp in the past, but I would like to invite you to continue reading and join me for a typical day at Crossings Camp. 

 A Day at Crossings Camp 

We all wake up around 7:00 am for breakfast at 8:00. It’s not hard to get everyone up since we are in a shared lodge with six rooms and a large common area. If you make enough noise in the common area, everyone can hear you! 

 Even after walking to the cafeteria and eating breakfast, you’re still a little groggy from being up late the night before. You walk into Morning Celebration and encounter a high-energy session of music, videos, interactive games, and skits. You’re playing the games and listening to the host explain their show for the week, and then the lights change. The music goes up. You look to the side of the auditorium and see T-Rexes running down the aisle to interrupt the show for a spontaneous dance party. Everyone gets on their feet and follows the dinosaurs’ lead. Even with their distinctive short arms, the T-Rexes can still dance well. 

 

You remain in the auditorium for a large group session from the camp pastor, David McCaman. He speaks for about half an hour on the theme for the week, I AM Moses. You’ve been walking through the story of how God rescued the Israelites out of Egypt. He led them from slavery to freedom, and we can have that spiritual freedom too when we come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. 

After large group, you are broken up into small groups with students from across the camp of the same gender and grade. These groups are led by a Crossings staffer. On the first day, you learn about the 3 Circles Gospel presentation. God created us to be with him, but sin and death led to brokenness and separation. The only way back to a relationship with God is through repenting and believing in the gospel. On the other days, you go through a lesson on Exodus. 

The morning also has a time of outdoor recreation where your small group competes in games. All of the points are being tallied to determine the winner at the end of the week, so you give it your all before lunch. 

To kick off the afternoon, our church gathers back in our lodge for a lesson on the I AM statements from the gospel of John. Moses encountered the I AM at the burning bush, and we encounter Jesus as the I AM in the New Testament. We talk about the passages and break into groups led by our adult leaders for prayer and discussion about what God is teaching us this week. Also, everyone has a few minutes of alone time to read the personal devotions in their booklets. 

 

We then head to our POIs (Points of Impact) where you can participate in fun activities: tubing, laser tag, zip lining, hatchet throwing, kayaking, bazooka ball, archery, and more. Students participate in one of these activities per day, and three in the week.  

 

The rec lake is our last activity before dinner. You can go down water slides, blob someone up in the air, hold onto the water zip lines, climb on inflatables, and enjoy swimming with your friends. 

We eat dinner and then arrive at evening worship. Our band for the week is HeartSong, a ministry of Cedarville University. We sing worship songs and hear Pastor David unpack Exodus for us again. His messages are challenging and direct. Our church group unpacks all that we have heard after the worship session, and we have some free time before lights out. You get ready for bed, hop into your bunk, and sleep away to do it all again the next day. 

 

 

 

 

Moving Ahead 

Our students are wanting to step up. Some feel like they have fallen back in their faith, and they need to move forward. Pray that they would have the boldness, the courage, and the fervor to follow the Lord. Others are curious about pursuing vocational ministry; please pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in their lives as they listen to His voice.   

Thank you to all the parents who allowed your kids to go with us to camp, and thank you to the adult leaders who joined us for the week (Jon & Kaitlin Wies, Mike Barclay, Nickole Jude, Gwen Doyle, and Melanie Perstrope). Camp is a great investment for a student’s spiritual walk. Lives can be changed at camp, and we ask God to continue working in our hearts and lives based on what He taught us at camp. 

Connect 

If you are a parent or a grandparent of a student who will benefit from plugging into the student ministry or attending camp next year, I would love to have a conversation! Please reach out to me at  .   

For a full collection of camp photos, please visit our FBCW Students Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=wentzvillestudents&set=a.3114879802078913  

Posted by Luke Perstrope with
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The Alaskan Bull Moose is known for its battles of dominance during the fall breeding season. They go head-to-head with other males, crashing their antlers violently into one another. The antlers are the only weapons that they have to fight with. In these battles for dominance, it’s common for one of the moose to have an antler or antlers broken and be unable to defend themselves, ensuring their defeat. It’s usually the heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers that triumphs. Therefore, the battle for fall dominance is often won in the summer by the moose who consumes the best diet for growing strong antlers and gaining weight to be able to push other moose around during a fight. The moose that doesn’t eat well or doesn’t eat enough will have weaker antlers and less bulk to win with. The Alaskan Bull Moose provides a great lesson for us as Christians. We know that spiritual warfare will come and we know that Satan will choose a season to attack us. The lesson here is; will we prepare now for the battle that will come? Will we do what it takes to prepare ourselves now so we are victorious later? The bottom line here is to win in spiritual warfare, the attributes or weapons we need to win are best developed before we enter the fight. Here are 4 ways you can bulk up and grow your spiritual antlers before entering the fight that is ahead:

Be Alert

Most of us has watched a little league game or T-ball game before. It can be an entertaining sight. The kids struggle to focus on what they need to focus on. You’ll have kids in the outfield picking flowers…or their noses. Sometimes they completely miss a play on the ball. As Christians we’ve got to learn not to get caught picking flowers when the ball or spiritual warfare is in play. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says “let us keep awake and be sober”. It talks about how we shouldn’t be caught sleeping. Our focus is to be on the return of Christ. Verses like 1 Corinthians 16:13 tell us to “be watchful”. Maybe if I took it back to the T-ball story for some advice…keep your eye on the ball. To prepare for battle we have to learn to be alert, waiting, watching, focusing on Christ first and the battle ahead.

Don’t Get Tangled

Any of us that have been around a toddler before who is learning to walk or has just learned to walk realizes how much of a challenge it is for them to stay balanced and upright. As parents or grandparents we often go out of our way to make sure the floor is clear of obstacles or other things they might get their feet tangled in. In 2 Timothy 2, it talks about being a good soldier for Christ. It says that the good soldier doesn’t get “entangled by civilian pursuits”. In Hebrews 12:1 it talks about how sin “so easily entangles us”. Satan isn’t like our parents; he doesn’t remove obstacles that will trip us up. Satan probably goes out of his way to put more obstacles or entanglements in our way. If he can trip us up, get us off balance with Christ, then he has a better chance in battle. We need to constantly be watchful of things that have us tangled up in life. What sin exists in your life? What temptations are you succumbing to? Rip off that which entangles you or in other words repent of your sin.

Have Self-Control

The Summer Olympics is quickly approaching. Many of the events that take place during the Olympics require great self-control. If you’re faster than Usain Bolt, it doesn’t matter how fast you are if you aren’t able to control yourself on the start line and end up getting disqualified. In Shooting competitions, the competitors go to great lengths to control themselves. They will use relaxation techniques to reduce their heart rates to one half of what it normally is. They’ll be so focused that they will shoot between heart beats. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Paul speaks of athletes competing and how that relates to how we live. He says they “exercise self-control in all things”. Paul goes on to tell us he doesn’t “run aimlessly” or “box as one beating the air”. Paul says I “discipline my body and keep it under control”. The Christian life doesn’t happen accidently; it requires great self-control. If you don’t have discipline and develop the ability to control yourself, you will fail when the enemy attacks you.

Equip Yourself

I read a story about a motorcycle police officer who pulled over a truck for running a stop sign. The cop was unaware but the guy in the truck had just robbed a convenient store. When the police officer approached, the man inside the truck got scared, thinking that the police already knew what he did. He grabbed the gun that he just used to rob the store and when the officer approached and greeted him and began to request his ID, the man in the truck quickly shot the officer right in the chest from point blank range. The officer went to the ground after being shot. A few seconds pass and the office sits up, shoots the man in the leg and the thief throws the money and the gun out the window scared to death. That day a bullet proof vest saved the police officers life. He was equipped for the job. He was equipped for the unexpected. Ephesians 6:10-12 speaks to putting on “the full armor of God”. The motorcycle cop didn’t expect to get shot that day. It’s easy for us not to expect to be in a spiritual battle today as well. You have to learn to equip yourself before the battle, especially the unexpected ones. If you’re not equipped for the battle, you’ll take a very painful wound.

As Christians we have to be like the moose, prepare for what’s ahead. First you have to be alert, focused on the right things, watch out for sin that will entangle you, develop self-control, sin doesn’t own you, and equip yourself for attacks. Don’t be the moose that’s underweight and with weak antlers. Prepare yourself this summer for the battle that may come this fall!

Posted by Jeremy Shirley with

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