Jeremiah 17:10a – I, The Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…
Cyrus and I are both passionate about communicating God’s Truth. And Shorebreak (H.S. camp) was no exception. However, we were going with very little knowledge about the students’ hearts. We knew many attended a Cadence run youth group, some were new to living abroad, some had barely set foot in the states, but we had no idea what their relationships with the Lord looked like.
With that in mind, Cyrus determined to start with the essentials and share the message of the G.O.S.P.E.L. over the course of the first two days. Here it is in a nutshell:
G – God created us to be with Him.
O – Our sin separated us from God.
S – Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
E – Everyone that believes in Him has eternal life.
L – Life that’s eternal means we will be with Him forever.
Visit http://www.dare2share.org/ to learn more about this acrostic and Dare2Share – a ministry focused on helping students share their faith.
This gave an opportunity for students who didn’t understand the gospel or who had never heard it to see what our Heavenly Father had to offer them! Cyrus also wove in a challenge for re-commitment to Christ.
As with much of ministry, we don’t know all the details of how this teaching impacted each individual student, but we heard several stories that gave us hope that God’s Word was well received! We heard of re-commitments and students having a clearer understanding of the gospel than they ever had before. Most importantly, we rest in the fact that God knows every heart more intimately than we can imagine. And our tiny contribution to His kingdom was used by Him, whether we ever see the results or not. We trust that He is always at work.
Below is a video clip that Cyrus showed to the students, quickly covering the overarching theme of salvation in the Bible. It is powerful – please watch!
In addition to the teaching, Shorebreak was bustling with super fun activities! Here’s a run-down of Monday:
Monday we arrived at Tokashiki Friendship Center, the location of Shorebreak (camp). All the students were divided into one of four colored teams: Pink, Blue, Red, and what morphed in to ‘grellow’ (some identity confusion there J).So after lunch, the team competitions began!
With a relay race. Oh, and the baton? Fresh, live, wiggling, and inking squid!
Nothing like seafood to break the ice!
After that the students had some free time before dinner. But not us. Cyrus worked on putting the finishing touches on his first session and I joined the rest of the worship team to practice.
Dinner (I’ll have to tell all about the interesting food another time) came and went and it was session time.
Our program team of Hanz and Franz (also known as Tori and Bjorn) got things off to a great start with a silly game. Each student volunteer had to stand on one leg, bend over, and grab a paper lunch bag with their mouth. Sounds easy, right? You might be surprised! There was far more falling than paper-bag-grabbing. And most of all there was laughter.
Hanz and Franz
The program team had to make some plans on the fly because certain details fell through, but you never would have known; they did a great job.
Worship through music was next. Though behind the scenes this was a bit hectic, everything came together by the grace of God and I truly believe that attention was given to God, not the musicians.
Here is a link to one of the favorite songs of the week:
After that was Cyrus’ first session – the G.O.S. His talk was followed by small group discussion time (probably one of the most beneficial activities of camp).
And to wrap it all up……. Night games, of course! Our game master, Bryce, set up a thrilling battle of capture-the-flag, using glow sticks 🙂
Finally, our evening came to an end. Cyrus and I were fortunate to sleep on beds. Most everyone else had to sleep on bamboo covered floors called tatami mats. I guess sometimes it pays to be among the oldest people around!
Tatami Mat Floors
Next time I will begin to share with you the devotions I wrote for the students’ morning quiet time with God. And of course, there are many more stories to tell!
Thanks for reading. If you have any specific questions, ask away!!!