Encountering God at Easter Camp

Mary Ackers

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Hungry and expectant. These are the two words I have consistently heard to describe the posture of our young people as they entered Easter Camp one drizzly Friday in April. Each year we hope to create a space where young people encounter God, but for them to come desiring and expecting God to move is an incredible act of faith. It’s encouraging (and a little bit daunting) to think that this is the legacy that we carry. Thankfully this legacy is supported by broader shoulders than our own – the shoulders of a God who shows up and does what none of us can hope to do without Him.

I can’t speak of this camp without mentioning the incredible and tangible covering of prayer that we had this year. When pastors, peers, and parents told us they were praying for camp, our only response was, “we know,” simply because we could feel the protection and power of prayer as we planned and prepared for the weekend. It was this intercession that solved problems, opened doors, softened hearts, and empowered young people to take their next step of faith. In every element of camp – from intense rounds of Gaga Ball and karaoke to heartfelt worship, servant leadership, and vulnerable connection – the prayer of our incredible network of churches and leaders went before us. We felt the power of every single word uttered on our behalf, and we know it made a lifelong impact for our youth, so for this we say a resounding thank you!

Easter Camp is so much more than the numbers, but it is worth sharing that this year we had 21 young people indicate they made first-time commitments to Jesus, and around one quarter of campers are considering being baptised! As we listen to our young people articulate their experience, we hear them say, “I met Jesus for real. Holy Spirit spoke to me. I became a child of God!” May these be words that spur us all to be hungrier and more expectant for God to move in our lives, too.

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