Hello again from Camp Ba Yo Ca!
As promised, here are the numbers from this summer!
Total campers: 1564
Camp staff called into ministry: 1
Other decisions: 42
Praise God for all he has done at camp this summer! Pray for these young people that they will grow and build on the decisions they have made and all that they have learned about God at camp.
Hello from Camp Ba Yo Ca! It has been a while since my last post, obviously because camp is a crazy time that requires quite a bit of attention. However, beginning today I will begin posting on a weekly basis again, so be on the lookout for a new post every week and remember to comment and share on Facebook and Twitter so more people can hear the word about all that God is doing at camp!
I thought it would be appropriate to give a bit of an update on what has been going on at Camp this summer, although I will be posting our final numbers in the weeks to come. In this post, however, I'd like to share a bit about what God has been doing in the lives of three groups of people that come to camp: the children, the counselors, and the staff.
It goes without saying, but God has really blessed us at Camp Ba Yo Ca this summer. We have had a tremendous turnout at each of our camp programs, and we are delighted with the outcome of some of our new camp programs that were created for this summer. No matter the camp they went to, we tried to accomplish two things: to give each camper a fun and memorable experience and to share Jesus with them in a way that they can understand. I have had the privilege to take part in this process and I can say with all sincerity that I believe we have accomplished this goal. I have had the opportunity to see campers grow in their maturity and faith throughout the week, but even more satisfying is seeing campers grow from year to year. I can't count the campers that have come this summer that I have thought to myself, "Wow, I remember them when they were this big!" And looking back and seeing God work in their lives through the years has to be one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
The next group I would like to discuss is the counselors. At Ba Yo Ca, our counselors start at around 15 years old and range anywhere from high schoolers, college students, and even into adulthood. I would venture to guess that our average age of counselors is 17. Therefore, these are young people in the stages of their lives where they decide what type of person they are going to be. Thankfully, we at Camp have been blessed with a group of young people who have decided to devote their lives to serving Jesus. Many of these counselors are receiving the opportunity for a first job. Thank the Lord they have decided to give their work to Christ! Many other counselors are getting the opportunity to share Christ with a child for the first time. Other counselors are getting the chance to create lasting friendships with other followers of Jesus that create a bond in fellowship that cannot be broken. I can honestly say that this group of counselors has been one of the best that I have seen in the recent years. I can sense a yearning amongst them to share Christ and see His Church prosper. Praise God for all that He has done in the lives of these young people that have chosen to serve God at Camp this summer.
And finally, I would like to update you on our summer staff. Almost every member of our staff this summer was placed in a new position, with many of them having little or no prior experience working that aspect of our program. I must say, at the beginning of the summer I was a bit worried about the inexperience, but the Lord assured Alan and me that He was in control. I am happy to say that everyone on staff stepped up and made this a great summer for campers, counselors, and fellow staff. There is a buzz about camp that is creating excitement for camp and our program. Each staff member has contributed in a new way to create a much needed newness and vigor among the rest of the staff. Of course we have had our hiccups along the way (we're still having them, even in the last week of camp) but we have learned from our mistakes so we can be better staff members and people in general.
Thank you for your support of Camp, in whichever way you support this ministry. Without you, and of course those mentioned above, none of what we do would be possible. As we conclude this summer and move into preparation for the next, I would like to remind us of this year's Luke 15 Challenge. We have shown many lost souls the way home this summer, but let us never be complacent with where we are. There are still lost sheep out there.
In episode three of Carter and Ian vs. the Future, our heroes make friendship agreement to not tell the cyborgs anything. However, Ian breaks their promise and betrays Carter. Carter decides that their friendship is more important than that and decides to forgive Ian.
This is a valuable lesson that we all should consider. Many times in our lives our friends and those around us will do things that will make us sad or angry. As Christians, we are called to forgive. The Bible says in Matthew 18:21-22, "Then Peter came to Jesus and said, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." Jesus tells us this to let us know that we should always be forgiving, not matter what our friends, family, or others do.
In episode two our heroes, Carter and Ian, think they have found a way to go back to the past to clean up their mess. Alan tells them the combination to a safe that contains crystals that the time machine needs to work. However, the guys decide it would be a better idea to just blow up the safe and get the crystals their way. Because they do this, they are captured and delivered into the hands of the dreaded king of the Cyborgs: Cynthia!
In Psalms 3:5-6 the Bible teaches us a lesson about thinking we know better. These verses say, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." These verses tell us that it is always better to follow what God tells us, because he knows everything.
Sometimes we think we know better than God, but God always has the best plan.
In this episode we see Alan give Carter and Ian a specific order to clean the dining hall. However, they decide they don't like cleaning and go as far away from cleaning as they possibly can. When they decide to see what Melvin is working on instead of cleaning, they end up trapped in the FUTURE!
Does anyone remember someone from the Bible who was in this same kind of situation? Hopefully you have heard of a man in the Bible named Jonah. You can read the story of Jonah by turning in your Bible to the Book of Jonah. God gives Jonah a very specific job: to go bring God's Word to the people of Nineveh. However, Jonah doesn't like the people of Nineveh, so he decides to try to go as far away from his problems as he can. When he does this, God sends a huge fish to swallow him up.
Sometimes in our lives God tells us to do something, and sometimes doing what God tells us to do is not fun and we may even dislike it. However, God tells us to do things like this because He knows what is best for us. So if you read in the Bible that God is telling you to honor your parents, even if you don't want to or don't agree with it, we are supposed to follow God's commands because He knows what is best.
This week in school, in your homes, and with your friends, make sure to listen to what God wants to tell you. Sometimes when you pray, God will tell you that He wants you to do something, and it is always in our best interest to obey the call of God.