Camp Debrief

12:03 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

Right now, I'm sitting in my office thinking of the incredible week I just had with the teens. I'm also getting ready to leave in two days with our kids for their week of camp. Some might cringe at the idea of going to camp with teens and kids, but I honestly love these weeks! During these weeks I get to spend virtually unlimited time with our teens kids. I get to hear their stories, learn more about them, AND I get a front row seat to the work God does in and through them during camp. Allow me to give you a quick recap of my week with the teens, in hopes of letting you see a little more clearly why I love camp:

This last week at camp was nothing less than a miraculous answer to many prayers. We had eight students put their faith in Christ and dozens more surrender their sins, passions, expectations, plans, and themselves to Jesus. One student shared with our group how he had been resisting the call of God to surrender himself throughout the week. He talked with a couple leaders early on about an addiction he had, yet felt no conviction about. He knew the Lord was working in him, but he refused the invitations. It was during the Independence Day fireworks show, of all the times and places, that he quietly surrendered himself to God. In his words, "What's that about?" The answer is that a week of camp, away from the pressures, distractions, and routines is exactly what God wants in order to work in their lives. This week at camp is designed, from the services, small groups, and even the extra events, to put these teens face to face with the God they've been avoiding and I have seen the mighty work that takes place when this happens.

Some of my favorite moments at camp are the morning devotional time. We, as a youth group, get together for a brief challenge. The location we meet at is a deck overlooking some beautiful farmlands, woods, and open prairies. It's a special moment for the leaders and the teens when we get to see God's glory in creation while hearing God's glory from His word. It really is a powerful time that the teenagers treasure when they get home.

I also love having the spur-of-the-moment conversations. I'll grab one of the boys and drive around the campus in our golf cart. Because the atmosphere of camp and the work that the Holy Spirit has been doing in them, I've had some incredible, deep, and heartfelt conversations with the teens. These are times when I get to hear directly from them about their sins and struggles, but also how God is moving and calling them to a better life. One student shared his testimony of how God saved him and brought him out of his depression. He said, "I realized I had to have hope that Somebody was looking out for me. That's when I started attending church and met Jesus."

There are times I can't help but tear up when I think of what these teens have been through and how Christ has brought them through it. I love camp because of these stories. I love camp because of the unique work that Jesus does there. One of our girls, who has been through more than any teenage girl should go through, told me she felt God calling her to do something. As she is praying to determine what that will be, she has decided to go on our next Guatemala Mission trip in August in hopes of getting more clarity. This is God's glory doing it's redeeming work, and I am unbelievable thanking that I get a front row seat!


James Robinson has been the Youth Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX since June 2014. He was drawn to work with students because he believes teenagers are in a highly moldable stage of life where it is absolutely imperative they allow the Gospel to identify who they are. As a Student Pastor, James says he has the inexpressible joy of regularly speaking that life-shaping Gospel into the students' lives.