Thought for the month – September 2014

Safety and Security

We have now had another four weeks of camp. We thank God for His help in keeping everyone physically safe and secure. We are grateful also that many young people came to realise for themselves the reality of spiritual safety and security. Maybe you have been one of our campers. Perhaps you are someone who is just interested in the Camp. Whoever you are, have you realised you need to be saved from the penalty and power of sin? Do you appreciate the security of salvation? These things are a particular concern of Camp leaders.

Fun, Food and Faith

Once more those who attended had a lot of fun and a lot of food (both physical and spiritual). Many had their faith established or enhanced. You may have seen photographs that captured the expressions of excitement in the activities enjoyed. Somehow pictures never really capture the flavour and fragrance of food enjoyed. However, the facial expressions indicate the campers’ appreciation of the results of the hard (and often hot) work of our volunteer caterers. What the camera cannot capture is the decision made in the heart and mind to trust Christ as Saviour and Lord. It is unable to take a picture of the determination made to live the Christian life more devotedly. It is incapable of taking an image of the deepening of faith in God and His Word, the Bible. Nevertheless, these spiritual matters were a reality to a number on Camp.

Challenges

Competitive events presented challenges in sporting activities, regarding not only talent, but also tension. Have you seen the passion of a table-tennis tournament on Camp? Sometimes the challenges were mental when ‘quizzes’ of different styles tested the aptitudes of leaders as well as campers. Who remembers that a banana is not a fruit but an herb? Who knew that Benaiah slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day? Who realised that Samuel did not say, “Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth”? Christian teaching also presented challenges to the heart. Can you remember your own spiritual challenges and the way you faced them? However, challenges not only appeared in Competitive Tests and Christian Teaching. They were also in Climatic Trials. The ‘tail-end’ of Hurricane Bertha put our new bell tents to the test. While the substantial canvas creations seemed to be more than adequate, the poles were less so. Three poles broke under the storm pressure. Thankfully, by the grace of our God, there was no danger to the campers. We were looking after them in our large marquee at the time. Nevertheless, it was a reminder of the all-too-frequent feature of people’s lives. They appear to be great. However, they lack the critical element of faith in Christ and submission to the Word of God, the Bible.

Comparison

Surely this is similar to the story the Lord Jesus told when He spoke of hearing and heeding what He said (Mark 6:46-49). He used a wise (prudent) builder and a foolish builder as illustrations. Both builders constructed houses that may have been similar in design and quality. The significant difference was in whether there was a foundation. That was evident when testing conditions came. The building founded on rock stood firm throughout the storm. The one erected directly on shifting sand collapsed. The builders were compared to those who obey (wise) or disobey (foolish) His words. Are you building your life on a foundation that is the Rock, Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour? “But they have not all obeyed the gospel … faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:16-17). “I declare unto you the gospel … how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Michael Sparkes
Committee Member and Support Leader on Junior Camp (Week 1)