By Malaina Yoder - June 8, 2017
Posted in Adult Ministry, Student Ministry, Children's Ministry, Summer Camps, High School Ministry, Middle School Ministry, Stories from NMC
Dominic sat on a rock near the water. He breathed deeply, feeling the spray from Lake Erie tickle his legs. He’d looked forward to this moment for months, twelve months to be exact. The daily, mundaneness of life had begun to take its toll, and he had found himself going through the motions both in life and in his relationship with the Lord. But the day before, he had climbed on buses with over 200 students and traveled five hours away to this camp on the lake. A place that was once unfamiliar, now Beulah Beach felt like a second home or at the very least the place he could expect to encounter God in incredible ways.
He breathed deeply again, feeling the routine of life slip off his shoulders. It was good to get away, good to be with old and new friends, good to experience something different once and awhile. It was good to get some space from school and home and work.
For Dominic, getting away meant hearing the Lord speak in powerful ways, giving him truths he had been craving.
You’re ok. You’re doing this right. You’re right where you need to be. I am with you.
It was incredible to experience the Lord’s presence like that, and it was something he would hold onto as he walked through challenges and transitions, through joy and through pain. Because of getting away at camp, these truths continually spurred him on in his relationship with Jesus.
She was always quiet in big group settings or in any group where she didn’t know many people. This year at summer camp wasn’t any different. As a freshman, she was unsure of herself and equally unsure of the upperclassmen in her cabin group. She didn’t know any of the people in her group, but as they sat together on the first night of camp, she began to notice something.
As they laughed and shared and opened up to one another, Kate began to let her guard down. She began to share honestly about where she was in her walk with Jesus. She shared about the good things and about the doubts. She shared about the challenges and about the joys, and she listened while the others in her group did the same.
By the end of camp, these people who were once strangers felt like dear friends. In only five days, they had laughed so hard tears rolled down their cheeks. They’d shared the honest truth about their struggles and had prayed for one another. If it hadn’t been for camp, she never would’ve had the opportunity to get to know those girls, and Kate found herself thankful for the opportunity to connect with new people.
The room was pitch black when the alarm went off. Kate Lengacher rolled over in bed, slightly confused. She heard others rustle and tried to remember where she was. In a moment, it all came back to her. She was at high school camp. Her cabin had been assigned the 3:00 a.m. time slot for the 24 hour prayer room. She’d been dreading this wake-up call from the moment her cabin leader told her about it. Now, her cabin leader turned off the alarm, stretched and mumbled something about getting up.
The girls were slow in getting up, their tired bodies aching from the previous day’s activities. They slogged across the camp, walking closely to the flashlight their leader held until they finally made it to the prayer cabin and relieved the group from the previous shift.
One hour of praying at 3:00 a.m.
Kate was sure she would fall asleep. Her mind was in a fog, and her eyes slowly drooped. Yet, as her group huddled in the cramped cabin and prayed together, she felt something tug at her soul. Her mind began to wake up; her spirit began to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. For the next hour, which felt like a mere five minutes, she prayed like she had never prayed before, experiencing the presence of Jesus in incredible ways.
Clark Warner was terrified to go on the roller coasters at King’s Island. He watched a coaster from the line and wiped his sweaty palms on his shorts. The coaster spun and sped through the air. It dipped and dove, and just looking at it made him sick.
“I’m not going,” he repeated over and over again.
“You have to go! You’re going to love it!” Clark’s leader, Chad, was doing everything in his power to convince middle schooler Clark to face his fear. After minutes of this exchange, Chad did what he had to do. Picking up Clark, he hoisted him over his shoulder and walked him onto the roller coaster, strapping him in.
Clark protested, but not as much as one would expect from someone who had just been forced onto something he was terrified of.
The roller coaster took off, dipping and diving, spinning and speeding, climbing high into the air and dropping feet below. When it finished, Clark was grinning from ear to ear, talking fast, adrenaline pumping. He’d faced his fear, and Chad was right—he had a ton of fun.
NMC Camps Pick-n-Pray
Summer Camp is a big deal at NMC. This year, over 600 students plus leaders will pack their bags and head to K/1 through High School camp. They will get away, connect with each other, allow God to change them and have a ton of fun. For many students, NMC Camps have marked significant moments in their relationship with Jesus. Camps have marked time and again when God has met them where they are at. They have marked “line in the sand” kind of moments and have spurred them on in their faith in incredible ways.
This year, you have a unique opportunity to walk alongside these students. It’s called NMC Camps Pick-n-Pray. This initiative was sparked by a simple question: what if every camper had someone from NMC pick them and commit to praying for them while they are at camp? This Sunday, you will see over 600 camper cards in the Grand Hall. What if you picked one student, two students or a student from every camp and prayed for them? Can you imagine the things God will do as we cover these campers in prayer?
Here’s what to do:
- Stop by the Grand Hall.
- Pick a camper. If you already have a child or grandchild going to camp, consider picking a different camper and praying for them as you pray for your own student.
- Place the card somewhere you will see it, and pray for that camper by name while he or she is at camp.