Last month, 17 anxious Junior High students traveled to Youth for Christ Camp in Michigan for a week. From the first to last day, there were intentional conversations and activities that helped to break down the Gospel and create space for Jesus to work. Many of the students who went had never been to an overnight camp before.
“Going to the camp was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was such a fun filled experience, so many new friends, so many different experiences. I felt safe and loved by everyone and felt I could just be myself with people who have the desire to get closer to God. It was the best week of my life.” -Bella
Camp is a place where students are able to get out of the regular, everyday life. No phones. A time to disconnect from the world a bit and sit down to eat meals with each other and talk about life. A place where they can just be a kid without the pressure of social media and likes.
“I really enjoyed being around people excited to learn about God. At a place I could be myself and get to know people without pressure. I really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and I was shocked that I could have a good time without needing my phone.” –Kaylie
One particular story that stands out involves a student leader Abby Krauss, a recent graduate from Franklin Monroe, who came to help as a cabin leader for the week. One morning, Abby was talking with two of our girls who began asking questions about Jesus after our morning session. She began to lay out the Gospel and without hesitation, sitting near our cabin in the midst of God’s creation, both girls said “YES” and prayed with Abby to surrender their lives to Christ! That night they shared with everyone the decision they had made with tears of joy in their eyes.
“Something that stood out to me during my first experience at camp was the way I immediately felt welcomed by everyone, people that I didn’t even know. That week showed me what real friends are like. I learned about sin and that there is a better outcome when you keep your eyes on Jesus. The day I repented and gave my life to Jesus, I realized that there’s good, even when things feel bad.” –Jaelyn
By the end of the week, after campfires, crud wars, scavenger hunts, walks, fun experiences, lots of laughter, learning, many meals, and so many countless beautiful moments, everyone came away with a better understanding of others and of the God who created them.
“Seeing friends as well as leaders and mentors walk of faith gave me so much hope in Jesus and my story. I realized I can be a light for others especially during these teenage years.” –Zoe
“Even though everyone came from different places and backgrounds, we all got along so well and became like a little family.” –Lailee
So many more stories of redemption could be shared from this week of camp. Relationships were built and lasting friendships made. Praise God who prompted people to donate and help send kids to camp this summer. Praise Him for working in the hearts of teenagers.
“Jesus worked in my life at camp. And I am better for it.”