I haven’t posted for nearly 600 years and the guilt has overtaken me to the point where I have been searching around in my thoughts for something intriguing enough to write about…
Luckily, my school holidays have been absolutely hectic and I actually have too much to write about! I’ve decided to write about the past week of my life in which I attended a camp in Noosa where 900 teenagers gathered to be revived, fulfilled and redeemed through Someone mighty and powerful whom we call our Creator.
Youth Camp 2017 is not something I’ll be forgetting very soon. I woke up on Monday morning as a girl who thought I knew a lot about God, only to figure out that I didn’t know very much at all. It took me four days, a lot of praying and a very open heart to be able to strengthen my mind and learn more about Jesus than I thought possible.
I was enthralled and entertained by Pastors David Hall, Chris Estrada, Karolina Gunsser, Mitchell Ramsey and Tom Crandall. I sat through 8 sessions of incredible worship, in which the Holy Spirit moved through a group of people like I’d never seen Him move before.
I was VERY overwhelmed on the first day of camp. 900 is a big number, and being amongst this amount of people was, well, terrifying. I have a bit of a confession – I’m a negative person. It’s not something I am proud of, and it’s something I’m trying to change. But because of this, when we arrived at youth camp and a group of my girl friends and I began the trek to our little cabin in the woods, all I was thinking was how much I wanted to get back on the bus, turn around, and go home.
Thankfully, my attitude changed by the time I worked up an appetite and got ready for dinner. By the time our first session was about to begin, my spirits had lifted. I had a full stomach, a happy heart, and was pumped to get into praise and worship.
After our first praise song – when the dust from the grass we were jumping on was floating into our noses and the whole tent smelled a little like body odour – the whole room silenced and this song began to play – King of My Heart by Bethel. (I’ve put a link down below in case you’d like to give it a listen!)
The part of the song where it starts to say – “You’re never gonna let, you’re never gonna let me down – “, was about the time when my emotions started to scramble. Day 1 and I could already feel God moving through me. I remember closing my eyes and feeling the beat of the drums radiating through my soul. I can’t begin to explain how great it is to know that there’s Someone bigger than all of our fears, walking right beside us every second of every day.
Over the next three days, things only got better. My faith escalated faster than the Tower of Terror at Movie World and I began to understand more and more about our almighty Father.
Pastor Tom talked about taking down the giants. If you believe the lie, you empower the liar.
Pastor Karolina spoke about transforming from the mind of the flesh, to the mind of the spirit. The statement ‘fear not’ is mentioned 365 times in the Bible.
Pastor Mitchell told us how God doesn’t just want us to talk to Him in church – He wants to know our daily thoughts and emotions. He wants to have a relationship with us.
Pastor David explained that God doesn’t change. The miracles He performed 2000 years ago, He can still perform today.
Pastor Chris spoke about dangerous places. Dangerous places are safe places in the Kingdom of God. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zones in order to strengthen our faith.
I learned so much from these pastors. I learned that God is forever faithful, and I learned that He listens to even the smallest things. I learned that if you listen hard, you will hear Him, and that faith catches fire.
I saw the spirit of Jesus touch people in a way I’d never seen before. On the second night, when Pastor David was preaching, he told the audience to create a space at the front of the tent, near the stage. He then began walking around the room, pulling people out of their chairs and bringing them to the alter. He grabbed one of my friend’s hands and pulled her to the front. He instructed her to lift her arms to heaven, and he began to pray.
Putting a hand near her forehead, he said – “In the name of the Holy Spirit, POWER!” With a light tap on her face when he said the word ‘power‘, my friend fell to the floor, overcome by the power of the Lord. It was incredible to watch. I was amazed at how a man such as Pastor David was so strong in his faith that he could summon the spirit of the Lord by touching someone with only the tips of his fingers.
I DONT KNOW HOW ELSE TO PUT WHAT I FELT IN THAT MOMENT INTO WORDS. OUR GOD IS ALL POWERFUL AND INCREDIBLY ALMIGHTY IN ALL HIS WAYS.
The motto for Youth Camp 2017 was ‘Shake History’, and after hearing all the incredible pastors and experiencing the presence of God over those four days, I feel like that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
So, I encourage you to read your Bible, and I encourage you to learn from it. I encourage you to pray for God’s wisdom, and I encourage you to live in dangerous places. Most of all, I encourage you to change nations, to impact people, to shake history.