Youth Bible Camp '12
About 19 people attended Youth Bible Camp 2012 at Forest Lakes Homestead near Otaki. This is what they had to say:
"Well done... amazing effort!"
"What a blessing when you get a great bunch of young people enthused with Christian fellowship."
"The messages were the best part!"
Oscar Sande from Victoria, Australia used parables from everyday life to give us important spiritual messages for our personal relationship with Jesus. For example, through the parable of the Y Chromosome we learnt to have spiritual strength. Through the parable of the song, we learnt to allow God to control our lives - to 'be still' and 'be flat' because 'Jesus is on our side'! Through the story of the Man in the Cage we learnt to unload our 'backpack' of bitterness and experience the freedom Jesus offers us. With the testimony, Why Have You Taken So Long? we learnt that we have a Father that is wanting us to come to Him. We also had a message about Donkeys and Giants on how the Bible is trustworthy. Sacrificial Animals showed how Jesus is the focus of everything. The process of Cleansing Lepers taught us the details of how Jesus forgives sins. The last presentation called 'Phone Resurrection' was an interesting parable of what happens when people die put in a very easy way to understand.
We also had morning devotions where we looked at being able to exceed the par of the mediocre lives we see all around us. We had the story of the boy in the window illustrating how we need to be in the light and not fall out into darkness, and we also began reading the book "The Passion of Love" which each camper received a copy to take home and continue reading.
On Sabbath we had an interesting message by Oscar called 'The King's Freeway'. It was a powerful illustration of how we need to keep following Jesus and not be distracted with the turn offs of temptations and attractions. It also included stops to fill up on the Holy Spirit and spend time looking at the map of God's Word.
Each camper also had the opportunity to create and share a parable themselves. There were some very interesting and insightful examples.
We had the parable of:
• The Salmon - Yosef
• The Confidence Course - Claudia
• The Balloon - Luke
• The Donkey and the Pit - Rose
• The Smoke Alarm - Hayden
• The Lonely Man in the Cage - Teresa
• Along the Narrow Way - John
• The Mudslide - Dawn
• The Old Wagon - Caleb & Yosef
• Rebuilding the Temple - Esther-Shahn
• The Zimbabwe Parable - Bex
• The Naive Farmer - Estelle
• The Lightbulb - Shanah
• Row Gardening - Ester
• The Spanish Letter - Damon
• Living Water - Angela
• The Wolf - Caleb
• The Arrogant Son - Sam
• The Approaching Storm - Doug
In the afternoon we went on a Bible hunt. We had Bible text clues to follow to find the next location. This gave some great exercise running around the camp ground as well as digging in our Bibles and spending time together contemplating what the verses might mean.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected parables was one we all acted out without realising. We were given a pair of socks each early in the camp and asked to look after them. On the second-to-last morning we were asked to bring them to devotions where it was explained that they really represented our smelly bad habits and 'addictions' that we have. Often we can get our bad habits from other people, just like we were given these socks. Then we threw them into the middle of the room. Some people threw them in willingly, others had to think about it, or wanted to keep them, but in the end everyone surrendered their socks and instead were given a book on the sacrifice of Christ which represents how He replaces our bad habits. We later burnt the socks. It was a powerful illustration!
One rainy afternoon we went down to the mudslide and got wet and muddy. Another afternoon we spent time on the confidence course - it was interesting to see how different people struggled at different points but everyone completed the course with encouragement from everyone else - this was a real-life parable for us all.
We also had an interesting challenge where we were given a few pieces of newspaper, tape, string and eggs and we had to make a way of protecting our eggs as they were dropped from the second story balcony to the concrete below!
One evening we were given a pile of cans of food with no labels on them, we had to choose one and then in teams of three open them and make a meal! We were given larger empty cans and some vegetables and so we chopped and cooked them on the bbq or fire place. Some groups' cooking was better than others depending on what they got and how much creativity they put into it - but everyone got fed!
Sunday was survival day. We were all given challenges. First job was to get food cooked. Some set out digging a big hole, some gathered wood and stones, others cut up vegetables, others prepared wire baskets and we created a Maori earth oven called a hangi. We then lit the fire and let it burn down and heat up the stones, after this we placed our food in the baskets on the rocks and covered it in damp sacks etc and then piled the earth on top. A few hours later we had some deliciously cooked food! We also had to set off flares for 'rescue', find and transport some 'injured' trampers, build a shelter and spend lots of time talking to each other!
Between the main activities we also enjoyed some walks, plenty of games of four-on-the-couch. We had a sack race and a mega water fight that started out in the paddock where the hangi was and spread all through the camp ground from top story windows and behind bushes and trees etc. The 'pulling game' became popular with everyone wanting to play but worried about getting stretched to bits! The last night we played kick-the-can till late.
It was also Claudia and Teresa's birthdays while we were there, Sam made up a neat cake made out of fruity balls!
There were lots of other small challenges and activities. These times afforded excellent opportunities for talking to each other and the leaders or speakers about personal life challenges. Best of all we made great Christian friends that can help encourage us along the King's Freeway to Heaven!
Click on any of the images above to enlarge. Visit the YBC Facebook page for more photos.