"How easily we forget that the church was founded by disciples who betrayed their master. None was willing to stand by Jesus as the religious and political authorities condemned him to death. At his moment of greatest need, the disciples fled in the darkness. The boldest of the lot, Peter, was the very one who cursed and denied him three times before the cock crew. It was for traitors that Jesus died." Philip Yancey, Source: Soul Survivor Daily Dig
This is a guest post from Mac Maser, Sports Supervisor at Youthfront Camp West
This is my fourth summer on staff at Youthfront Camp West and my third summer as a Sports Supervisor. I am going to be a fifth year senior at the University of Iowa studying Electrical Engineering. My first Youthfront experience was back in 2009 as a camper at Youthfront LaCygne. I camped at Youthfront LaCygne all throughout high school and it is where I first gave my life to Christ. I grew up in a Christian home and had learned about God, but I grew up thinking that there were a limited number of ways to worship God; you can worship through prayer, song, or studying scripture, but God is separate from the rest of your life. Camp is the place that taught me that we can also worship through our playfulness and having childlike curiosity.
After my last year of camping, I came on staff at West as a Cabin Leader. As a camper, I always looked up to the Sports Guys so that was always my dream job. They were always having fun and got to be in the tower of power for Nightstrike (there’s nothing cooler than that). Now, I’ve had the privilege of being one for three years.
My favorite part of my job is that I get to be goofy and carefree with hundreds of campers every week in a safe, Christ-loving, intentional environment. I get to witness the joy of Christ shine through these students as they have fun dancing to worship songs, playing with their friends on the Splash Park, singing along to Disney songs at dinner, and so many more activities. Even if they don’t realize it now, they are worshiping and spreading the love of Christ just by being themselves and having fun. These students are at a critical point in their lives where they are figuring out who they are and wanting to find their identity in something that makes them feel secure. Watching campers come out of their shell throughout the week and have fun is proof of Christ’s love for us and the reason I keep coming back every summer.
The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles is dated to the first century by a majority of scholars. What if we allowed this very first church planting book to shape the way we led churches? For instance, "Be gentle-minded, for those of a gentle mind shall possess the earth. Be patient and have a loving heart. Be guileless. Be quiet and good, trembling in all things at the words you have heard. You shall not exalt yourself or allow your heart to be bold and presumptuous. Your heart shall not cling to the high and mighty, but turn to the good and humble folk. Accept as good whatever happens to you or affects you, knowing that nothing happens without God." The Didache - Source: The Early ChristiansDaily Dig, June 4, 2016
We are excited about this new feature at Youthfront Camp West. This will be a record setting summer for us at West, with waiting lists for every week. We keep building our capacity and it keeps filling up. We are proud of what we think is the best middle school camp in the world.
Last spring break. People from Iowa and Kansas visit CROC as their missional journey destiny. It was a good time to spend time with each other and see God in our differences and similarities. Also, it was a good opportunity to do painting and construction work which is always a blessing to people from CROC.
We hope you enjoy the story through the pictures below.
Pricila has been part of our community since she was in 2nd grade. Now as a 9th grader she is a volunteer with us. She helps out with different duties, but most important she is the 2nd grade teacher. It’s great to watch her grow as a person and as a leader in her own community. Our goal of running the programs with locals is still going.
Imagina works as a bridge between the church and the community. People that wouldn’t come church at first, feel safely doing it through us. We can humbly say around 40 kids have come to Torre Fuerte church through Imagina teacher’s guidance and invitation. This could be useless or a dead end without the great job and attention from Pastor Humberto Flores and his wife Myrtha Alvarado. We’d love your support through your prayers.
Rodolfo is Back! You may know pretty well this guy. He’s been around for 10 years as a full-time staff member. Rodolfo now lives in Monterrey with his family, his wife Eunise, his five year old son Diego and 1 year old daughter Renata. He will be week in and week out. You could find him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How's this for a birthday present... an unexpected note from a 19 year old young man that I received on my 59th birthday. Grateful and fulfilled.
Mike! I only see you a few times a year, but I want you to know how much my family admires you! My dad and his brothers and sisters all have stories that they passed on to their kids about how you have changed their lives in amazing ways! God is working through you so much and we are so thankful for what you do and the role model you have been for us! You're a wonderful person that I love and respect! Have a great birthday!
Save the date for our last training session of the school year! Dr. Jason Lief will be with us to talk about "Poetic Youth Ministry," and will explore the issue of young people and faith, specifically focusing on the various responses of the Christian community to the research suggesting young people are leaving the church.
Don't miss this opportunity and register now for this session!
I've always wanted to sky dive but haven't worked up the courage, YET, to jump out of an airplane. Experience iFly just might help me cross the line to courage. I'm excited about this Youthfront event coming up on May 5th because it will also help send lots of kids to Youthfront camps that otherwise couldn't afford to come. Check it out and come join us.