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Day 5 - God Reveals: What's next

Our rooms are cleared out, our bags are packed, and the trailer is loaded. We’ve still got a couple of morning activities to wrap up and in a couple hours we’ll be headed home.

So what next? For the campers what comes next is going home and bringing camp back with them. Not camp itself of course, but to bring home what they’ve learned and put it to practice.

For the believer, what’s next is to walk in the faith, and to take that faith to the world around them.

For the unbeliever, it’s to continue to weigh what they heard this week. We can’t force that, but Gospel seeds have been planted. Pray for the harvest, even though it may be years or even a lifetime in the making for some of them. I don’t know everyone reading this, that next step may even be for you. Ask your camper, ask us, the Gospel is the entire reason we do this.

And in the big picture, what comes next for all of us, is that Jesus will one day return. Are you ready for that?

Thank you so much for sharing your kids with us for another week. This is not a trust we take lightly, but seeing kids and families influenced by the Gospel is what it’s all about.

Lord willing, we’ll be home soon!

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Day 4 - Sign Language, OMC, and what really matters

Hi folks! From a tech perspective today has got to be the strangest day I have ever had at CK! OMC getting pushed to 9p changed the pacing of the whole day, and it ended up being so dark during the actual game time that the video footage didn’t leave me with much to work with in terms of grabbing cool frames of kids breaking water balloons over their heads, etc. :-) I’d have brought a flashlight if I had known it was going to be so dark! I do have a few minutes of video from times where the light or timing was better that captures some select moments and the energy of the kids though and I hope you’ll enjoy what I was able to salvage.

BUT… as bummer as the nighttime OMC was for me personally and technically, that’s just details and honestly not really what matters.

What DOES really matter… is that one of our own kids got saved! I don’t really know all the details, but we are so excited to say that Libby Carter made a profession of faith and she is now our sister in Christ!

I also have some footage of our excellent Sign Language track, in which I think our church has 5 kids. The video there is a little weird too because they had the front kids sit and kneel, and that placed many of them behind these under-construction blinker decorations on the stage, that made it difficult to get a good view of all of them at once without me being in the way. But I did get them, see the video. :-)

Despite being a pretty unorthodox CK schedule today I think, for the kids, that it ended up well. The kids and leaders ended up with a lot of time to hang out casually, and the value of that personal time can’t be overstated.

Before OMC Pastor Luke wrapped up the day with a message on God’s power, and reinforced how we connect to God’s power through salvation and prayer. Pray for our kids — your kids — to see their need for God and to make a personal connection through faith to the unique power of the redeeming work of Christ.

”For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”
Romans 1:16a ESV

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Day 4 - OMC has changed to 9pm!

Due to excessive heat, the OMC activity has been rescheduled until 9p. So… that means the OMC pics will be posted LATE tonight. I’ll get them up as quickly as I can, I promise! Look for them around 11:30p… or later. :-/ I’ll get them up before I go to bed though, k? K! :-)

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Day 4 - God Reveals: HIs Power

Today is the day. THE day. OMC day! Organized Mass Chaos Day! The day when the camp and the rec field gets covered in colors — yellow, green, blue, red, and orange! It’s glorious!

But.,.. that won’t be until later today, so come back!

More importantly, it’s Caitlyn Alexendar’s 11th birthday! Happy birthday Caitlyn! She was a great dancer, and had such a confident presence on stage — you should totally check it out in the video!

Right now our kids are doing Bible study and then outdoor rec. With today’s focus being OMC I probably won’t have any more pictures or posts until later tonight after OMC. They should be plentiful, colorful, and messy — and probably some OMC video as well! if you want to see it for yourself!

Today’s theme is God Reveals: His Power. In the opening message at I Can’t Wait Pastor Luke talked about how microwaves and toasters don’t do much of anything on their own, they need power to work. And things like our phones and laptops can work for a while on their own, but if they are disconnected for too long then they also need to be connected back to power. Likewise God is powerful, and is our power source, and if we aren’t properly connected to Him we will not be effective for our intended purpose.

Pray for our kids, to know that relying on God’s power is not weakness, it’s the way to fully be who and what we are intended to be by our creator!

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Day 3 - God Reveals: The Way - now what?

All day long, in the midst of all the crazy, has been the persistent theme that God has revealed the way to salvation through Jesus. What an amazing God! He would’ve been right to have left us as we were, on our already-establish path of eternal separation. But God didn’t just KNOW a way, or keep it to himself. No, God knew what we needed and prepared the way himself — paying a price only he could pay, for a debt he didn’t owe. Seriously, hallelujah!

During Worship, Pastor Luke capped the day with another “what now?” I like that after a day of immersion in and idea, at the end of each day Centrikid brings it back to being personal, to try to get the kids to see how they should appropriate that truth themselves. CK doesn’t push it, they don’t seem to ever be pushing for a mad rush kids at the altar call, but they aren’t afraid to call them to “do something” with what they have been. And so, Pastor Luke’s final words were “What now? What does it mean to YOU that God has revealed Jesus is the way?”

It’s an important question. Whether saved or not, pray that our kids would rightly weigh their answer and its everlasting impact.

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Day 3 - What-a-Wednesday!

So today has been pretty hectic for me. Several times I’ve tried to get something posted and run out of time between activities.

We had guests - Pastor Bob and Judy came to visit like they are so faithful to do! I really appreciate our pastor and wife taking time each year to come down and see the kids and the camp. They don’t have to, but it’s a really nice touch I think that lets the kids know Pastor Bob isn’t just the adult pastor, he’s their pastor too and he cares about what they’re doing. Love you Pastor Bob and Judy, thanks for a being a great example of sincere ministry to our church and kids!

We also did outdoor rec, fought off sharks under parachutes, asked a wolf what time it is and then ran like crazy if/when he/she answered “lunch time!”. In Art Studio we put on blindfolds and tried to draw a dog — that was certainly interesting! In basketball we worked on… basketball. Indoor games did an obstacle course and played something I think is called Scatterball? It was like mass chaotic freeform dodgeball.. Khysen drained a tennis ball trick shot his group had been working on for quite some time, A little baseball, football, soccer, and finally some noodle tag, and all before dinner! Oh my!

Then we had dinner, and some people got Snocones. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s been non-stop around here, glad to finally have a chance to get you all updated! I’ll have one more post tonight to wrap the day up and I encourage you to come back, read it, and then pray for the kids, the leaders, the staffers, and for the Holy Spirit to move in and through all of us for the sake of The Gospel.

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Day 3 - God Reveals: The Way

Good morning!

Up and at’em for breakfast at 7am, the kids are now scattered around the campus with their small group doing a morning devotion that gets them thinking about the them for the day — that God Reveals: The Way. So, for a little bit longer, camp still basks in the stillness and quiet of the dawning day.

It’ll be loud and crazy soon though! But not without purpose. Pray for the kids today as they are exposed to lessons, games, and activities that point them to, and instill in them that, we are inherently separated from God by our imperfection. But God loves us so much He didn’t leave us that way, He redeemed us and provided THE way to reconcile us back to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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Day 2 - You know God's names, but do you know God?

Just back from the closing worship service. Well, I’M back, the kids are out playing and enjoying the evening breeze and setting Sun.

CK does a really nice job with the evening Worship time. Most of the day is very high-energy, goofy, and even silly albeit always spiritually purposed — but they make a deliberate effort to calm things down and set a more reverent tone for the evening service. At this time we don’t play games or be goofy - we sing, we are taught: the tone is set for worship.

Pastor Luke wrapped up the theme for the day and ended with the very convicting question in the title — So you know God’s names, but do you know God?

Appropriately, in our church time afterwards, Julia Akers and Jake Willard gave their testimonies to our kids. They came from very different backgrounds but ultimately came to the same point of realizing their need for a savior — of their need for the saving grace found in the finished work of Christ.

I don’t have any pictures for this last post. Instead, I ask you to picture our kids — to pray for them to likewise be challenged in their own faith, for the Holy Spirit to convict them as only He can, to place their faith in what only Jesus has done.

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Day 2 - Outdoor rec, weird science, and sign language!

Evening worship starts in 15 minutes and I’m gonna try to squeeze in an update before I go!

Today… I learned that kids pick up on sign language waaaay quicker than I do. Kids are awesome. I learned that dish soap makes pepper run away in a bowl of water, and I learned that an Ivory bar in the microwave for 1m20s makes for an interesting smell, and morphs it into and even more interesting cloudy/snowball-like substance that you can actually still kind of use as soap. Science is cool. God is cool. Can I get an amen?

Since the morning post we’ve done a lot but for now I mostly just have a bucket of pics from the afternoon for your viewing pleasure.

Without further ado… here are some pics of your kids from throughout the day!

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Day 2 - God Reveals: His Name

The first full day of camp has started, we’ve already had breakfast, devotions, “I Can’t Wait”, a morning message, and now our kids are off to do a morning Bible study where they will learn more about today’s specific theme. That God Reveals: His Name(s)! The idea is that names mean something, and people with nicknames have those names for a reason, it tells us something about them. Similarly, God has names and each one tells us something about Him! Pray for our kids today as they learn some of those names, what they mean, and that those names would come to mean something to the kids as they learn about a God they can know, who wants to know them, and who is worthy of… His name!

Oh, and Shelley turned 21 or something and got to get on stage and sing and dance like a crazy person. :-)

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Camp is ON!

Camp is in full swing now and starting to take shape! After we settled in to our rooms we went to dinner and then hung around and played outside until 7pm for Opening Celebration, the first official camp activity! At Opening Celebration we played some big room games, Mr Keller got on stage and justified his college degree by successfully shaking a box and correctly identifying that there was a towel inside — way to go Mr Keller! And we rummaged through our pockets and backpacks for an item scavenger hunt.

Then we settled into some singing which was energetic but a little more focused, and I do say I really like the band this year so far, before finally meeting Camp Pastor Luke who introduced us to the theme for the week — All Access! — and began to connect that to our access to God, and our wholesale pursuit of him.

The key verse for the week is John 17:3, and tonight Pastor Luke focused on how copies and imitations are never as good as the original, and that our God is the only God, all others are at best cheap and disappointing imitations. As I’ve come to expect from Centrikid, he reinforced that with multiple other references from scripture — he didn’t sell the kids short on their ability to apprehend that God is real, true, and entirely unique. Pray for our kids to absorb this truth into themselves.

The kids are now showered and working on going to bed. Pray for a good night’s sleep, fresh minds, and open spirits to learn what God reveals to them throughout the day — the week — to come.

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All that and a bag of... Bearcats??

We are on scene and settling in to our home for the week. Nothing says “home” like a good game of hide-and-seek and “knock on the door and shout GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!!” — I guess — because that’s what’s going on all around me while I (try to) write this! (at least in the noisy boys hall, I’m SURE the girls aren’t noisy at all… right… RIGHT??

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Bolivar bound!

Thanks for a great send off parents! Parents, and thank you so much for trusting us with your kids for a week! We are on the road! Next stop… CENTRIKID! Or… maybe the side of the road. Nah… CENTRIKID!

Please be in prayer for the kids and leaders this week. We want it to be fun, for sure, but more than that we want the kids to have an encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit — to take one more step closer to owning their own Christianity. We want this to be meaningful week of growth for them, or for them to even take their FIRST step of placing their faith in the finished work of Christ if they haven’t already done so.

Be encouraged, be in prayer… Bolivar here we come!

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