A message from David Hughes…

We had an amazing week at Youth Camp as over 120 students and adult leaders sought to “Rise Up” in their faith in Jesus Christ.  Epworth by the Sea at St. Simons Island served as our home for the week and offered a beautiful backdrop for spiritual renewal. Camp Director Roger Tom orchestrated the combined efforts of 30 adult leaders so beautifully so that they would be a constant presence of support and encouragement for our students.   I had the joy of preaching with Dr. Jim Walls and Dr. Will Dyer to the students each night on the promises God has for them through the scripture of Isaiah 40:31.  Each night we discussed a key word from the scripture as it pertained to their lives – wait, find, rise, and rest. Every worship service concluded with a time of response in which the students could come forward and receive prayer from adult leaders who were there to council them.

I was especially touched on Thursday night as I witnessed students going to one another in addition to the many adults who received them.  One student commented how beautiful it was to watch the Holy Spirit at work before his very eyes.  I couldn’t have agreed more.

Of course there were other highlights which were more about fun for fun’s sake.  For the first time in my life I witnessed a tug of war rope break during a heated contest during our beach day!  The students arose and gave high fives to one another amidst their excitement as they lost themselves in the euphoria of the moment.  Dr. Will Dyer gave an amazing rap performance of one of his favorite nineties tunes at our pool night which was much to the students’ delight.   I will neither confirm nor deny that we have a recording of this somewhere!  And who can forget Dr. Rodger Murchison wearing the same leisure suite from his wedding day at our Dancing through the Decades theme night?  He even brought back some of his favorite disco moves!

All of these memories are what make a camp experience great for in our worship and our play God is revealed to us.  Perhaps that is all we as a church can hope and pray for in the years to come as the exact details of these memories begin to fade even amongst our youth who are at such a tender age.   But may this one fact remain steadfast in the hearts and minds of all who went – The Spirit of The Lord was there among us and we felt the power of its presence.