Whew! We are dragging today! It’s been a good week but I think I will be ready when we go home.

Yesterday afternoon was a good hard work day. It got nice and warm and most of our group spent the afternoon down by the lake digging deep holes with a huge auger and putting large posts in them. They must’ve dug 20+ holes! They were all hot and tired. Towards the end they got to test out some of the water games though so I think it made up for all the hard work.

This morning they’re out at it again in three different groups. We have a bathroom crew, dining hall crew (dishes, all things kitchen), and hole digging crew. Later on they are going to set stakes and put up a tent. They may not always like what they are doing but they have been doing a reliable job. I continue to hear positive comments from all the different staff that I talk to.

Last night was a good night. We changed the location of our meeting place so everything seemed to go more smoothly. Our time of praise and adoration was sweet. If only the church, as a whole, could have opportunities to praise like this all the time. I know it’s available but we just don’t give our best when we do it normally. Why don’t we (as a church)?

Our lesson last night was on taking the “road less traveled.” We took a deeper look at Titus 2:12, our theme verse for the week. Our goal was to challenge the youth to take the road that led to self-controlled, godly, and upright lives. One of the pictures that I kept painting was the picture of a “choose-your-own-adventure” story. Every decision we make leads us down this path where we choose our own adventure.

Following our teaching time we set out on our own little adventure around the camp. We were split into four groups and we visited four different people. Each person played out a different scenario where the youth had to make decisions.

The first scenario was a guy who was really struggling with his connection to God and the church and he was trying to get some advice from the different groups about how to connect.

The second scenario was trying to decide what a youth group should look like to a new visitor. What would the youth want their friends to see if they came to visit? One of the things that could carry over for those reading this is “what do you want your church to look like?” The next question that followed that was “what are you willing to do about it?”

The third scenario was pretty interesting. The group “accidentally” stumbled upon a homeless man while they were walking down a dark gravel road. He talked to them about making the decision to love all people as Jesus loved them and he challenged them about their responsibility.

The fourth scenario was a guy who had an interest in Christianity and needed help in how to make his decision…

So this was our goal last night – in all of this we tried to get them to think about a wide variety of decisions that they would have to make.

Following that we went to our campfire. And you really can’t have a campfire without smores! Out by the campfire there was a white sheet where they wrote out all the different decisions that they wanted to make when they got home. After they had gotten a chance to write out their decisions we took the sheet and threw it on the fire. We threw it on the fire for a couple of reasons. First, the fire represented the purifying process that we all want to go through with our decision making. We prayed that our motives would be made clean and holy. Second, I read from Hebrews 12 where it talked about God being a consuming fire. I prayed that we would be consumed by the holiness and awesomeness of God. When we are consumed by God then our decision making takes on a different perspective.

Finally, we gave the youth an opportunity to talk one-on-one with any of the youth staff regarding questions or decisions they were dealing with. All-in-all it was a great evening. People were challenged and I can’t help but think lives were changed. I’m praying that this doesn’t stop as they leave tomorrow.

Your prayers this week have been invaluable. Thank-you! I don’t know what the rest of the summer holds when we return but I do know who holds the summer. Our goal is authentic, godly relationships that reflect biblical values.

Last night coming up! Please pray for us…