The Journey: Leaders Retreat and Youth Camp

The Journey

The Journey

Leaders Retreat

Leaders Retreat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did things a little differently for our most recent Leaders Retreat and Kids & Youth Camp; we explored the same theme and session topics for both events. The intention behind this approach was that the youth leaders would be taught the material first and then after digesting it and applying it in their own lives, they would pass it on to the others at camp. The result was fantastic! The leaders were deeply focused and therefore impacted at the retreat, and they exhibited huge passion and confidence at the following camp. We are so thankful for the way the Lord is equipping these young leaders and using them to bring life transformation in their community and among their peers.

The theme we explored was “The Journey”. The inspiration for this topic was the experience of the Israelites as God took them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land; we sought to learn lessons from their challenges and victories, which will help us in our own journey of life. Some of the specific events we examined from the journey of the Israelites were the negative impact complaining has on a group when the Egyptians chased them to the edge of the Red Sea; the importance of perspective and the way it can chart your future course based on the very different reports of the 12 scouts sent to spy out the Promised Land of Canaan; the value of remembering times God has done great things for you the way the Israelites did in building an altar with stones from the middle of the Jordan River after crossing safely; and the way obedience and worship were the mighty weapons that brought victory in the Battle of Jericho.

Sessions in the hall

Sessions in the hall

Another session was titled “The Journey of Relationships” where we learned that the health of our relationship to God is directly correlated to the health of our relationships here on earth. If we are not close to God and walking in the light with him, there will be brokenness and sin in our relationships with people. We also cannot hope to successfully complete our life’s journey without the close companionship and support of both God and those he places in our life to walk alongside us. We also touched on romantic relationships and the dangers of giving your heart to someone without the intention of marrying that person. This is one of the most difficult areas for young people to trust the Lord in, and we continue to pray for revelation for each one of God’s perfect ways and timing in the journey of love.

The last evening of camp we closed with a challenging look at the passage in Matthew 7:13-14 which talks about the wide road and the narrow road. Many walk the wide road, but it leads to destruction; the narrow road is difficult to find let alone walk along, but those few who traverse it are rewarded with life. This reality was illustrated at camp by volunteers coming to the front of the hall and choosing a path to walk along; one path was littered with candy, and the other was empty. Each volunteer was allowed to keep whatever he or she encountered along the road, but the ultimate reward was discovered by reading the sign hidden in the box at the end of the path. Those who were excited to gather candy were stunned by the word “DEATH” at the end of the road, but those who chose the seemingly less rewarding route were affirmed by the word “LIFE”. This illustration helped us to recognize that every day, and many times each day, we come to a “Y” in the road and must choose our path. Will we be enticed by the immediate pleasures and bountiful company found on the wide road leading to death, or will we remain steadfast and continue to journey along the narrow and sometimes lonely but ultimately rewarding road that gives life? We trust that the lessons learned and decisions made at camp will continue to be acted out at each “Y” in the road these young people encounter on their journeys.

Which road will you choose?

Which road will you choose?

In addition to the deeply convicting sessions, there were so many powerful experiences shared at camp. In the different times of prayer and worship the Lord moved mightily to bring deliverance and breakthrough in the lives of many. Some of the youth testified to struggling with unforgiveness, but God enabled them to see the importance of forgiving those who have hurt them and to take steps to do so. Others had been suffering from fear and evil influences in their lives and the Lord set them free from these chains. Some have demonstrated this new freedom since coming home by exhibiting a 180 degree change in their behavior; deceit and rebellion and choosing bad company have been replaced by humility, peace in the family, and cutting ties with those who have been a bad influence in the past. We have also seen a revival of excitement and commitment at the Saturday Program after camp. Our prayer is that this fire will continue to be stoked by each individual and not allowed to peter out over time.

 

 

Along with the veteran members of our camp family, we were joined this time by many new faces this time. We had our highest number of campers to date, enjoying a group of 98 at this our 13th camp. It is such a joy to welcome new young people, who have been invited to camp and want to attend because of the excitement and love they experience from their friends who are part of LXP Lesotho. We were also joined by five young men from Maseru, the capitol city of Lesotho that is 2 hours drive from Butha-Buthe where we are. These five boys are members of a discipleship group and boys bible study run by our dear friends in Maseru, and they joined us at camp with the desire to learn and return home to pass on what they receive at the youth bible study they have started in their village. We are so thankful for the way the Lord is expanding our territory through the work of these young men and we pray that God will continue to raise them up as leaders in their community.

In closing we would like to extend deep gratitude to those who gave so much and were such an integral part of making this camp a success. We honor our supporters who gave finances, loaned us their vehicles and mattresses, and took time to visit and encourage us at camp; we are thankful for our friends in Maseru who are investing in young men in their area and took the extra step to partner with us and bring some of their boys for this event; and a huge thank you is due to our youth leaders. At this camp more than any other the ten young people who sacrificed their time and energy to serve their friends and peers instead of just attending camp shouldered the bulk of the work. The kitchen, the small groups, many of the sessions, the discipleship, and were majority run by our youth leaders, some of whom were taking on the responsibility for the very first time. We were so impressed by the good example they set in all areas, the faithfulness and dedication they exhibited, and the love and passion for Jesus and people they showed. May the one who sees it all richly reward all to whom we give thanks!

Prayer

Prayer

Games in the hall

Games in the hall

 

 

Games outside

Games outside

 

Camp fun!

Camp fun!

Camp is over; the truck is loaded for home!

Camp is over; the truck is loaded for home!

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