“God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in all its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
Returning home from our youth trip, I’m overwhelmed with how we saw God move in such a variety of ways. We talked about Him moving in layers this week. He answered our prayers for kids, and leaders in such a glorious way, that not only was the initial prayer request met, but the one praying was blessed and drawn closer to God through God’s answer. We had an incredible team lead these kids and we saw God pour out crazy favor. It was like Jesus bombs went off all over our camp, all week. Let me share a little of what we experienced:
Patrick put together an unbelievable team, with God adding specific leaders for specific kids, so they could speak into their lives, encourage them and in some cases just sit and listen.
- One of my favorite moments was hearing one of our older students, who I have never heard say more than ‘hello’ to me, speak passionately to a leader about being on a speech and debate team. I saw him loved and affirmed as our leader listened to his passions.
- One student looked us up online about 2 weeks ago, because he wanted to understand more about God. After meeting with Patrick, he decided to come with us. We saw God woo this student and draw him to Himself, and the student accepted Jesus as his Savior.
- One group shared their doubts about God one night. A student in this group shared his experiences as a refugee, walking for days, not being sure he would make it and fighting starvation. Yet, God came through for him and he now trusts completely in God’s faithfulness.
- Mark, our speaker this week, taught our students about the reality of grace. He shared with our kids that we are never too far-gone to prevent us from coming back to our Father. He clearly laid out the idea of God’s grace being a gift, given to us, for us to receive.
- Two leaders shared their story that night; with one talking about forgiving a father who hasn’t asked to be forgiven and finding family in our community. One of his guys realized it wasn’t too late to pray for or forgive his own father.
- Our other leader shared how she feared making a mistake and losing God’s grace. Having grown up in the church, she feared God’s grace was like trying to balance by standing on the tip of a steeple. She’s learned His grace is really more like freely running through an open field. Her story connected with many of our students and we saw them embrace the grace Jesus provides us.
- Two students recently lost their moms. One leader shared how God graciously loved him, and walked with him as one of his greatest fears came true when he lost his mother a few years ago to cancer. In spite of his anger towards God, and frustration, he has seen God be bigger than the hurt, and his worst fear coming true. Those two students connected to his story; he met with them and their leader, listening, talking and praying with them. As clear as day, I see God brought him to camp to speak to these two.
- Our incredible worship team prayed fervently for “the heavens to thunder and open on us” as we worshipped. Our last night, after they led us through the worship set, they went outside, when the heavens thundered and rain began to fall hard on them. The heavens opened. It was the only time it rained or was cloudy all week. After our last worship set. The heavens took notice our how our kids worshipped.
- Several people, at the YMCA of the Rockies, came in to our worship events each night to see for themselves the worship they were hearing. One of our visitors was Randall. When we asked where he was from, he said he was affiliated with Jesus. We’re about 50-50 on whether Randall is a real human or an angel :)
- Two of our older students approached me about being baptized at camp. We were able to baptize them on our hike, in a mountain lake.
We saw The Lord answer prayers all over the place. We saw Him respond to our kids and leaders this past week, in a way we all took notice. It was beautiful. As we left, we encouraged our kids with this truth. The same God who met them on the mountain, is the same God who will walk with them every day, through the valley. It was like He was so busy meeting our needs this week because we were all together, in community, paying attention. He wasn’t any busier, we just noticed. We can expect, we can all expect, to experience the same love and attention from our Father, if we will take the time to notice. Friends, we return resolved; we need call on and expect to see our Heavenly Father moving in layers…because that’s who He is!
“From His abundance, we all received one gracious blessing after another.” (John 1:16)