Day Five Huachua Oaks

It is Saturday morning and the sun is rising over the mountains here at Huachuca Oaks Christian Camp. My luggage sits by the door of my room, ready to be loaded for the trip to the airport in Tucson. I am looking forward with anticipation to the flight home and the comforts of my own bed this evening. It has been a rewarding week of ministry here and I am grateful for the opportunity to share in the lives of these kids.

There are always mixed emotions when the end of a week of camp draws near. It has been exciting to watch the Holy Spirit work in so many lives. And for that I am grateful. But there is also a melancholy feeling knowing that many of the kids will go home to very difficult home lives. Please pray for the kids as they return home.

I spoke last night about the importance of taking a stand for Christ. I told the story of Youcef Nardarkhani, the Iranian Pastor who has been arrested and tried for apostasy for following Christ. When he was sentenced to die by hanging, he still refused to recant his faith in Christ. He waits in prison at this moment, not knowing if today will be his final moments on earth. I challenged the kids to be Youcef in their world, to take a stand for Christ no matter how difficult it may be. Many responded at the invitation to this lofty challenge and I believe they will do it. They are remarkable kids.

I ended the service differently than I have done in any other meeting. Whenever someone comes to Christ, the Bible says that the angels in heaven rejoice. There is a celebration beyond anything we could imagine. I thought it would be cool if we celebrated like crazy here on earth for all the decisions that were made this week. First, I asked all those who had previously made a commitment to Christ but had this week recommitted to being a real-deal, follower of Jesus Christ to stand. A large number of the kids stood and the room went wild. We all screamed in celebration! Then I had that group sit down and asked all those who had made a first-time commitment to Christ this week to stand. This group was smaller but still significant and we all went crazy again! The final group I asked to stand was those who had responded to the invitation on Monday night saying they understood what it meant to make a commitment to Christ but who were just not ready to do that yet and wanted me to pray for them. I told this group that I did not want to embarrass anyone but wanted to give them an opportunity to go public if they had chosen Christ this week. At this point, several kids stood and the place went ballistic. I think many of us were crying tears of joy by this point, guys and girls alike. At this point, one of the girls who was standing walked across the room and embraced on of the guys who was standing. Everyone piled on at that point and we had a huge group hug celebrating what God had done this week.

Don’t you wish you could have been here? Many of you were here in spirit and were praying for the meetings all week long. Thank you for your investment in this week of ministry. May God be glorified!