Camp is over already?! We truly couldn’t have asked for a better Student Camp 2018. We are sitting here in awe of what the Lord has done amongst us–students, leaders, and staff alike.

As we leave camp, take some time to read these students’ takeaways from Student Camp 2018–

God tugged on my heart a lot. First of all, I came into camp looking at what to do to strengthen my faith and what my purpose is. Both questions were answered. I learned that to strengthen my relationship with God, I need to dive in with Him every day. Whether its reading a chapter or reading a book of His Word, it will get you closer. I also found that my purpose right now is to be a  disciplemaker in my community. This does not mean I have to travel the world, but more so inside my own school.-Collen Covington, a rising sophomore at Wylie East

Going into this student camp I felt the excitement that comes with spending time with friends worshiping and learning from the Lord away from distractions, but this time I also came in with a little sadness knowing this was going to be the last camp I would be going to as a student. Being a senior comes with a lot of stress and anxiety of finding the college God wants me to be at, worrying about finding a church group to plug into when I’m there, worrying about choosing the right degree I can use to glorify God with. With these stresses I think the one of the biggest things God taught me through the lessons was that I can’t stray outside of the will of God. He showed me through Cory’s teachings and small group that He has a will and a plan for my life, and that there is no mistake or choice I can make that has the power to mess up God’s own will. Being in the time of life that I’m in that is the most reassuring thing to remember about God and his will. This student ministry has taught me and prepared me so well to go out and make disciples in college and wherever I go in life. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in the next stage of my life.-Lindsey Eppler, a rising freshman at University of North Texas

In the past 5 years of going to the Heights Student Camp as a leader, this camp was by far my favorite. Not because of all the fun in the lake or the great Kadoku games, though they were all amazing, but because we saw the Spirit move in power in and among our students in a way I’ve never seen before. I had the immense pleasure and joy of leading our junior and senior girls all week, and the Lord did some pretty great things in our small group times. One of my favorite moments of the week was during our last small group time which was spent breaking down the commands found in the great commission and discussing each part. To open the discussion on making disciples, we asked the question “what do you do first when you want to introduce someone to Jesus”, fully expecting to get “bring them to church” as an answer.

But the first young lady answered “show them what real love looks like, just love them”, then the second said “earn their trust”, then the third “commit to building a friendship with them”, then the fourth “meet them where they are”. I just began weeping with joy because these girls get it. Most of us are far more comfortable delegating our responsibility to make disciples out to our pastors or church leadership, thinking that’s their job and not ours.

But making disciples isn’t a spiritual gift reserved for a few, but a command to us all if we truly follow Jesus. And these girls get that. They are disciples who are ready to be sent off to college to go and make more disciple-makers, and I couldn’t be more proud of or thankful for them and the time I got to spend with them this week. Praise the Lord for His grace and His good gifts in showing Himself to us in a way totally unexplainable outside of the Spirit. -Mallory Behenna, an adult leader

Going to camp has always been a part of my summer life. Attend camp, have fun and go home and slip back into the regular routine of my life. This was my view of camp, until I joined the student ministry. This year I didn’t just have fun, I learned of my purpose and learned that I need to stop making excuses for why I never put to work what I have learned. This was my first year of student camp and I loved everything about it. But I didn’t just have fun, I learned about my God and his purpose for me.

This year we had the fantastic speaking skills of Cory Butler to teach us about purpose. As a middle school girl, I never thought about finding my purpose in God. I tried finding it in choir, theater, track, books, friends, and academics. But after student camp I finally found my true purpose: to spread the word of God through all the nations and make disciples of those people. Now that I know Gods purpose for my life I feel as if my life has just been flipped around. I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and I feel like apart of me that was missing has been found. I don’t want to slip back into my regular life. Instead I feel a fire burning in my heart and I want others to feel it too.

I also had a great small group this year. Not only did we laugh together, but we opened up and were broken together. We not only shared our feelings though, we challenged each other. And I loved every minute of it. We got answers to questions we have had for a long time and we had long and in depth conversations about our purpose. We also made lasting friendships that can conquer any distance. This year I felt something that can only be described as impossible. It was a feeling of infinite love, hope, patience, compassion, and so much more. Now that I feel this feeling I want others to feel it too.

This year I didn’t just go to camp and come back. This year my old self went to camp, died, and a new new person came back. A person who feels Gods grace and love and share it with others. A person who is not of afraid of what the world has to throw at her. I am not just a girl anymore. Now, I am a disciple, and I don’t want to be anything else. -Kendall Newman, a rising 8th grader at Otto Middle School

On the last night of worship my friend,Olivia, opened her bible and asked me, “What chapter is it?” I then responded with “Matthew 28” as I told her, a was watching over her shoulder making sure she was getting to the right place. As Cory, the pastor, started off the night my eyes oddly caught the bottom page of Olivia’s Bible. With no control what so ever, I read the bottom of the page and it said “Why don’t we go to heaven when me dedicate our life to Jesus and get baptized?”

I never had really though of life that way because I knew we were made to share Jesus Christ. I then looked and read the verses the question recommended and it said”(19)Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20)teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”(Matthew 28:19-30).

I read then over again really thinking about it as my hand just picked my pen up and wrote all over my bible about it. As Cory went on with his lesson I started to thing how God can do things in many ways. Then it hit me, God guided my eyes to the bottom of the Bible so I could lead into reading the little passage, and really engage in the lesson.

I can now see things a little more clearly knowing that God has come into me just to show me something to help with my future. Also at camp we were taking about how God carries the weight for us, and with Cory diving deep with the passage I read, it was just magical! I think more then ever, I am more engaged in my relationship with Christ. I have never been SO moved by the Lord. Now I feel like I can always have a strong healthy relationship with God, by really feeling the power of his work. -Macy Claire Langston, a rising 8th grader at Rogers Middle School

This week was amazing for me because I got to grow so much closer to God and he revealed some amazing things to me through my small group leader, worship, and Cory. During our second morning session when Cory was preaching, I really felt connected to the sermon about the UK to USA ministries and God really reached out to me and told me, “Sam that’s what I want you to do.” I prayed about it and I just can’t explain what came over me; I could truly feel the presence of the Lord in those moments. It was just so overwhelming and, after talking to my small group leader Zach Menezes, he told me to pursue my calling and that is what I intend to do. I know that I’m not going to be able to go to York, England until my Senior year of high school, but I know that God is calling me so I’ll do whatever it takes to get there. -Sam Ruby, a rising sophomore at Allen High School

God is big and His Kingdom has no end. These are only just a few stories and we have a few more to share with you this week! We have seen that His Kingdom is the only Kingdom that is big enough for us to stand up in. Through Christ, we have been given a new identity and purpose that has eternal significance. God has done incredible things in our hearts and lives this week. Join us in praying for the Spirit to seal up all that He has revealed to us and to teach us to walk in step with Him on a daily basis as we return back to our normal routines. Grateful for time to retreat away, fix our eyes on Jesus and have the trajectory of our lives transformed by the power of the gospel!

Thank you for joining us in prayer over Student Camp 2018. Let the fun of living out our purpose as followers of Jesus begin!