And just like that camp 2019 has come to a close! We are tired but, more than that, we are grateful for all the Lord has done in the lives of the students, adult leaders, and staff. God moved in mighty and powerful ways and we are encouraged and spurred on as we head home to walk in the life He has called us to.
As we reenter our normal rhythms of life, here are some of the students’ takeaways from Student Camp 2019-
“I came into camp in a state of brokenness and tiredness, not knowing who I was and what God wanted me to do for Him. And going into high school with all these thoughts would be even worse, so I knew that I needed God to show me what He wanted me to see and hear. From the very first large group, I felt convicted. I knew that I had messed up. I knew that I had missed the big picture. But I also knew that this would be the summer I would find myself and find my purpose.During the last afternoon large group, I felt Him move not only in me, but in the others around me. On the last song, I fell to my knees because I knew that no matter what, God was good and that He wanted me. Every part of me. No matter how broken or bruised it was. That night, I gave my fears to God and he gave me my purpose. And even though I am young, I am going to start working toward my purpose. And that purpose is in the missions field. God told me that my faith was needed somewhere else. And though I don’t know what he wants me to do when I get there and what to do to prepare myself for the time when I can go to where He is calling me, I have my church family with me every step of the way and I know that they will be there for me no matter what.I’ll be with them till the end, no matter where I am and what I do. Thank you God, because you have changed me and made me a disciple. And you have made me your daughter.” -Kendall Newman, a rising freshman
“Before Camp I was having a hard time coping with some stuff that was going on and I didn’t really know how to talk about it. The first or second night of camp I had small group and there was when I really realized that keeping my emotions and feelings inside was only going to get worse every time I push it away. My small group leader and my group gave me a lot of tools to use during hard times like that. During worship, Dave’spreaching and our devotionals, I learned that I can give all my fears and my problems to God. Now through camp I know that I can trust God and lean on Him during hard times. Although I still will have giants to face and things to overcome, camp taught me that with God on my side I can be confident in Him and who I am in Him as well.” -Morgan Williams, a rising junior
“This week at camp, I could see God working in my life in multiple ways. The main thing I learned this week is that worrying doesn’t change the situation. When you worry, the situation you are worried about could either result in failure or success. Worrying doesn’t make the odds of either decrease or increase, so the best way to overcome your fear is to acknowledge it is there and move on, because 85% of what you worry about never even happens. With anxiety, sometimes it is really hard to think my way out of the deep pit of worry I’ve created for myself. Hearing this, anytime I catch myself getting anxious, I have been trying to remind myself that God has full control, not me. The other thing I learned is that the only opinion that matters is God’s. He is the only person that needs to accept you, and he already does no matter what. When you worry about what other people think, it is like you are chained up in other people’s opinions and you allow them to control everything about your life and change who you really are. With God, we are free from those chains and need to leave them behind us as we live our life. I also really enjoyed my small group and my leader. They played a big role in helping me understand both of these things. I loved how I could be vulnerable and how I felt comfortable with all of them. This week, I have learned that God is greater than my anxiety and my insecurities.”-Emeri Milam, a rising freshman
”During my time at camp, I really felt the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the entire student ministry. Personally, I felt it the most during the amazing time of worship. There is no greater feeling than worshiping the Lord with all your mind, heart, and strength. Student camp has dramatically changed the way I look at my life and the way I have chosen to live my life personally. I especially loved the the theme of camp this year ‘Greater Than.’ It’s so comforting knowing that God is greater than any fear, any amount of rejection you may have received, and bigger than any addiction you’ve ever struggled with. God is the one who paid the ultimate sacrifice just for you. It is so crazy to think about the unconditional love that God has for each and every single person. “ -Lizzy Prince, a rising junior
“I didn’t know what to expect at THSM camp, but I knew I wanted to have fun with my friends and to learn more about God. Camp was so much more than I had realized! God worked in mighty ways to show himself to me. I grew in my faith and really dove deep with my relationship with the lord. I made new friends that were encouraging, smart, and supportive. Together we helped each other grow and learn, during small group time. I had amazing leaders that helped me to become stronger in my faith. I loved going to worshipto sing and praise God, and being with a room full of Christians with the holy spirit dwelling overtop of us. Dave’s speaking was very moving and personal all at the same time! I loved going to camp because I had such an extraordinary experience! -Katelyn Gezell, a rising eighth grader
“Coming into camp this year I felt so lost in my journey with God. Lately I’ve been really struggling with the little things that I felt were holding me back from moving forward in my relationship with God. I didn’t know how to overcome it because I was trying to deal with it on my own and not with God. In fact I had almost felt like God didn’t want to listen to me anymore because I was so frustrated with everything going that I didn’t want to go to him with anything so I kind of just blew Him off. At the beginning of camp I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I had going on so I stopped and prayed about it on the first night. God really opened my mind and heart to what was happening at camp and what was going on in my head. After I went to God with these things, I felt so much relief flow over me and I felt the Holy Spirit start to move through me again. On the first night Dave said, ‘God is greater than all the Goliath’s/giants in your life,’ and he also said, ‘no matter how big the now is God is already on the other side praising because he’s already won.’ That really stuck with me the whole week, because no matter how hard and difficult things might be right now, God is greater than all these little things standing in the way of your relationship with Him and He is already on the other side praising because He’s overcome those giants. This year at camp what I came away the most with is that I have to stop and trust God because He’s greater than all my fear, discomfort and struggles and He’s already won all them for me. Instead of waiting around on the fence with God for all my struggles to go away, I have to move in and build a deeper relationship with Him to better understand what God is doing.” -Grace Staten, a rising junior
I went to camp expecting to have fun with my friends and get closer to them. I also went to learn more about God and get closer to to God. When I got to camp, it was what I expected and much more! I had so much fun with my friends and, when I got back from camp, I felt so much closer to God than I had before. Dave’s speaking was very moving to me and I really loved it. I also loved that I got to build a great and loving “missional family” with a great group of girls. I will never forget my experience at camp this year. -Kaylee Meza, a rising eighth grader
Before I came to camp, my pace in my walk with God was to a point where I felt trapped within a stagnant faith. During this experience with the Logan Walter Band, Pastor Dave, and all the leaders I have gotten closer to, has given me the motivation to start to run as fast as I can towards God and His Glory. I will face my Goliath with a new passion for Christ and making more of an impact with the student ministry by being more involved with the leadership. I will create a legacy by spreading the gospel, impacting people for years to come. -Blakley Evans, a rising junior
“As always, God worked in an incredible way at camp this week. As long as I can remember in my class, we have never been a unified group and have always stayed in our own comfort zones. Within the last 6 months God has made it extremely evident that change is necessary in each one of the 11th grade girls life’s. I noticed each one of us get closer as the year has gone on, and at this camp, God did some amazing things. He strengthened the 11th grade girl group immensely through the small moments of hanging out, getting closer individually, praying for our fellow sisters, and our cry sessions in small group. The message this week taught us that God is greater then our comfort zones and our fear of rejection. God taught us to put our full faith in Him and, through this, most of us walked into this camp acquaintances, but walked out with 14 new best friends and family members.” -Abbey Mayo, a rising senior
“Camp was a really moving experience for me. Even though I had a rough start at the beginning of the week, I truly felt the Lord moving through me and showing me that I can be vulnerable with Him. This week made me want to be 100% in instead of 99%. I feel like God really moved through lots of girls in my small group and, even though we all where shy at first,we truly bonded and shared lots of happy tears praying, proclaiming His name and accepting Jesus even more than before. Knowing how mighty He is and how He moved through me all this week makes me want to proclaim His name and show Him how grateful I am towards Him. He’s given me hope that He will continue to guide me and be with me. He is truly lighting my heart up and just shining a light on my soul. For me to know that I have all of these amazing ladies to talk to and grow with is so amazing and truly a blessing. I got blessed with amazing people who helped guide and pray with me, as well as a friend to give me the strength and love needed. I was very moved by Dave’s preaching. I felt he really related to us and it was just so powerful to hear some of the things he talked about from a new perspective. I know more now how to conquer my Goliath and to focus my eyes on him instead of getting tempted by the brokenness. I know that nothing can take me away from God. -Hannah Boyd, a rising eighth grader
Wow, wow, wow! These testimonies are small glimpses of the huge ways that God moved last week in the hearts and lives of so many through Camp. Praise the Lord for the way He has revealed Himself to us. Join us in praying for the Lord to lead us as we continue walking alongside students in light of all the Lord has done through Camp.