35 teenagers, young adults and their leaders spent five days during the Easter break 2013 focusing on the Bible and being a disciple of Christ under the theme “Souled Out”. The guest teacher this year was Captain Anne Westmoreland, who is Danish by birth. Anne is currently serving as Divisional Leader with her husband Major Bobby Westmoreland in Ukraine in the Eastern Europe Territory.
What does “Souled Out” mean? What was taught at the camp? Morten Andersen, one of the participants gives us some insights:
“Anne Westmoreland stands in front of the young people from all over Denmark. In front of her is a steel bowl full of water and in her hands she holds a rather large stone. Nervously anticipating what comes next, I naturally moved back in my chair, ‘cause she had chosen to put the bowl on my table. And sure enough – SPLASH! – the stone hit the bottom of the bowl. And with a big smile she takes up the stone and tries to squeeze it, but of course no water comes out.
Then she proceeded to take a huge sponge and dip it in the water, lifted it up in the air and squeezed it so water feel all over my table (and me) again.
The point was this; are we like the stone that rejects the life-giving water, or are we like the sponge that soaks it all up till we overflow?
This year’s Bible Camp focused on “being Souled Out”, and the teaching was divided into three components.
Firstly, can we compromise our faith?
As we expanded on that question we learned to recognize the difference between temptations and challenges, by asking; does this bring out the worst in me (temptations) or the best in me (challenges)?
Secondly, we discussed what the cost of “being Souled Out” is, and how it affects our daily lives. An interesting question for us was: Are we really disciples if our lives look identical to the lives around us, who don't believe in Jesus? Or do we listen to the same music, watch the same movies, play the same games, wear the same clothes, say the same things, and generally act alike?
And thirdly we looked at the connection between us and God, and how Jesus maintained His connection with His Father. But instead of just talking about that connection we took some actual time to nourish that relationship. So everyone went out and found a nice quiet place and spent time with our Heavenly Father. And what better way to become Souled Out?”
The Prayer Room
The prayer room has become a fixed part of the Easter camp over the last couple of years. It is open throughout all the days of the camp and is used both during free periods as well as teaching periods.
This year, the theme for the prayer room was God’s different names:
Yahweh Raah – The Lord is my Shepherd
Yahweh Tsidkenu – The Lord is my Justice
Yahweh Shallom – The Lord is my Peace
The Prayer stations reflected the theme, by giving opportunity to take time with each of the names. At one of the prayer stations, participants were given the opportunity to give something in their lives over to God, by symbolically placing an object on a small table. Another Station gave the opportunity to pray for Europe and a third the opportunity to spend time reflecting on God’s word.
The Good Friday Experience
The room is quiet and we are welcomed into experiencing Good Friday. They say that the mercy seat, a place for prayer and reflection in the back of the room is open throughout the evening.
We start by watching a video clip of the crucifixion, as it is shown in the Narnia movie: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0MJePylG-A
Jesus died to forgive our sins. Forgiveness is important and we need to forgive others too. Ask God to show you people that you need to forgive. You can then go to the mercy seat, where there is a cross. Write “I forgive you” on a post-it, place it on the cross and pray that you will truly forgive.
“Here is your son”
Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus thought God had left him. Think about times in your life, where God has been there for you. If there is something special that comes to mind and you want to thank God for it, you can light a candle at the mercy seat as a symbol.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Think about a difficult situation in your life and invite God into it. Jesus experienced complete separation from God. It was hard for Jesus. And it is hard for us, when we are separated from God. We watch the video “everything”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA
“It is finished”
Isaiah prophesied the death of Jesus hundreds of years before it happened. This is what he wrote:
The Suffering and Glory of the Servant
See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Jesus died for each and every one of us. Even if there was only one person in the world, Jesus would still have died on the cross. Nothing but Jesus' blood can save us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2ChreRDxcw
“Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” were the last words Jesus said, before he died on the cross. He gave all of himself to God.
This is your challenge. Have you put your life in God’s hands? All of it?