Jr. High Winter Camp Recap
“Over weekend we witnessed students engaging with God’s Word in such a way that reintroduced the power of the gospel in their lives. We love every opportunity to spend time with these kids, but nothing makes it quite as exciting as snowball fights and Jesus!”
David Newkirk, Youth Pastor, reflecting on Junior High Winter Camp February 10-12
High School Winter Camp Recap
by Kris Hoffman, high school leader (and COD missionary)
Heather and I have been so blessed to continue to be a part of the COD youth group leadership while we wait for God to provide the means for us to continue our ministry in Spain.
From January 13-16 we went with 45 teens from the Hillside high school youth group to Hume Lake Christian Camp. Every year, this is a time when students accept Jesus or rededicate their lives to Christ. This year was no exception! But I noticed that there seemed to be less of a “spiritual high” than often happens at camp. Instead, God cultivated a quiet steadfastness to follow Him among our group. The focus seemed to be more on the future than just the camp experience. These teens are committed to serving God with their lives, long after the emotions from camp fade.
As leaders, this prolonged time together results in many unique opportunities to love on these kids, to dig in deep, and to help disciple them into the people that God wants them to be. This turbo boost for our ministry will continue to yield fruit in the months to come. We are excited to see the teens looking forward to what God will continue to do in their lives.
At youth group the day after camp, I asked the students what God had done. I got a range of responses. One teen told me she learned “to trust in the truths of God’s character more than our feelings in the moment.” Another said, “In order to be able to love others well, we first need to be able to accept God’s love for us without thinking we need to earn it.” On the last evening, my cabin came to the conclusion it was time for them to come to Hillside with the goal of serving others instead of primarily looking forward to what they would get out of it. But with everyone I talked to there was a common theme of amazement at how God was working through the unified group. If I was to sum up what God did over this weekend it would be this:
He showed this group how important it is to develop a life-long pattern of following Jesus, and that community is a vital part of this process.
Following His footsteps,
Kris Hoffman, on behalf of all the high school leaders