Camp IDRAFOJE is my favorite week out of the year!
The name stands for “I’D RAther FOllow JEsus.” Last week I had the privilege of watching more than 50 Christ-followers live that out.
While the days were jam packed with ministry, leaving our physical bodies depleted, our hearts were bursting at the seams with joy and purpose.
Do you know that this 5-day camp is 90% run by young adults?
They transform our campus on set up day.
They draw our signs and paint our awards.
They serve meals, wipe tables and wash dishes.
They serve as full-time counselors.
They hype the kids up.
They run all of our free-time stations and lead games.
They lead worship.
They run tech.
They take camp photos and video.
They eat with the kids and show them how to worship.
They share the Gospel and lead campfire songs.
They create skits and preach the good word.
In fact, the only thing we do not use young adults for are cooking, medical attention, security, and directing the camp. We do not pay these people. They happily give of their time and talents all week long. This year we had an unprecedented record of more than 70 young adults apply to serve!
This week is my favorite week out of the year, because for those 5 days God’s love is on display in selfless, undeniable ways.
For 5 days, regardless of what home life situation the campers come from, they are deeply cherished and championed. The kids are known and pursued. Our young adults are masters at modeling God’s never-ending, abounding love.
For 5 days, kids can be kids. Up at camp, we play HARD. We stand on chairs at mealtime and use our trash to make art. We play human hungry, hungry hippos and eat spaghetti without our hands. We have belching contests and crud wars.
We also champion the Good News hard. We have gifted speakers at chapel two times a day and the kids have small group discussions afterwards. We have sword drill competitions and carve out space each day for solitude between campers and God. We even play games that tie everything back to the Gospel.
For 5 days, the unity our young adults have in Christ is stronger than whatever differences they had coming up to camp. They hype each other up, step in when someone needs help, and pray for each other.
For 5 days, my cheeks hurt from smiling and God’s love is showcased. For 5 days, the brokenness of the world does not win. For 5 days, our campers are right where they should be, in the center of God’s overwhelming love.
I wish I could capture the spirit of FOJE week in a jar to share with everyone, because God’s perfect love is contagious!
It’s dependable, lavish and a model for how we should love. It’s life-changing. It tears down walls and sets captives free.
My heart is so full and FOJE leaves me more pumped than ever to some day be with my Savior, surrounded by a host of witnesses, singing in perfect unity, “God’s not dead, He’s surely alive.”
God is on the move y’all!
P.S. June was big for children’s ministry, and July is the monster month for our youth. Would you be praying for Student Ministries Pastor Ryan Berkman and his team as they invest in our junior high and high school students during travel camps? Pray for the Lord to be at work among our students, and to refresh them in body and soul. (I encourage you to share your support with Ryan using the link below.)