Youth Camp 2012 was a definite success. Someone once asked me, “Tommy, how do you judge success in ministry?” The answer is easy – LIFE CHANGE. Jesus is in the Life Changing business. When we meet Jesus, the real Jesus, for the first time, He changes our lives. The old person is dead and a new creation is put in its place. Sin no longer controls our lives and we now have the “mind of Christ” and we become “imitators of God.”
At Falls Creek youth camp this year, there was plenty of life change. With just under 6,000 students and adults at camp last week, we saw over 300 teens come to know Christ for the very first time. Along with so many salvations, we experienced over 500 decisions that included rededications and teens that sensed God calling them to full time vocational ministry. We had 14 students from Hillcrest who made public decisions during camp as well as several other decisions that were not made public at this time.
Hillcrest took 74 to camp, 32% more than last year, to the beautiful Arbuckle mountains of South West Oklahoma. Only two hours away, the students had multiple recreational options including hiking, swimming, lake activities, softball, basketball, volleyball, indoor skate park, high and low challenge courses, 5K run, ping pong and horse shoe tournaments, and more. Along with the many recreation options, the students had Bible study three times each day. Each morning began with a 30 minute quiet time and included an age related study on the topic of “Prayer life.” Afterwards, the students would go in to small groups and have another Bible study with Hillcrest adult leaders to help them understand all that they had learned that morning. Each evening, almost 6000 students would come together for a powerful spirit filled worship event in the 7400 seat auditorium on campus at Falls Creek. Nick Thurman and Ed Newton were our worship leader and camp pastor and each did a wonderful job leading us to God’s throne and teaching us God’s Word.
Of course, we could not have had the amazing camp experience we had without 6 wonderful cooks that were led by Debra Meek and 12 other adult counselors that loved on and cared for our students all week long. Long hours and little sleep are a part of youth camp, but you never heard any complaints as the adults and students kept their focus on God and loving each other the entire week.
Special thanks to all of you who provided a scholarship for students to go to camp this year. We had 18 families that needed help this year with the current condition of our economy and they are truly grateful for your gift. Thank you again. Tommy