We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done. Psalm 78:4
I recently watched something beautiful unfold, a morning I will not soon forget. On one special day in July, generations came together to share their experiences at Camp Oak Hill. Founder, Greg Poole, and first Camp Director, Jerry Barker, met on the camp’s front lawn to interact with campers and staff. It was wonderful simply to listen as they shared stories of God’s great work. One generation to another, telling of His mighty deeds.
Greg began by sharing his remarkable story, of buying this piece of land and founding Camp Oak Hill. Next, Jerry related his experiences as our very first camp director, and of a special prayer offered 37 years ago that God would bless “This Place”. Camp counselor Mike-Mike explained just a few of the ways this camp had touched his life, and camper Molly was about to jump out of her skin to tell of her awesome adventures. And still there were more…Sydney and Morgan, Chris and Merritt and Ben, and 3rd generation camper Peyton—each shared a special experience and told of their love for this camp. But our young friend, Max? Well he may have summed it up best…
“This camp just shows me more of Jesus.”
What an incredible moment it was to watch this gathering of believers. Each shared their own unique story, no generation gap between them, a group united in Christ. At one point I turned and glanced at our newest Camp Director. I saw tears in Michael’s eyes as he gently and quietly sobbed. “Michael,” I whispered. “Are you alright?”
“I’m okay,” he responded joyfully. “This just brings it all home, as to why we do what we do.”
When the gathering concluded, the campers and staff headed off to their regular camp routines while I joined in with Michael, Jerry and Greg. We circled up and prayed, four eras of leadership together on that “hallowed ground.” We prayed for God’s blessing, and His very best for Camp Oak Hill. We prayed for His purpose to be accomplished, for His vision, and for each new generation to commit to tell the next.
We all hugged and said farewell later that morning, and in many ways it was like any other reunion. But I knew in my heart that it had been a special moment—a bunch of regular people joining together, generation-to-generation, sharing the wonders of God. What a miracle to behold. There is no better legacy.
Camp may be over, but we’re in full “swing” preparing for our upcoming Golf Tournament. Join us on September 11, 2014 for our annual Golf Tourney. It’s sure to be a great day celebrating Camp Oak Hill and raising funds to help send campers to us each summer!!
Experience-rich, but relationally-poor. Whether we like to admit it or not, I believe that we have come to accept that line as a theme in our lives. We’ve come to a place where we compete with one another on who can have the most exciting life experiences. We chase after experiences, often times at the expense of relationships. We’re so eager to move on to the next thing that we leave people in the dust. What would it look like if we flipped the script? What if we intentionally pursued being relationally-rich? I believe if we put more effort into making relationships rich, then all of our experiences become rich. Chase after relationships. Jesus didn’t chase after experiences, He chased after people.
However, before we chase after people, we need to understand that Jesus is chasing after us. He is pursuing our hearts. When we accept Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior, our love need is met. Because our love need is met through Jesus, we can now move on to loving others with the real kind of love that Jesus first loved us with. We don’t fear rejection because we know our standing in Jesus is secure. We are SET FREE to love others without hesitation or conditionality. This summer our theme is “Set Free” and our theme verse comes from the book of John, chapter 8, verse 36. “So if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” Our desire is that you will pause, take a deep breath, and understand the freedom Christ has given us to love others. Chase after someone today with the love of Jesus.
Relationally-rich AND experience-rich.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” -1 John 4:7-11
We couldn’t be more excited to see how God’s going to show up at camp this summer! We just launched our hashtag for this summer, which corresponds with this summer’s theme of being “Set Free”: #40DaysofFreedom. Be sure to follow this hashtag throughout the summer to see a glimpse of how God reveals himself each day at Camp! John 8:36.