10 Things From Chaffey Camp
130 teenagers along with 50+ leaders just spent a week at Chaffey Dam - having fun, growing in God and doing life together. With a mix of 38-degrees heat, storms and ideal days here are the things I am taking home with me.
1. Go Big
Everyone knows I have a lot of camping experience (not!) so, in my uncertainty and to the advice of Mum and Beth, I took two tents… one big and one small. Soon realised the big one would be best, with great skills (from Buffy & I) that baby was set up in no time (and no rain got in). In life, sometimes we pack our small plans in case the big plans won't work. But I say; Go Big! God is for us, His power is at work in our lives and He believes in our potential. Faith isn't what is possible, faith is what is possible with God!
One of my favourite parts of each day was in the evening when all was reasonably quiet… as I walked toward my tent, I would hold my gaze on the heavens for as long as I thought I could walk without tripping. God's lavish love for us is seen in creation.
3. Sit In The Dirt
It was mid-week and I was tired (maybe, past tired) and needed sleep. As I walked to my tent, my torch caught a glimpse of girl squeezed tightly against her tent, knees raised and shoulders hung low. This was my new direction. I crouched down and asked if she was okay; with little response, I paused and realised she needed the gift of time. So, I sat in the dirt and silently asked Holy Spirit to help me.
I took great joy in knowing our God, is a God who sits in the dirt with people… that's the Jesus I know!
4. Run Together
Sun-touched and soaking the "Silly Surfers" were headed back to camp for lunch. One of the kitchen staff met us, calling out for another team - who were late for set up! Opportunity! Our team was assembled and we could help … so in seconds, I had offered to switch our daily chore, I made a quick announcement to our crew and then said, "Let's Run!" OFF WE TOOK! All 14+ of us running along the bank toward camp to do set up together. I love this picture of family… family runs together!
5. Speak Life
There was a young man in our group, his friends had been placed in another group and he was anxious about making new friends. On the last night of camp, he asked, with tears in his eyes, if he could thank everyone in our group the next morning for a great week. There are people all around us filled with fear and trepidation about things, we have the opportunity to speak life and include them in what we're doing. (Shout out to the Silly Surfers who included each other and had fun together!)
6. You Can Do More Than You Think
I was really nervous about going into this week; could I do all that was required? For those who know my story, this was a real and present fear. Fear, nonetheless.
Whatever area the enemy has attacked our lives we have the choice to either remain in the loss or lean into God's redemptive power.
1 John 4:18 There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. MSG
7. Take 5.
Team games were set and ready, but apparently, a few us weren't needed. And I was aware of my present emptiness. So, with a cup of tea in hand, I found a quiet spot to talk to the one who loves my heart the most! God reminded me of what He was calling me to… looking across the beautiful dam, rain ever so gently falling against my back and tears in my eyes, I left feeling full. Whatever your days hold, be conscious that Jesus is calling to you.
8. Don't Take Words At Face Value
Holy Spirit pointed out a leader and invited me to see if they were okay. I enquired gently and received a standard answer… but, sometimes we should never take words at face value. I called her bluff, heard her heart and prayed for her. What a joy to work with Holy Spirit to see that people's hearts are taken care of!
9. Don’t Fear Pain
I must have gotten distracted for a few seconds when CRACK! the boom of the sailboat hit the side of my face in full swing (a beautiful blue bruise is now gracing my left cheek)! Often in life we can fear pain; this can prevent us from trying new things or trying again. Emotionally this can prevent us from making new friends, getting closer to God and or being vulnerable with others. The more we fear something, the more it pulls us gravitationally to itself.
10. You Can Never
Love too much.
Pray too much.
Or wear too much sunscreen!
All praise to God for all that He did on camp! Join us as we continue to pray that the words that everyone received on camp are cemented in hearts and produce good fruit.
Current fave song - 'Not Today', Hillsong United - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm0_JkT0wSs