There is a Day. And Youth Camp.
Glad that the campers had fun (though they said, less than other camps – my bad for pitching to too low a common denominator). You can tell from their sign-up forms that they were a demanding bunch. 😉
Chose a wild west theme so there was a mayor and sheriff all dressed up like cowboys to welcome campers to Deadwood Town on the first day. Breakfast announcements were sometimes given by an amazing Mariachi Band (with guitar, trumpet, castanets, Mexican accents, and a peeling moustache), sometimes by a galloping sheriff brandishing his guns. The final night’s award ceremony was presented by a cow.
The storyline that ran right through camp (parallel to the main talks) was that a bunch of Lazy Ranch-hands were set up on a bountiful estate. They had gotten it into their heads that the ranch belonged to them and so injured/killed the ranch-owner’s servant when she came to collect the money due to the ranch-owner. When the ranch-owner’s son came, they and the rest of the town killed him too. The law soon caught up with them and the Lazy Ranch-hands and townspeople tried all means of escape.
So we started with games like blowing away poisonous tumbleweed (so. much. spit.), dodging poisonous tumbleweed, a whole-camp card game (with a lynch-mob, crazy miner, not-so-innocent townspeople trying to kill the ranch-owner’s son, and a vigilante and a pair of town doctors trying to save him). Then when caught, the not-so-innocent townspeople had to attempt to run away by entertaining the sheriff, stealing keys from under a blindfolded guard, following the Lazy Ranch-hand’s trial (wide game on Pulau Ubin that began with failed attempts to shoot an apple off a bottle), attempting to escape from Deadwood Gaol (with blind guards with water pistols and barking guard-dogs). They got into town only to have to fight for survival by concealing their weapon within their facial hair. Quite a laugh.
Behind the scenes though, there were the immense stresses of camp – of a bunch of sinful people trying to work together (alpha females looking to be top dogs, adult attention-seekers throwing tantrums like children and refusing to do their tasks, slack buck-passing males, ill-disciplined children disrupting meetings, fragile friendships etc), lacking sleep and proper meals (though not the campers, thankfully, though they were sad that the quality of food had suffered since the usual cook was looking after her newborn), hampered by our own sinfulness and by the sweet whispers of a certain prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8). Being all too aware of my many failings, the FOCUS talks on 2 Thessalonians were a source of both warning and refreshment: not to be deceived into sin by the man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 3:1-12) and to stand firm because we have been chosen, called, loved, and saved (2 Thessalonians 3:13-17).
Also grateful that the Irish and English boys got my back, rebuked when necessary, and taught me many things. Really brilliant having them around. Truly God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and provides a way out so that we can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Unfortunately, need to rectify failure to thank them and God properly!
The trustworthy hope is that there will be a day when we can finally rest from all our struggles against sin, and from the hurt and pain we cause others and they cause us, and finally stop doing what we don’t want to do (ie. rebelling against God whom we claim to love and should love).
There Is A Day
There is a day
That all creation’s waiting for,
A day of freedom and liberation for the earth.
And on that day
The Lord will come to meet His bride,
And when we see Him
In an instant we’ll be changed.
The trumpet sounds
And the dead will then be raised
By His power,
Never to perish again.
Once only flesh,
Now clothed with immortality,
Death has now been
Swallowed up in victory
We will meet Him in the air
And then we will be like Him
For we will see Him, as He is
Then all hurt and pain will cease
And we’ll be with Him forever
And in His glory we will live
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
So lift your eyes
To the things as yet unseen,
That will remain now
For all eternity.
Though trouble’s hard,
It’s only momentary
And it’s achieving
Our future glory.