On Thursday morning we had the opportunity to go into town and serve at a very special place. The Theotokos Foundation is a remarkable organization that cares for those with severe special needs. Their desire that they would meet the needs of everyone in their care and that they would be valued and cared for in a way that would is specific to the individual. They truly see the people before they see the disability! We had the great honor of getting to meet the founder of the foundation and hear how this vision started many years ago and what he desires for the future. What a privilege to meet a man who has devoted his life to fighting for those in need.
We were so blessed to just spend time with the residents. It was so amazing to watch the campers come alive as they loved on the people. At the end of the time there we put on a small program of songs and skits bringing joy to everyone in the room. As we debriefed after lunch many commented on about how eye opening this experience was for them. They also explained how moved they were by the staff at the foundation. The love that they show to every individual is so obvious. Many of them shared that this is their life and this is their family. What an inspiration! May we carry the same love to the world around us!
Spirit Break Out
Everyday we have been praying for the Lord to break out in our lives and we have been desiring to break out of old patterns and run into newness of life. On Thursday evening we experienced such an outpouring of there spirit where every single life was touched. After a word about sensing God wanted to release the gift of tongues we saw everyone who came forward receive their prayer language. While this was all happening the Holy Spirit was bringing deep healing and restoration to each camper. Depression and anxiety had to leave as the Lord filled up these precious ones with joy.
After this significant time of worship, Julie gave a message that expressed the value God sees in us and how that changes us to bring His light and love to the world around us. Panayoits also shared a powerful word out of Psalm 73 encouraging us that the Spirit of God is always with us. Both affirmed the work that the Lord did that evening that it wasn’t just the gift of tongues but the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them!
It’s been very hot this week so to get some relief from the scorching sun, Alicia planned an afternoon of water games. Wet sponges, water balloons and buckets of water were only some of what we used to have get each other wet. Each team had the opportunity to earn more points for their team as they played forms of battleship and a water balloon parachute.
After all of this weeks fun and games we tallied up the points and announced the winning team for this years Encounter Camp. In fourth place we had Team Encounter God. In third place we had Team Fifth Power. In second place we had Team Spires of the Lord and in first place we had Team #MRCTJ!
There are many reasons we love Shabbat including the freshly baked Challah bread and enjoying a delicious meal. More than this, we love to take a deep breath and recount all that the Lord did in the days behind us. We love lifting our hands to dedicate them to the work of Yeshua in our lives and we love the sweetness celebrating this together. This week was no different as we spent time in remembering what He has done for us and looking ahead together for all He will continue to do.
After the meal we gathered together for a time of testimonies. The campers began to share how God had impacted their lives the night before. God has been so faithful move among us! After a time of worship Cissou encouraged everyone to continue recounting all the Lord did in their lives and to never forget the encounters they had here. Steffen then shared a provoking message from the life of Esther encouraging us to step into confidence and freedom.
It’s always a little bittersweet when things come to an end. Camp has been such an amazing time filled with a lot of fun and countless encounters with the Lord. That being said He had a lot more in store for us on the last evening. During worship we prayed for a campers back who has a lot of pain for a long time and when we were done praying her back felt a lot better. We then prayed for two more people with back issues. One of them felt a huge improvement and the other was completely healed!
To close the evening the staff served the campers communion and prayed for each one to seal all the breakthrough they received this week. We ended the evening with a few songs that expressed our desire for true passion for the Lord. Tears of thankfulness streamed down the faces of both campers and staff as the He drew near to us. With full hearts we returned to the cabins for our last evening together.
On Sunday friends and family gathered to celebrate all the Lord has done. We began with a short time of worship singing songs that meant a lot to us the last ten days. Many of the campers shared testimonies of how they encountered the Lord during camp. One of them shared about rededicating her life to Yeshua and others shared about the freedom they feel after being in His presence.
Families were then invited outside for a performance that the campers have been working on since the beginning of the camp. This dance was a creative expression to show the desire to break out of the normal christian life and to fully pursue bringing the Kingdom of God to the world. There was such a powerful message of hope spoken through this dance!
Though it is bittersweet to say goodbye, it’s amazing to look back and reflect on how deeply the Lord touched our lives in throughout the camp. We are so proud of all of those who came to the camp and broke out of the things that kept them from fully pursuing God. We can see God’s faithfulness and we are sure of the beautiful work He did in our midst.