ENCOUNTER – Day Seven & Eight

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Therefore, Go!

On Saturday morning we had our final devotional time together. With each day highlighting a different theme, it was exciting to dive into the final topic: ‘Therefore, Go!’ Based on Yeshua’s Great Commission of Matthew 28, we meditated on what it means to be sent out into the world as agents of revival. As we encounter God this week on the mountain, our desire to see His presence taken down to where there are many broken people in need of a similar touch from the Lord. Talking together in small groups, each young person was given the opportunity to share about their personal journey and reflections on the day’s scripture portions. Our team spoke life into the young people and prayed for courage to overcome areas of fear. May we be marked with an Isaiah 61 anointing!

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Football Tournament

On Saturday afternoon, the teams enjoyed one of their final opportunities to win points for their teams. This time they would be competing in a football tournament! Driving to a nearby football pitch, we had a short warmup playing Ultimate Frisbee before diving into the game with passion. With each match only lasting 10 minutes, there was only a small window to shine before the next teams would have a turn to step up. Extra points were appointed to individuals with the Best Attitude (Joshua from the Yellow team) and also to the Best Players (Arad from the Green team and Judith from the Yellow team!). During the football matches, those not playing competed to see who could keep a volleyball in the air for the longest time and which team could do the most kickups with a football. At the end of the day, we said goodbye to Joshua, Caleb and Louise as they left to fly to the UK – it’s been such a joy to have them with us! God is truly forming some deep and special friendships this year during Encounter Camp, as we have fun together but most importantly as we run after Jesus together. Friendships birthed in His presence can last a lifetime!

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Saturday Night Worship

Saturday night was our final big worship blow-out here in Moniatis! Packed into the worship room, it filled us with joy to see those gathered worshipping with abandonment. Shining faces and hands raised high bore witness to the many transformations that have taken place in only one week. As we worshipped, the Holy Spirit came and blew through the room, taking many to deeper places than they had been before. Standing under the waterfall of His love and power, we received another fresh touch from God on our final night together. As our team moved through the room praying for people and anointing them with oil from our land, it was clear to see the hearts that were being set ablaze and those who were being marked by His Spirit. After a while we began to pray for our families and particularly those who don’t yet know the Lord. Siblings came together to intercede for breakthrough in their families, and nationalities also stood with each other to ask God for an outpouring in their own land. The night came to a close as the young people were commissioned to return home carrying this fire of revival!

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Streams Worship Gathering – Limassol

We ended this year’s Encounter Camp with a Streams Worship Gathering in Limassol on Sunday night. Joining with everyone at Glory House, it was great to be reunited with parents, family and friends as we gathered together to worship and thank God! The evening began powerfully as Arad, Daniella, and George all came forward to share their own testimonies of what the Lord has done this past week. Everyone then made their way to the front as it was time to perform our group dance! Following on from the freedom we all received in worship during the camp, the team stepped up to inspire this liberty in others as they moved together strongly. Wearing our Cry Out t-shirts, the theme of the camp was shown again as the song’s lyrics declared “I’m going to sing out loud and let my voice be heard!” After a time of worship, Chandy shared a message about responding to every situation from the viewpoint of God’s love, challenging us to be set apart with His vision and Heaven’s perspective. As the meeting ended, the sound of a great cry filled the room as we shouted out the name of Jesus together – ‘we love Your name, Jesus, You’re the beautiful one!’

Truly this year’s Encounter Camp has been life changing for both the young people and also for our team, and we are so thankful to the Lord for how He has met us with His presence and filled us with His love. May we go on from this time into where God has called us with the sound of hope ringing out from our lives. May we never stop crying out!

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ENCOUNTER – Day Five and Six

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Worship – Wild and Free!

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:15

During our times of worship together, it’s increasingly clear to see how God is touching lives and transforming hearts through the touch of His Spirit. As we receive the love of God in a greater way, we are stepping into greater freedom! With this, we cannot help by cry out with praise and adoration, the shout of thanksgiving overflowing from our lives.

It’s been a joy to receive a team this week from Caleb Company, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Caleb Company have been long-time friends of Gateways Beyond and have a vision to equip God’s people with His heart for Israel and the nations. Their team of nine is currently on a trip to the Middle East and have come to Encounter Camp to serve in any way possible – we are so thankful for them! On Thursday night the team led us into the presence of God through worship, singing out that Jesus is making us wild, free and full of fire! They then took time to prophesy over each of the young people in turn, sharing the impressions they felt from the Lord. It was amazing to hear the words of life, hope and destiny being spoken over everyone! We look forward to seeing how God will multiply these seeds in years to come.

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Beach Fun Day


Thursday was the Encounter Camp 2016 beach day! We all piled into the vehicles after dance practice with our picnics, sun screen and beach towels – our destination: Lady’s Mile beach in Limassol. After our lunch, Paul led the activities for the afternoon. This involved a classic game of British Bulldog (also known as Sharks and Minnows) and an Ultimate Frisbee tournament! After the games, the group enjoyed some free time to enjoy the sun, sea and sand before driving back up the mountain.

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Friday morning with Gustavo Manduca


Gustavo Manduca is a former professional footballer who also spent time playing for APOEL FC here in Cyprus. Most importantly, he loves Jesus! We were honored to welcome him on Friday morning when he came to share with the camp. Gustavo shared his testimony about how he came to know Jesus and he spoke of his personal walk with God in the midst of the limelight of professional sports. Challenging us to stand firm in our decision to follow the Lord, many received his words to heart as he said that “the decisions that we make can change our history … It’s always easier when we take the decision to choose God and walk on His way.” For all of us, it was such an encouragement to hear from someone who has walked humbly with God in a difficult place. God has called us to influence the environments we are placed in and be an agent of the Kingdom of Heaven – we are ambassadors. Everyone was encouraged not to foolishly chase after fame or what the world would call ‘success’ but to choose God, journeying higher with Him into love and peace. Thank you Gustavo!

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Erev Shabbat


It is our desire to enter into the rhythm of God’s design for our lives. One of His intentions for us is to enjoy Shabbat, a time set apart for us in the week to rest in Him. Shabbat is also a special opportunity to stand with Jewish communities worldwide and on Friday evening, at the start of the Shabbat day, we gathered together with joy to remember His unending covenant with us. For a few of the young people this was their first time participating in a Shabbat meal. As we broke bread together and shared in traditional prayers and songs, thankfulness filled our hearts and we reflected on how the Lord has brought us all to this place ‘for such a time as this.’ **EDIT

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ENCOUNTER – Day Three and Four

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Morning Worship


Our times of worship are quickly becoming the highlight of each day, as they should be. We love giving God our best! As we come together each morning to sing songs of praise and adoration, a platform is created for God to move and touch our hearts, bringing transformation. Over the past few days, the Lord has been moving and the list of testimonies is growing. Several young people came forward at the beginning of worship on Tuesday and Wednesday morning to testify of what God is doing in them already this week. Many have experienced more joy, peace and courage as a result of God’s touch. Someone shared how they had felt depressed and heavy for a few months before Encounter and didn’t really want to come – but after experiencing God during worship they felt the heaviness lift and were filled with joy! On Tuesday morning, it was amazing to hear from Ani as she shared her life’s testimony. Ani came to the second ever Encounter camp back in 2011 and has been back every year since. This year she is joining our staff team for the first time! It was so powerful to hear her speak from a place of breakthrough and authority about what God has done in her life, and we were all so encouraged to witness an ‘Encounter-teen’ a few years down the line, pursuing God with a passion.

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Hiking the Waterfall


Tuesday was our hiking day and the group excitedly made their way into the cars to begin! We drove to Foini, which is quite close to our base in Moniatis, and spent the afternoon exploring some waterfalls there. As the cars dropped everyone off at the bottom of the hill, it was a great warmup to make our way upwards – the sound of water getting louder and louder encouraged us to keep walking! The effort was definitely worth it as we reached the top and had a picnic lunch in a beautiful spot by the waterfall, underneath the covering of green trees. We began to climb higher, following the streams further up the mountain but unfortunately the weather then turned against us and we got caught in a huge downpour of rain! Forced to turn back, the group made their way down towards the cars – very wet but still having a lot of fun! Similar to last year’s Encounter hike, it seems that the forecast can be quite difficult to predict…
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Serving at Wellspring


On Wednesday, we had the amazing opportunity to send a small team to help out at RightHere, a second-hand store in Limassol which is part of Wellspring Association. Wellspring is a ministry striving to be a counterforce against injustice in Cyprus. Working with victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse or vulnerability they have opened a drop-in centre in Limassol and also organize after-care, home visits and other activities. Our team of six made their way to the second-hand store and spent the day helping in any way they could. In a few hours they sorted through donations, labelled clothing and arranged a children’s window display. Margot, the store’s manager and one of Wellspring’s faithful volunteers, shared their vision with the group. She spoke about how many of the women dealing with crises in their lives have lost their sense of identity, hope and future. Wellspring desires to see their lives restored to a place of secure identity and hope-filled destiny! During our time there, God began to touch the hearts of those in our group in a powerful way – He was giving us His heart for justice and allowing us to feel something of what He feels. One of the girls shared afterwards that she felt she could give her life to working for a vision like Wellspring’s! May we be ready and willing to answer the call to be a voice in the nations for justice, mercy and compassion! May we cry out for those with no voice! We encourage you to find out more about Wellspring and the amazing work they are doing.
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Dance Practice


During Encounter, the teens are spending time to learn a group dance set to the song ‘On the Shores’ by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. This is a great chance to exercise our freedom in worship through movement! God has used dance and movement a countless number of times to bring breakthrough in people’s lives and we are so expectant for this year’s dance too. The chorus of the song rings out with the lyrics “I’m going to sing out loud and let my voice be heard! It’s a song of victory and it’s ringing in the Earth” – another reminder of our heart behind this year’s theme “Cry Out.” Our prayer is that even during the rehearsals God would touch hearts with his love and power. We will be performing the finished dance on Sunday night at our Streams Worship Gathering in Limassol (join us at 16.00 at Glory House!).
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An Afternoon at Adventure Mountain Park


On Wednesday afternoon we drove to Adventure Mountain Park which is an outdoor activity center in the mountains. This was a great time of activities and fun for everyone, and the perfect opportunity to let off some steam. The camp split into two groups and took turns playing laser-tag and rock climbing. For many people, rock climbing was outside of their comfort zone – yet, in the process they learned how to step out in a new area and overcome fears and limitations. The laser tag game quickly became competitive as each team wanted to finish in first place. After an intense couple of hours, the Green team emerged as the overall winners!

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ENCOUNTER – Day One and Two

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Welcome to Encounter Camp!


Welcome to Encounter Camp’s blog for 2016! We are so expectant for God to meet us all in a powerful way and for lives to be changed over the next action-packed week in His presence. On Sunday morning, our staff waited in anticipation for the first arrivals of young people. Teens from Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Belgium are joining us this year and we cannot wait to see what God does in these 26 revival-carriers! Gwen and Remi, our Encounter leaders, took some time to share the vision and theme behind this year’s Encounter – CRY OUT. Inspired by Isaiah 40, we desire to see an emerging generation finding their voice and crying out for the Lord! They then introduced our wonderful staff team and everyone was taken to find their bed and unpack for the next 7 days!

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Breaking the Ice


To help us get to know each other at the beginning of the week, we played a few ice-breaker games on Sunday afternoon, led by Alicia. Everyone is split into four teams and will be competing throughout Encounter to earn points (of course there is a prize for the winning team!). Teams chose their own name based on their assigned colour: the blue team became ‘Royal Blue,’ the Yellow is ‘Buttered Popcorn,’ Green is ‘Green Glory’ and Red became ‘Red-necked Spartans!’ At the end of day two, the competition is already growing!

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Devotional Time


Throughout Encounter Camp we take time each morning to open His Word together for a time of devotions. Our desire for this time is not only to see truth and revelation imparted to the youth, but to give each person the opportunity to seek God for themselves. To create desire in them to continue to seek God for themselves, long after this camp has finished. We began on Monday morning inspiring passion for the Word, highlighting that the foundational and first reason we open these holy pages is to encounter God. Each word is an invitation to know Him more!

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Evening Worship


To begin and end each day pursuing God and enjoying His presence is our greatest joy, and this year is no different. And so, we gather together every morning and evening to worship during Encounter. In His presence, everything changes: fears and insecurities fade and we truly come alive as the sons and daughters of the King! As we released our praise together on Sunday night, a song arose that “we are washed and liberated, loved and fully accepted.” What a beautiful truth to start off this week with! Remi made a declaration that Jesus is better than anything the world can offer – nothing can compare to the adventure of a life lived for God. He encouraged everyone to fasten their seat belts as we press in this week and ask the Lord to take full ownership of our lives.

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Wet and Wild Day


Monday was the perfect day to enjoy some water games outside! Relishing the opportunity to win more points for their teams, the young people energetically created chants to rally everyone together. Water Balloon Relay, Human Battleships and a game involving a large slingshot were all on the menu for the afternoon and soon some of the girls’ requests to “keep their hair dry” were long forgotten! The afternoon ended with a full-on water fight before everyone jumped in the dam for a swim before dinner.

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Monday with Youth for Christ


On Monday evening we were honoured to welcome a special guest and friend, Brandon, from Youth for Christ. Brandon is YFC’s director in Cyprus and it is such a privilege to partner with others who also desire to see a generation on this island set on fire for Yeshua. Brandon shared his testimony about struggling with anxiety and then spoke to us from Isaiah 40:30-31 that “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Encouraging us to persevere with God, he also championed community by saying that “God never created us to do this alone.” Amen!

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ENCOUNTER 2015: Day Five to Seven

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Morning Worship

“Who is full of Hope?” was the question asked. The youth were exhorted that hope is what keeps us from drowning from the waves of this world. They were encouraged that we must gain the identity of Christ, that our true identity in Him has to be our foundation. The youth were given time to ask the Lord areas they need to have Hope. We then transitioned into a time of allowing the joy of the Lord to be our strength. As we danced and shouted around the worship room, we grabbed ahold of faith, hope, and joy to lead us towards truth over our lives.

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Devotions

On Monday in devotions, we focused on prayer and intercession. We talked about what it means to pray without ceasing and some of the different keys to effective prayer. During Tuesday’s devotions, the focus was on prophecy and why it is so important to God. We shared with the youth that prophecy is to be used to encourage, edify and build one another up! It says in Joel 2:28, “…your sons and your daughters shall prophesy….”

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Beach Day

Monday afternoon we headed to Limassol for an exciting afternoon of lunch on the beach, swimming and a team competition of beach Olympics. Each team picked one person from their team to compete in each event. Each event was timed and score was given based on the fastest time. The team to take the gold was Ice Cream You Scream!

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Picture Scavenger Hunt

For Tuesday’s activity we sent the youth on a picture scavenger hunt! Each team was given a list that of which they had to take pictures. A picture of their whole team sitting on a bench, a picture of a cash register, a picture of a butterfly, a picture of an emergency vehicle with its lights on were just a few. The teams scrambled around the village to find the items as they were on a time limit. When all the teams returned, we created a slide show of each team’s pictures to see which team was able to check off the most tasks. The champion of the picture scavenger hunt was Red Eagles!

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Creative Expression

Part of our desire in Gateways is to grow in creativity as we recognize that we are made with the very DNA of the Creator God. With a desire to instill this understanding in the youth, we made space in our busy schedule for the students to embrace creativity on a new level by expressing how the Lord encountered them this week through painting, writing a song or poem, or making a collage of pictures and other objects that tell their story. They had freedom to use whatever materials they could find, and the results were inspiring!

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Monday & Tuesday Night Service

Monday evening the Lord was doing a new work in the youth. While worshipping a song was given from the Lord “Who do you say I am.” We were led into a time of repentance and consecration turning away from a life of compromise. Tuesday evening Preston shared about consecration, setting ourselves apart. Preston defined consecration as space for God, explaining the danger of when we create space but don’t fill it. He taught about knowing the truth and walking in truth. We must know the truth and know what the word of God says. And then we must walk in the truth; it’s not enough to just talk about it. He gave personal testimony and practical and spiritual ways we can stay in the truth. We ended the evening with communion together taking time to appreciate and thank Jesus for dying on the cross for us and shedding His blood on our behalf.

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Wednesday Farewell

Wednesday was our farewell to an amazing Encounter Camp 2015. After some cleaning and final team time, we welcomed parents and friends to join in a time of worship together. The time was filled with thanking the Lord for all He did in the lives of the youth personally and corporately throughout the camp. Many happy tears came as parents listened to the children step out sharing testimony of joy, freedom, and a new closeness to the Lord. We ended our day with refreshments and a time of fellowship. Many hugs were given and a sense of expectation to continue to live for God more and more everyday as they travel back to their cities and families.

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ENCOUNTER 2015: Day Three & Four

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Morning Worship

As we begin each morning with a time of worship, we are continually amazed at how God meets with us time and time again.One student shared her experience in worship singing the lyrics, “This is amazing grace, this in unfailing love, that you would take my life, that I would be set free”. She began to share with tears in her eyes how the song came alive in her as she realized the words she was singing and God came and touched her life. Alex, one of the staff, then shared his testimony of being raised in an unbelieving family, encountering God as a teenager, and having his life transformed by the presence and the Word of God. Afterwards, he began praying over the students that they would increase in their hunger for the Lord and that they would be a voice to impact their own generation.

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Devotions

In devotions the students have been discussing the subject concerning hearing the voice of the Lord. The question raised was, “How can we know what God is speaking to us?” We looked at key verses like Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” and John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me”. Great expectation grew from the students as they discussed listening and hearing the voice of God.

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Wilderness Trek

Saturday afternoon we went for a hike along a stream in the Troodos mountains. We started at the bottom with lunch and some fun team games where each member could earn points for their team. After the games, we started our trek up the mountain toward the mineshaft. Along the way we enjoyed the beautiful environment and uniqueness of Cyprus mountain region. The path zigzagged back and forth across the river, and it was always an adventure trying to figure out where to safely cross by jumping from one rock to the next. The reward of this long trek was fresh, ice cold water found while discovering the old mineshaft.

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Moving the Ellinas Family

One of our Gateways community families is moving back to the U.S. Their sons, Caleb & Christos were involved in Encounter last year and Caleb was involved again this year. We had the opportunity to serve and bless them practically by helping load packed boxes into their container to be shipped overseas. We will miss our dear friends as they embark on this new season of their lives. With the Ellinas family moving, we had to say goodbye to Caleb. During our morning worship session we took time to pray over Caleb speaking words of encouragement over his life, sending him out blessed.

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Football Tournament

Sunday afternoon our outdoor event consisted of our 3 very energetic teams competing in the 6th annual Encounter Camp Football Tournament. All teams played with great teamwork and passion in hopes of reaching the cup final. First, team Ice Cream You Scream were knocked out in regulation, leaving both teams The Folks of Righteousness and Red Eagles in a classic battle for this years’ glorious title. In the end after a very close and well played game, The Folks of Righteousness scored a late winner in extra time! Making them this year’s triumphant champion!

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Evening Worship Meetings

We had the honor of having a guest speaker from Nicosia on Saturday evening, Christopher Pitsillides. He shared out of Ezekiel 37:1-12, the story of the dry bones coming to life. Christopher encouraged the youth that there is no situation in life that God can’t change! Nothing is impossible! He shared personal testimonies from his own life about the power of words and how we need to start prophesying to our lives to make it change! “The thing that you want to see being changed, you start prophesying and speak it into happening”.
We had an incredible service Sunday evening as the presence of the Lord came so strong! One of the youth shared a word he received that someone in the room had pain on their right side. From that word, God exploded in the room touching personal lives! We saw backs, knees, ankles, sides, and stomachs healed! One student shared that he has felt oppressed for 5 years, someone prayed for him and he felt it gone. Come on Jesus! Two youth were filled with the Holy Spirit and received the gift of speaking in tongues for the first time. Joy filled the room as testimonies were shared and we saw the goodness of God come.

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ENCOUNTER 2015: Day One & Two

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Kickoff to the Encounter Camp 2015

Kickoff to Encounter Camp 2015! As many cars pulled into the parking lot, staff made their way to greet the students as they arrived. Many hugs, smiles, and laughter were exchanged as we are all excited to begin another week of Encounter camp. We have 20 youth from all across the island of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Belgium. We took the afternoon for introductions, get-to-know-you games, and fellowship together connecting with old friends and meeting new.
Each day of the camp, the students will have opportunity to compete in various games, sports events, and team building activities. The first day, the students were split into three teams and were given the first task of coming up with a name and chant for their team. Much chatter, brainstorming, and creativity began as team members discussed together. This year the teams are….drum roll please….Folks of Righteousness, Ice cream You scream, and Red Eagles!
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Evening Worship Meeting

Thursday evening, our first time of worship, was a powerful start of the Encounter. We had a feeling of God drawing closer and feeling His delight for the coming days ahead of us. After worship, Caleb, one of the youth, started sharing with us about his Encounters with the Lord during this year. It was amazing to hear him step out and share about God breaking through in his life. He encouraged everyone to not think about what others will think about them, but fully enter in the Encounter God has for everyone individually. Remi took the mic after him and continued speaking about God’s purposes and desire of wanting to breakthrough in our lives. Spurring us on to desire to walk with the Holy Spirit personally in everyday life. Seeking after Him and be completely open for everything He wants to do. Friday evening Gwen took it away with stating: “Let’s not be distracted, but attracted!” She was encouraging the students from Psalms 119 and how it shows us to walk in a pure way, holding fast the word of God and eagerly desire more of the Lord.
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Devotions – Praise, Pray, Prophecy and Proclaim


In a time of worship earlier in the year, the Lord spoke to us the words: pray, praise, prophesy, and proclaim. Our heart over the course of the camp is to dive deeper into these words, which fit right alongside of our theme, “The Sound of Revival.” Each day of the week there is a set subject with different scriptures written for everyone to read and to meditate on. Following our morning worship times we sit and discuss what God is speaking to us on the subject of the day.
These past 2 days we have looked at what it looks like when the Holy Spirit is poured out, according to our theme verse from Joel 2. And we also have considered what it means to worship in spirit and in truth, being released into greater expressions of praise. God has spoken so much in the short times that we’ve spent together, and we are expectant of much more as we continue to go deeper in the word.
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Wet & Wild Water Games

The whistle blew and the games began. It was time to start our wet and wild afternoon. With each of the staff armed with water balloons and water pistols. Playing water balloon musical bumps and back-pass fill the bucket made for many wet students. The highlight of the afternoon for the students was a chance to pour a bucket of water over a staff member of their choosing!  Our teams worked hard, earning point and having fun. At the end of the day, the winning team was declared the Folks of Righteousness. A great day end to the afternoon of day two!
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Shabbat Shalom – Entering into His Rest

Shabbat Shalom! Friday evening we lit the candles of Shabbat and entered into His Shabbat rest. Together we reflected on His goodness and testimony of this previous week. As we looked around, we are blessed and encouraged that the Lord would bring each student up to this mountain to encounter each one of them. Just this morning in worship, we were reading together Psalm 63 talking about seeking Him throughout the day, meditating on His word, and giving Him praise. As we reflect on the testimony of all He has done in our lives, we have much to be thankful for.
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ENCOUNTER 2014: Streams in the Desert

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Testimonies and Performance from the Encounter Participants


To end our time of Encounter Camp we had a Streams event in Limassol. Parents, family, and friends all gathered at Glory House for a time of testimonies, worship, and teaching. We started the afternoon off with various students sharing testimony of all God did in their lives at Encounter. Testimonies were given about not wanting to attend the camp in the beginning but after meeting many friends and having encounters with God, they didn’t want the camp to be over. More testimonies of relationships being restored, baptisms, leaving things behind and stepping into a new identity in God, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and feeling God’s presence were shared.
After testimonies, the youth performed their stomp dance. Each group performed their beat along with making their declarations on Desire, Faith, and Ability. It was powerful to hear this generation formulating a declaration and releasing it. No one can reach this generation better than this generation.
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Corporate Worship Time


During our time of worship a prophetic song was sung with words, “Dance on the chains of my circumstance, Nothing is gonna hold me back.” Many times during camp, the topic of not letting circumstances or situations sway us was spoken about. The youth were encouraged to be a generation that stands on the truth of God rather than be taken down by circumstances or situations. We don’t let our situations affect us but we stand on the word of God and what he says about us. It was a powerful time in our last worship together to be dancing around, shouting, and declaring this song.
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Message from Chandy


The message for the evening was brought by Chandy. He spoke about this year being the 40th anniversary of Turkish invasion in Cyprus. Chandy referenced to scripture on the various stories that had to do with 40 years and the various things that happened in scripture. There was then a time Chandy had all the Filipino people stand up. Chandy called all Cypriot people to the front to pray for the Filipino people. There were prayers of repentance, blessing, and joining together. It was a precious time of prayer for the Filipino people letting them know we care for them, accept them, and they have a place here in Cyprus.
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After Streams many hugs, laughs, and information was exchanged as we all said our goodbyes. Encounter camp may be over but the love of God, His presence, and encounters with Him have just begun.

ENCOUNTER 2014: Day Seven – Nine

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Morning Worship Times


These past days of worship were filled with giving up control and allowing the Lord to move in our lives, receiving the joy of the Lord, teenagers receiving the gift of tongues, celebrating baptisms, and spontaneous song and dance. The youth jumped around the worship room shouting “Let my heart erupt with praise today, Awake my soul and sing praises”. The youth that were feeling full of the joy of the Lord made a tunnel while the remaining youth walked through as the youth prayed and released joy. It was a powerful time of laughter, happiness, and people getting filled with the joy of the Lord.
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Devotional Times


The past few days of devotions we spoke about the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer. We discussed the helmet of salvation being the piece of armor that protects the head, thoughts, and attitudes being protected and kept and guided by His great salvation. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. It’s the part of the armor that you fight with. We saw that we need to be trained in the word and by the word giving if the first place in our life. Lastly we spoke about prayer. We looked at what prayer is and also the effectiveness of prayer. We went through Matthew 6:5&6 where it talks about closing the door and praying to our Father who is in the secret place.

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Day Seven – Outreach in the Streets of Limassol


This afternoon we set off to Limassol. We partnered with Glory House to participate in Love Limassol outreach. After being well briefed and equipped with water bottles, we splint into groups and made our way out to the streets. The youth prayed for treasures before heading out, which are simply specific words from the Lord, anything from colors to names to people’s faces. After the ministry on the street, we re-gathered with many testimonies of speaking with people, handing out water, and sharing the love of Jesus. Hearing the many testimonies proved how such a simple deed can touch to many.
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After our time on the streets we ate dinner and then gathered for a time of worship at Glory House. It was a pleasant, sweet time in the presence of the Lord. We also were given the opportunity to release words of encouragement and prophecy, speaking purpose, identity, and destiny.
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Day Eight – Dead to Ourselves, Alive in Christ


We had the honor and privilege to accompany two of the youth as they made a decision to get baptized today. Both students stood in the water making declarations of leaving behind things in their life and deciding to come out of the water a new person, leaving behind and walking into their destiny.
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Day Eight – Night Game


On Friday night the group was divided in two groups different from their original teams. Time for an evening game!! A game not played by many, but after a short explanation everyone was excited to start playing a live game of stratego. While trying to capture the flag from the other team by searching on their property, each person had various ranks which determined who won or lost in a fight between two players. If they had a higher rank than the person they tagged, they won. If they had a lower rank than the person they tagged, they lost. The teams had to create a strategy to not only find the other team’s hidden flag but also not be overtaken by a higher rank while trying to get to the flag. Of course having a strategy was necessary which was soon obvious when the team with the best strategy won twice and left the other group far behind.

Day Eight – Erev Shabbat Celebration with the Community


Tonight our community joined the camp for Shabbat dinner. We reflected on our week and all God has done in our lives, shared testimony of His goodness, and came into the rest of Shabbat thanking God for a great camp so far but also thanking him for His rest and shalom. We had many things to celebrate as we’ve watched the youth grow deeper with the Lord this week, youth receiving the gift of tongues, and youth being baptized and making decisions to live only for Him.
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Day Nine – It’s Time for a Hike


Imagine it’s hot, the sun is beating down on you, all you can imagine is jumping into a cool shower! What a surprise we had today upon reaching the end of our hike and finding exactly that – a pool of ice cool water! Enjoying the cool of the shade and the scorch of the sun, we walked to the top hopping over the small stream, or going right through it as the terrain allowed. It was a rocky path up towards the former copper mine in Amiantos. Each one had a wonderful time as we explored the mountain and cooled off in the water.

Day Nine – Last Evening Meeting of the Encounter 2014


On Saturday evening we had our last worship session in the mountains. Every one of us has encountered the Lord personally in the last days and this evening was a powerful night of saying that God deserves everything of us. He is worthy of all our praise. Rachel shared from her heart about the journey she is on. According to a dream, not being paralyzed, but wanting to be a person that goes all the way. Even Jonah was on a journey and in the moment he gave up, God was there. God didn’t give up on Jonah. Everyone has a purpose and has encounters with God in their life that they need to hold on to. Our identity is in Him and not in our circumstances. We ended strong with emphasizing on the value of family and siblings. All the siblings presented were able to pray together and take communion together. It was an amazing ending with them coming closer together.
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ENCOUNTER 2014: Day Four – Six

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Morning Worship Times


Every morning we begin the day with a time of worship starting with the youth having opportunity to share testimony of what God is doing in their lives. The worship began with a few set songs but quickly transitioned to prophetic singing. The prophetic singing was a great opportunity for the youth to really express and sing out their songs God was putting on their heart. Psalms inspires the idea talking about ‘singing new songs to the Lord’. On Tuesday and Wednesday we were privileged to have our worship led by the youth worship team. Wednesday worship was greatly themed on freedom and dancing. Remi exhorted the youth to let go of everything and dance. The youth danced around the worship room shouting out “We are the free, the freedom generation”.
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Devotional Times


During devotions we discussed the topic of Faith. We went through Ephesians 6:16 and Romans 4:13-25. The question asked to the youth was, “What is Faith?” We talked about the Shield of Faith and discussed the makings of a natural shield. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for”. We looked at how faith and hope are married and not apart from one another seeing the example of Abraham in Romans 4:13-25. “Faith being the ability to bring into existence the hope you have before you, taking possession of it being fully assured that what you hope for will be fulfilled”. We also spoke about the importance of feeding on the word of God. One of the staff, Ruben described an encounter he had with the love of God while going through Ephesians 1:5. The youth were encouraged to not only read but also meditate on scripture, processing His word while the Spirit imparts revelation in our hearts.
During devotions we discussed the topic of Faith. We went through Ephesians 6:16 and Romans 4:13-25. The question asked to the youth was, “What is Faith?” We talked about the Shield of Faith and discussed the makings of a natural shield. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for”. We looked at how faith and hope are married and not apart from one another seeing the example of Abraham in Romans 4:13-25. “Faith being the ability to bring into existence the hope you have before you, taking possession of it being fully assured that what you hope for will be fulfilled”. We also spoke about the importance of feeding on the word of God. One of the staff, Ruben described an encounter he had with the love of God while going through Ephesians 1:5. The youth were encouraged to not only read but also meditate on scripture, processing His word while the Spirit imparts revelation in our hearts.
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Dance Practice


This year we have incorporated the Boot Camp theme into our dance. Our heart behind the dance in for this generation of youth to release their voice into a lost world. No one can reach their generation as well as them. Their voices are the voices their generation needs to hear. Our logo for Boot Camp is Desire, Ability, and Faith. With this logo the youth will be formulating a declaration of what Desire, Ability, and Faith mean to them. Through the dance, the youth will perform a powerful act representing the Army of God.
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Day 4 – Beach Olympics in Limassol


Living on an island has one major perk – the beach! Today, we filled all the cars to head down the mountain for our first ever beach Olympics! When we arrived, the water was warm and the wind was just enough to keep us cool as we played on the toasted sand. Each team gave it their all as they progressed through the events: shot putt (with bouncy balls), Discus (with a Frisbee), javelin (with a noodle), and multiple races and relays. The penultimate was the sandcastle challenge. Our judges Sara and Harry declared Your Worst Nightmare the winners! After the games and some free time, we packed up and came back to our tents for a much needed shower before dinner.
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Day 4 – Evening Meeting with Kristina


Kristina brought the message tonight encouraging and challenging the youth to be a generation abandoned to God. Together we read Colossians 1:15-19 talking about all things being created by God, visible and invisible. Kristina spoke about allowing God to speak to any place in our heart that he wants to speak, that we would surrender our lives giving anything we are holding back.
At the closing, the youth were challenged to write something down as they went back to their cabins that they were challenged by through the message.
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Day 5 – Wet and Wild


Water, water, and more water for our water games today! As the teams got together for more competition, today was water day. Hoses, buckets, water balloons, sponges, water guns, and balloon launchers filled the parking lot as we prepared for a fun refreshing water day in this hot sun. The teams competed in various relays, water balloon toss, and ended with a slippery game of tug-a-war all racing to stack more points for their team. Superhero Butterflies came big again winning most points for the day.
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Day 5 – Evening Meeting


Tuesday night was a night like no other night. Again we started with testimonies, but this time there was no end. Person after person came up and shared what God has been doing and is doing in their lives. Remi, fired up by everything that was happening, grabbed the microphone and shared about what Jesus has done for us on the cross. He continued sharing out of Acts and focused on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. After he shared, we started praying in one accord and again it happened, God showed up with His presence, His love, and touched many of the teenagers… Worship didn’t happen, but in the end we could share again many testimonies about what God has done tonight. God is good and doesn’t stop pouring out.
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Day 6 – Evangelism Workshop


Today’s activity involved an Evangelism Workshop in preparation to witness in the streets later this week. The Encounter staff each shared from their own personal experiences of street ministry, treasure hunts, praying in faith for healing and seeing miracles, giving prophetic words of knowledge, and sharing the gospel on the streets! The youth were taught about sharing the love of God to total strangers, just blessing and encouraging them. The youth were encouraged to pray and ask God to give them treasures for our outreach time soon. We spoke about not allowing fear to stop us from approaching strangers but to overcome with boldness! We shared that an easy way to witness is simply sharing how God is real in our own lives to express God’s love to others, being radical in our obedience to God to share our faith. We emphasized that we can all be used by God to touch many. We should always be ourselves when sharing with other people because God uses that to open doors into people’s hearts, to bring about healing and salvation. Last of all smile and be happy because we are sharing about Jesus!
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Day 6 – Evening Meeting with Lionique


Testimonies are flowing out as the presence of God continues to touch and transform the lives of each young person here. This night was no exception as we began with a number of testimonies declaring the goodness of God. As the presence of God rested among us, we sang out songs of love to the Lord.
Lionique shared from her personal story the impact of the prophetic voice in her life. Gleaning from her years with the Lord, she exhorted the young people to trust the Lord fully, no matter the circumstances. She challenged the youth to go the distance in their walk with the Lord and to be ready for deeper encounters. The young people were challenged to think about what it means to be baptized and to consider being baptized during their time with us.
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