Welcome to the Encounter Camp 2017 blog! This is such an exciting time of year and we are so expectant for all God will pour out in our midst! Last Friday we welcomed 19 young students from Cyprus and Egypt to a ten day encounter with the Lord. The theme for this years school is Break Out inspired by Philippians 3:12-21. It is our desire that each one who has come will break out of anything that holds them back from stepping into their true identity as a son or daughter of God. We are expecting a breakout of the Holy Spirit in our lives like never before.
As each student began to arrive excitement began to fill the room as we spent some time getting to know one another through various games and ice breaker activities. After breaking up into our teams for the camp, every group came up with a design to put on their flag and put together a team song. We could already tell that deep friendships were being formed before our eyes
On our first evening together, it was our joy to gather around the table and celebrate shabbat. We ate a delicious Indian meal and shared our expectations for the next ten days! After dinner we had a beautiful time of worship and then Remi shared the Word with us. It was the perfect way to start off Encounter Camp with someone who has revival fire burning in his heart for this generation! After sharing out of Philippians 3 and the surpassing worth of knowing Yeshua, he encouraged the campers to lay down their burdens and to say no to the things that hold them back from knowing Him. We then had a time of prayer for those who felt they needed to respond to Remi’s message. God began to move among us by bringing a desire to know him more deeply.
Worship on Saturday
We began our morning with a powerful exhortation from Panayiotis on what it looks like to respond to the Lord’s invitation for our lives. He shared out Psalm 27:8 inspiring all of us with a desire to seek His face. What a better way to respond then to enter into a time of worship together. When we look to Him and seek His face, He will surely show Himself to us.
In the evening after another time of worship, Ani shared a word of encouragement. Joke shared such a great message that led into the ladies and the guys having a separate time of sharing some of the things that were going on in their lives. As each one opened up to one another, the Lord came with his peace bringing measures of healing to many hearts. God is so good and has been going so deep in just the beginning of the camp!
Face to Face: Morning Devotions
In preparation for the camp our staff felt that this is a time where the students will experience Yeshua in such an intimate way. We decided to call our times of devotions Face to Face. In the Lord’s goodness, one of our campers sole desire for this camp was to see His face! Every morning after worship we gather in small groups for a time to dive into the Word and share what God is saying to us. On Saturday we talked about the things we desire from God for our lives. This gave opportunity for all of the campers dream with the Lord and ask what He is saying for their lives. So many beautiful responses came from their mouths. We have such an amazing group of youth who are passionate about loving people and making His name famous in the earth!
In the afternoon we gathered for a time of team games. For a cold yet refreshing activity, each team had to creatively defrost a t-shirt that had been soaked in water and then frozen. The team that got someone to put on the t-shirt first won that game. We moved on to a game that was a little more aggressive and a bit louder. Using a string each one tied balloons to their ankles and they had to pop as many as they could. There was an intense face off at the end for the win. We finished this off by getting soaked as we played a game of spud!
Avakas Gorge and the Sea Caves
After loading the cars we set off for a two hour journey to go on a beautiful hike at the Avakas Gorge. The terrain quickly changed from walking through a forest to venturing through a stream to get to the gorge. After eating lunch, we went to a special spot at the at the beach to explore some sea caves. The day was a huge success and full of adventure.
In the evening we gathered for worship and the resounding theme was choosing to follow Yeshua. Even though everyone here has made that decision, it caused all of us to consider what that means for our lives. Jonathan then shared a his testimony of coming to a place of salvation after a long season of hopelessness. After, Gabe shared a fiery word out of Hebrews 12 encouraging everyone to fix our eyes on Yeshua and run hard after Him.
The first three days of Encounter camp has brought so much freedom and breakthrough as the Lord has been touching these lives in such transformational ways! We continue to wait with much expectation for each camper to fully break out of anything that would keep them from receiving all that God has for them!