This has the potential to be a very hard week, but I also know that it’s going to be a great one. Laurie and I are heading out in about an hour to spend a week with the middle and high schoolers from our church at FUGE camp in Greenville, SC.
FUGE is a really great opportunity for our youth to come together and learn about Jesus while developing a sense of community within the group. One of the main reasons I think FUGE is such a good camp is that — unlike some Christian youth camps — the staff does not feel as if it is solely (or even primarily) their responsibility to disciple the students for the week. Rather, every effort is made to provide opportunities to foster relationships between the students and the youth leaders who are working with them the other 51 weeks of the year as well. We have a great student leadership team, led by our youth pastor, Dave Kruse. Every year (this will be my third FUGE trip) I am amazed at the way he brings God’s Word to these kids during the week. Even more, I love his heart for keeping each of these students bathed in prayer throughout the week, as he spends hours each day praying individually for each of the students on the trip. I can’t wait to see what God will work in the lives of our students this week!
Building relationships — especially with teenagers — is always a little messy, and sometimes being a chaperone can be exhausting. Still, I have always returned from these trips personally invigorated, and I look forward to the time I’ll be able to spend with our youth this week!
This year will be particularly difficult, though, as Laurie and I will be leaving Nate for six whole days! We’ve been away from him for two nights before, but this time it will be five nights, AND we’ll be in another state. The good news is that he’s getting to spend the week in a familiar place, as my parents are staying with him at our house while we’re gone. I’m glad they’ll get some good quality time with him… he’ll be so spoiled he won’t even miss us! But we’ll really miss him, and appreciate your prayers for our ability to let go. Laurie and I are jealous to have no distractions from ministering to our precious students this week.
I’ll attempt to blog some from camp, but time will be at a premium, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I miss a day here and there. If I miss a day, that’s just a sign that God’s keeping us busy, which means we likely need even more prayer!
Specific prayer requests:
- That our youth would come to a deeper knowledge of and relationship with their Savior
- That Laurie and I would be able to develop lasting relationships (and future discipleship opportunities) with students
- That I will be a good driver (I’m driving a 15-passenger van to and from SC, as well as to our various assigned missions sites throughout the week)
- That Nate will have some great bonding time with his grandparents
- That School of Performing Arts will function without a hitch in my absence (I’ve left the school in VERY capable hands!)
- That Laurie and I will get some time together, though we’ll be sleeping in separate dormitories all week
If you’re interested, you can probably also follow along with some updates at our youth ministry’s Facebook page.