Sorry I didn’t get this up until now, but the end of the week was a whirlwind of activity. I wanted to summarize the last two days, for the sake of memories, but also to let our parents know what we learned about and experienced so you can follow up with your child(ren).
DAY THREE (WEDNESDAY)
Wednesday morning, after an early breakfast and time for personal interaction with God, we had a main session in which we were led in singing and then taught by Shannon Hurley once again–this time from Hebrews 12:1-2. Drawing straight from the passage, he urged us to lay aside every weight (even non-sinful activities like sports, video games, etc. that detract from Christ) and every sin that keeps us from running hard after Jesus. He challenged students to remember that part and parcel of being a disciple of Jesus is confessing sin and putting it to death in our lives.
Soon thereafter we loaded up onto busses, Chic-fil-A boxed lunches in hand, and rode to Holiday World, where we had a blast riding rides, playing games, eating dinner, and enjoying the water park. The ride home was a bit more treacherous. We had to pull off with all the other busses to a Pilot gas station while powerful thunderstorms rolled through. (Ben Francis posted a video on Facebook if anybody wants to watch it). Watching it was a humbling reminder of our helplessness, God’s great power, and His kindness in protecting us.
We got back so late that they had to delay the FLAME concert until the following day, but we got some good time in the dorms before lights out.
DAY FOUR (THURSDAY)
Thursday morning started like the others (breakfast, devotionals, etc.), and during another main session Eric Bancroft finished his teaching from James 5:19-20. He reminded us that the pace and experiences of a week like D3 are unsustainable in daily life, but that they serve to amp us up to go back to our lives and be more obedient to Christ than we were when we left…He urged us to reach out when we see our peers wandering from the faith and to be on guard against our own potential wandering as soon-to-be-young-adults (“Take a Christian. Remove him from the church. Watch him wilt.”).
During that session, a young man (I don’t know his name) shared his own testimony about his struggle with sexual purity, and in a very honest, heartfelt, gospel-motivated way, urged the students to fight for purity in their lives and to seek help in doing so.
The FLAME concert was right before lunch (but it had to be cut very short). The few songs he and V.Rose did perform, though, were excellent…Rap music continues to be one of God’s most helpful means by which to encourage me and build up my faith in Christ. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to it recently, check out the new Christian rap scene and see if it hasn’t improved by leaps and bounds and if it doesn’t have tremendous lyrical quality to it (FLAME, Shai Linne, Lecrae, Tripp Lee, KB, etc.).
After lunch, we wrapped up our final track sessions (worldview, leadership, or missions), and then headed to our last main session, in which we were taught by the President of Southern Seminary, Al Mohler–one of the sharpest minds around. He taught from Acts 19:11-20 about spiritual warfare–noting that the normal Christian life is one of warfare and that we have lived for too long with “a wrongly-perceived sense of peace” as American Christians. He told us that demons should know who we are (b/c we are advancing the gospel) and that there is no power in an indirect relationship with Christ (the sons of Sceva were trying to utilize the Jesus Paul believed in, and many students try to utilize the Jesus their parents believe in).
After this last session, we loaded up, checked out, snapped the picture below, and then headed for home. After making a slight detour to stop at Chipotle for dinner (my personal favorite place to eat), we made it home late Thursday night, tired, but hopefully encouraged in our faith and in our commitment to Christ.
What a great week! Thank you to all those who helped serve as chaperones, who helped fund the trip through our Garage Sale, who prayed for us, and who actually attended. It was a true blessing, and I pray that it was a significant time of growth for our students. I don’t bank on camps or conferences as THE time for spiritual dealing to happen, but it seems that in many, it was.
Note: Every student received a copy of two books (Don’t Waste Your Life and Faithmapping). They are both excellent books, and I know some have already started on the first one. Way to go!