Monthly Archives: June 2011

Hume Lake Part 2

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So I left off around wednesday…let’s see how much from there I can keep in order. 🙂

By wednesday I was exhausted…had slept through my alarm in the morning and was almost late to dawn patrol, allergies were full blown and hating me! But the next few days were completely worth it, and went by WAY too fast!!

Wednesday night’s chapel was one that I had seen coming, in my own life…GODS FUTURE. GODS WAY. The illustration that our speaker gave was of parents who know everything…hahaha. They knew what the outcomes would be of every action that we took, both the good and bad. The point he was getting at with this was that if we had parents like that then we would want to go to them with everything and we would trust what it was that they told us. When they told us we couldn’t go to this place with certain people, sometimes with an explanation and others they would keep to themselves. But we would trust them and know that they had our best interest and safety in mind…because they could see what would happen. Well this is how God is as well…even though we don’t necessarly verbally get confirmation of what we should and shouldn’t do, He still has ways of showing us. We should find great amounts of security in this, knowing that there is someone watching over us and who knows everything that is going to happen…and protects us. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be hurt, but we have somewhere to turn when we do. That has been one of the biggest comforts and strengths for me to realize.

As I was reflecting on this image, I was reminded of something that was said in one of our small group meetings while I was away at school. My friend Kirstin created an image of a sheep walking along, not really paying much attention to what was going on…and then in its path stood a huge rock that would divert its path. What she was trying to get at with this is that sometimes God puts those rocks in our path to keep us from something that could be more dangerous. There could have been a wolf or lion on the other side of the rocks, but because of it the sheep went a different direction. This really changed the way that I looked at roadblocks that had been put in from of me. Maybe what I was trying to get to wasn’t good for me, and this was one of God’s ways of showing me that?

Thursday mornings chapel was one that pulled at my heart. Missions. Vanessa and Red had been with us all week, and we had been seeing glimpses of their ministries. Red uses surfing to connect with students in South Africa and to be able to show them and teach them about God’s love. Vanessa uses her love and talent with fashion as an avenue to work with women who have been abused and left. Both of these are not what I ususally think of when I hear the word missionaries. But after hearing their stories, and how God has used both of them in so many different ways, and along with the theme that had been continuing through the week…I couldn’t help but wonder. What is it that God has planned for me, how can I use the gifts and talents that He has given me? We broke out into small groups afterwards and talked about just that question…what were our talents?

This past year has been one that has presented this question to me in many different ways. Since I was a sophmore in high school, I had made the decision in my head of what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had decided to be an occupational therapist for children with disabilities. I found a school with a great program for it, and had a passion to keep moving with it. But as the year went on, my plans were challenged…I discovered that science isn’t my forte.

GODS HEART. GODS WAY. This was the next big topic that was adressed. This was the night when walls came down, relationships were strengthened and reality was made real. Not only within the hearts of the campers, but in us as leaders as well. God opened my eyes to the answer of the question I had been asking for so long…why?? Why had I been through the things that I had, what was the reason for me being hurt through those things? The purpose was for that night and for those relationships, that I can understand and connect with others who deal with those same problems. For those things that I have gotten out of, I can tell my story of what God has done in my heart to make that possible…and those that I am still struggling with, it allows me to walk through the journey along side others.

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

While we were driving home, I heard this song on the radio over and over and for the rest of the day as well as many after I have had these words constantly in my mind. God is continuing to show me that he really does have a plan in all of this.

Last chapel of the week. GOD USES EVERYTHING! After having a week to reflect on all that we had heard, the week closed with this idea that everything that goes on in our life, God uses in some way…for some purpose. I had come to understand this and experience it first hand for the first time in my life. One of the journeys that God has taken me on this year is in understanding forgiveness…how to forgive and be forgiven.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Coming to a place…getting to a place where I have truly experienced God’s grace, forgiveness, love and peace. I can’t express how this feels, but I do know that I want others to feel it and understand it as well.

During victory circle, after our last chapel, we were challenged to think of three words that would tell what God had done in our life that week. I experienced God in so many different ways while I was at camp, and left with a desire to pursue Him. More than I ever have leaving camp…I knew some of what awaited me as we went down the mountain…but I wasn’t anxious about it, I knew that whatever it was that I wasn’t alone. God was there, and He had also blessed me with an amazing group of people who I had grown with throug the week.

renew. challenge. love.

Honestly, since being home for summer, I had been struggling with finding where I fit now that I am back in San Mateo…no matter how short the time is. But this week I found that place. And

So much happened this week, and I am sure that there are parts that I have forgotten. But God worked and moved in my heart and those of so many other campers as well. Pictures coming soon 🙂

Thank you God, for this amazing week.

Give me a nearness
I want to feel fire
Your friendship is tireless
Give me a nearness

You have waited here
To my great surprise
Distance wearing thin

When I’m at Your side.

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Hume Lake 2011

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Are you all in?

This was the question of the week for about 1,000 high school campers and counselors. One of the hardest, most intense, BEST weeks of my life! I thought that this year had taught me alot about myself and faith. But God had an even bigger plan…

A week before camp was starting, I got a call from the youth pastor at my church…asking if I would be intersted in attending as a counselor. A few days later I felt that I was being called on this trip for some reason…so I said yes. Little did I know that I would learn alot more than I thought! This camp is intended for high schoolers, and I’d been there in past years…so for some reason I didn’t think that this trip was as much about me learning as it was to be there for the girls.

Sunday June 19: Departure. After our Father’s Day service, we were on the road. The hours of being in a car were filled with “prius pokes, yellow car, cruiser bruisers and 7-punches” along with awesome DJ-ing 🙂 and conversation. That night in chapel we were introduced to the topic of the week, taking a look at David’s life and his journey with God. This was something new to me, I don’t think I have ever been given the challenge of just looking at someones life and finding parallels with my own life.

Monday June 20: The day started with dawn patrol, a great start to the week…having all of us together to worship. That morning in chapel we focused on the idea of serving an invisible God, and how it can be so easy for us to replace God with what we can see, and feel.

“Who is the image hidden from sight
But clearly working in obvious light
Disrupting justice to give us a chance
Restored the splintered hope in our hands
Our hands

You, the only true God
Who fashioned the world
The invisible one
With visible love
You carried my blame
Ignited a flame
The invisible one
With visible love

Your mercy ushers an image in us
To see a kingdom that will never rust
You stir among us revealed in our lives
To love and suffer with You in our eyes
Our eyes

You were the first
Everything was made
Just for You”

This was one of the biggest challenges that God gave me this week, I have always struggled with feeling like God was there and that there was actually someone listening…but seeing how many different ways that God worked in the hearts of those who I was with as well as my own…I can’t deny that He is there and working every day. When I woke up that morning, I had no idea of all that was in store for me. During one of our group discussions, we were each asked what was something that we were hoping to walk away from camp with, what did it mean for us to be all in? For those of you who have been following my blog while I have been away at school, you have heard about my anology of jumping off a cliff and how it has been a parallel of my faith during this past year. I shared this with our group that morning as what it meant for me to go all in. This picture was used later on in the day. During our free time, our group decided to go on a ropes course.

Task #1: to walk across a rope bridge. I do not like heights, and the feeling that I could fall at any moment…which this was full of. By the time I made it across to the other side of the bridge, I had already made up my mind that I was not going to continue on the rest of the course. So I made my way back across that same bridge…the only way back.

Task #2: I did not attempt this one….and I am happy that I didn’t. It was a giant pole made of wood…very much resembling a totem pole. The idea was that you climb to the top of it, I don’t even know how tall they were. But once you made it to the top you were supposed to jump off and grab onto a trapese bar in mid-air. NOT HAPPENING!

Task #3: THE SCREAMER! Somehow I was convinced to get up on the platorm, just in case I wanted to do it…and before I knew it I was committing to falling off…at least 50 feet!! there was a lot of back and forth and once I was in the harness, it took about 5 minutes before I would actually walk off the edge. It was the scariest thing I have EVER done in my life! and one that I would never do again, even if you paid me!!!!! But I made the connnection in my mind between the screamer and the story I had told earlier that day about how I felt like I was standing at a cliff with God. I trusted that God would protect me and that He provided people who knew what they were doing and wouldn’t let me get hurt at the course…so I did it.

From that moment on…I have been taking jumps off cliffs, little cliffs that they may be. But cliffs none the less. I have been having conversations with people, about things that I have held on to so tightly to, until now. This past week I took the big jump as well…I am letting go.

You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I’m letting go
You lift me up when I can’t see
Your heart is all that I need
Your love carries me so I’m letting go

Okay…my mind is all over, there is so much that happened…and I can’t keep it all straight at this point. So forget the day by day itinerary, I’m just going to point out what stayed with me and had the most impact on me.

One of the days instead of chapel we had the opportunity to split up and go to seminars presented by different staff at Hume. One of the ones that I went to was: “Desires of the Heart”. From the description that was given, this was one that I could see alot of parallels with my own life and definetly opportunities for application. I had been struggling with this idea the week prior to camp as well as the first few days. Since we had been challenged with thinking about being all in, that means giving your hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties over to the Lord. I had been wrestling with this for the past semester and really looking into what it means to give those over and how I’m supposed to do that. The speaker exposed one of the most intimate parts of her walk to us, the point where she finally gave it all to God and said whatever, whenever, wherever You want me to go…I’ll do it. She then took us through the journey that God took her on to bring her to that very stage.

The next seminar was very closely connected to this same idea…it was called #5. Because for so many of us, that is where God sits…it made me think about the other things that I put before God. Family and friends, school, image, what I want to do….and being comfortable where I am in life When things are good with my family and friends, school is going good and I like the way I look that day…then I thank God and those were the times that I would usually spend time with God. But when something went wrong, I would try to fix it all myself…I wouldn’t turn to God like I should and ask Him for help. One of the parts of this seminar that shook me the most was the story she told about one day while she was teaching her class at APU…she asked one of her students if they could get up and preach the gospel to their entire class. Could I do that? Another question she asked that I have been asking myself every day since then is:

Is God enough for you?

If my answer to this question was yes…I wouldn’t be chasing after all of these crazy dreams that I am, I wouldn’t be having so many of the problems that I’m facing.

There is lots more that happened at camp, but I don’t want this to get too much longer than it already is, so I’m going to cut the week in half and continue on another entry. Hopefully it won’t take as long as this one did.

xoxo sarah