Friday, June 20, 2008

My guys right after rappelling at Young Life's Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado

Hiking up to Chimney Rock...

And of course, the undisputed champions of the camp-wide volleyball tourney!

The Full Message of This New Life

So, I just got back home from an amazing week of summer camp at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch in the Colorado Rockies. We always tell kids that they need to come with us because it will be ‘the best week of their lives.’ Now, that’s a big thing to say to a high school kid… (especially when everyone of them drives a nicer car than I ever will) but the amazing this is this: I have taken kids to Young Life summer camp five times now and have never heard a kid say at the end of the week, “Lee, you were wrong man. That week wasn’t all that great.” No. Every single kid who has ever gotten on the bus with me has had their mind absolutely blown by the phenomenon that is Young Life camp… but why?

It’s really simple, actually. In John 10, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Young Life camp seeks to show kids life as it was meant to be lived. We give them adventure, great food, hilarious skits, true community and a time where everyone gets together to sing, clap and listen as we hear the message of Jesus everyday. From top to bottom, stem to stern, the Gospel of Christ fuels every single thing that happens at Young Life Camp. Every detail is intentionally designed to make kids feel like super stars. They are celebrated, cheered, treasured, served and loved by the most enthusiastic bunch of adults around and the message is clear: “This is just the tip of the iceberg… the God who made you is simply crazy about you!”

From the time they arrive at camp until the moment they leave, there are a ton of other high school kids they don’t know who simply serve them all week long with a great big smile on their face. These other high schoolers (called ‘Work Crew’) greet them with applause off the bus, carry their luggage, fix and serve their food, wash their dishes and clean their toilets all week long without uttering a single complaint! It’s only on the second-to-last night that our kids find out that these Work Crew are high schoolers just like themselves who are giving up their summer to serve them without even earning a pay check!

It was a non-stop week of swimming, hiking, rappelling, horseback riding, go-carts, Frisbee golf, a ropes course, a giant swing and some of the most picturesque and breathtaking views in the whole country! It was a week without cell phones, iPods and tons of the distractions that cause so much teenage drama. It was a week of discovery, relationships, laughter and tears. Not only did we watch high school kids we love experience life, but we got to watch as many of them came to life, rescued and renewed by Jesus. It was a week of life as it was meant to be.

On the day before we got to camp, I woke up in an uncomfortable seat on a bus while thirty-nine other folks slept their way across the great plains. I grabbed my Bible and read this verse from Acts 5… “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” I knew that this was exactly what we were doing… offering kids life… life in Jesus… life as it was meant to be lived… life to the full.


Cody Blair said...

so pumped to hear about your week at Frontier. it makes me excited to take my friends to Windy Gap in a few weeks. we're wrapping up our assingment at Crooked Creek today--it's been a great month.

hope all is well Lee

The Hull Munchkins said...

What a good new Life you are sharing with all the kids! That is what matters. You are obeying our Father and sharing the Good News with so many young people. Who knows how the Lord will use their lives for His Kingdom!

Just wanted to send a short word of encouragement for all the sleepless nights, challenging days and long trips.

Hey, can't wait for tomorrow!! We'll be waiting for the "Important" call after the appointment. We are looking forward to getting to know this precious little one better, no matter what you find out!

Sean said...

Sweet pic! Frontier is incredible! You might like my YL blog...

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