A whopping 133 middle school students from the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force bases in the Pacific Northwest attended our middle school fall outreach camp. This weekend camp was designed to give students a chance to have tons of fun, get away from the military base a little by experiencing the outdoors and an opportunity to hear about the love of Christ.
I had the privilege of leading a cabin group of eight middle school guys. After each main speaking session, our small group of guys gathered together for cabin time. As most of you know who’ve gone to a Christian camp, cabin time provides a safe place for the students to ask questions about the talk, wrestle with what was shared and apply it to their lives.
The highlight of the weekend for me was when one of my guys asked me the best small group question ever. The speaker shared sin and how that, because of our sin, we are separated from God - that we have a death sentence hanging over our heads. (Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death”). My guys and I all walked back to our cabin for Cabin Time. After a lot of middle school boy silliness, we got serious and started discussing what we had just heard during the main session. And then Austin* asked the best small group question ever. He said, “I get the fact that we sin, but how do we…I don’t know…un-sin?”
Wow! I love it: “un-sin.” I’d never heard our need for salvation put that way before, but I like it. I had the distinct honor of sharing with Austin, how we “un-sin.” For the rest of the weekend during the main talks and in our cabin times we unpacked what it means to follow Jesus, and to “un-sin.”
As far as I know, Austin didn’t make a commitment to follow Christ that weekend. I do know that he has a clearer understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and that he continues to be a part of the Club Beyond ministry. My hope and prayer for Austin, and all of the 133 students that attended camp, is that he would surrender his life to Jesus and invite God into his heart to be his Lord and Savior.
- Story courtesy of Ron Oates
*Names have been changed.