Farmville Enterprise August 15, 2018
It has been a pleasure to hear and read about some of the many Christian camps, conferences and mission trips which have made an impact on Farmville’s children, youth and young adults this summer.
At Friendship Free Will Baptist’s “Worship Under the Son” and at the cooperative Vacation Bible School of First Baptist, Farmville United Methodist, First Christian and Farmville Presbyterian the theme was “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus” and the musical selections were terrific.
First Baptist youth were obviously struck by an outstanding Passport Camp where the theme was “Enough.” They were told, “You are enough. God is enough. There is enough.” This teaching revolved around the words of Jesus to the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9a. “My grace is enough for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Many of the campers at The Refuge’s two Small Town Erasing the Lines weeks were locals. For the Farmville week, breakfasts and dinners were prepared and served by volunteers from Farmville congregations. During the day students helped relocate the Farmville Benevolent Ministries food pantry to another wing of the H.B. Sugg Community Center, pulled weeds at the Rooted in Community garden, and helped build a wheelchair ramp for an elderly resident.
Corbett Hughes and a group with Adventures in Mission spent a month serving in Swaziland and a month serving in South Africa. Some of the most touching work was with children and seeing firsthand the need for prepackaged rice-based nutritional meals like the ones we at Farmville churches put together with Rise Against Hunger.
Teen Valley Ranch, Camp Albemarle and Young Life camps in North Carolina are near and dear to many hearts in Farmville. According to Jake Sorenson, reporting on the Effective Camp Research Project, “Campers’ increased interest in worship services faded shortly after camp, but their increased agreement in the value of belonging to a church persisted, along with the belief that they could turn to Christian friends or adults at church in times of need. Campers were also participating more frequently in devotional practices that sustain faith long-term: including Bible study, prayer, church attendance, and conversations with their family about faith.”
A 2017 study by the American Culture and Faith Institute revealed that Americans are most likely to make a profession of faith in Christ before they finish high school. 68% of respondents said they decided to commit their lives to God before they reached the age of 18. Another 8% said they made this commitment between the ages of 18 and 21. These numbers show why children’s, youth and camp ministries should be given top priority in our congregations.
Before school resumes there are still some great opportunities for young people. Union Grove United America Free Will Baptist Church will hold a youth conference at 7:30 each evening from August 15 to 17. From August 16-20 Salvation and Praise will host a Youth and Young Adults Conference with the reminder, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) The words from the popular 70’s camp song ring true. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going and soon all those around can warm up to its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love. Once you’ve experienced it you spread his love to everyone. You want to pass it on.”