It has been my privilege this week to be included at camp as this week’s pastor. My responsibilities are primarily in the evening; so there is lots of time to watch and listen this week to the sounds of camp. As I sit in the speaker’s house in the middle of camp, many sounds wander up to my ears. The sound of kids splashing in the pool, daring each other to be more adventurous on the diving board and cheering on each new accomplishment like it was an Olympic moment.
I hear squeals of laughter from the kids sliding down the slip and slide. And the roll of skate boards and the bouncing off basketballs drifts up to my ears.
Down in the free time area I hear different sounds, gutter balls smacking into each other, tether balls being struck and soccer balls being kicked. There is laughter and joy coming from many directions, and all of this without kids saying they are bored or wanting their iPods or to watch TV.
Over in the kitchen the staff is working hard and it is noisy in there. Pots are banging, dishes are being washed and when the kids come in the servers are interacting with them. Upstairs verses are being said as the kids eat their food and friendships are forming over.
The most incredible of all the sounds is from chapel. Over 100 voices raised in prayer and worship before our God. They love the fun songs in chapel with all of the motions and great favorite songs of camp about Platypus and Woodpeckers and Creation; but they are just as passionate to sing songs about God’s Greatness and Holiness. You should hear the excitement and joy that comes from those young voices, oh that we adults would learn from these kids how to praise the Almighty God…
Life is in full bloom at camp and the sounds are filled with that life. Some sounds don’t come to my ears; but I know they fall upon the ears of our Heavenly Father. Counselors spending one on one time with their kids; or leading them in Bible time after breakfast and Devotions at night before they drift off to sleep. The sound of the Holy Spirit working on a student’s heart drawing them to Himself. While I may not hear those sounds, I know they are happening because when they come before me they are eager to hear from God’s word. They are sitting on the edge of their seats, Bibles out and pens ready to write. They ask me great questions after chapel and are so excited to learn about God and what He wants them to know.
Today after chapel the students were asked to spend 30 minutes in quietness with God. It was then so quiet on campus you could hear the birds singing and the trees squeaking as the wind gently nudged them. So quiet that hopefully the students could hear the still small voice of God as He called to them.
Phil Perry – Pastor, Prairie Bible Fellowship, Yelm WA
Teen #3 Camp Gilead Pastor