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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Home’

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I’m loving being on campus at my alma mater. I have so many fond memories at ASU. Today was special because I had lunch with a friend of mine who is a full-time student. I first got to know Alina at Forest Home camp back in 2006. She needed help getting around in her wheelchair and many of us guys stepped up to make sure she had a good experience that weekend. We have been great friends since. She really has humbled my heart and showed me a lot about myself and my attitude toward those with special needs. I love cooking breakfast, having coffee and playing dice games with her. She is amazing woman of God and I love seeing her door greet at PhoenixONE. Below is a video of her testimony.

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I caught this video on youtube of when the boys and I went to Family Camp at Forest Home two summers ago. What an amazing week it was for the three of us to go as a family and it brings back lots of fun memories. I’m looking forward to returning to Forest Falls someday.

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Today I officially have a junior in high school and a jr higher. I can’t believe how fast my kids are growing! I also noticed on Facebook that this group of boys that I counseled at Forest Home camp are all now Freshmen in high school. They were entering the 5th grade when I was their leader at that time! This was such an amazing time in my life and I have felt this urge to work with students again. It’s such a blessing! I run into kids I have discipled here and there and it amazes me how they don’t forget their leaders. I loved these boys and I’m so thankful God gave me the opportunity to invest in them. The boy on the right was pretty special to me as he really struggling with life at that point. I am thankful I got to be his small group leader for two years and I’m proud of him and all the other boys who are growing to be men.

 

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I had a bittersweet moment the other night at Camber. I have been attending Camber since March of 2006. But now there is a group called Rhythm that is starting in a couple of weeks that is running opposite Camber on Thursday nights. It’s more geered to my age group now that Camber is officially a place for college age people. But I can’t forgot what Camber has been to me these past couple of years. I’ve made many friends and I have so many memories. It’s where I started out my single life. It’s where I’ve grown so much in my faith at.
I attended Camber this past Thursday knowing it was going to be my last night there. Yet.. I couldn’t sit through it. I just felt this sense of knowing that I don’t belong there anymore and that is was time to move on. I didn’t like that feeling because of what Camber had meant to me. But at the same time I anxious to see what James Patterson has in store with Rhythm. I’ve already made some new friends there. He has got such a great vision for that group. I think it’s going to be huge.
So I thought I conjure up a list of my top 10 favorite Camber moments. There are so many, but here it goes..
10. Art night. Camber is so blessed with so much talent. Music, art, photography, dance, poetry, etc. We did two of these nights where members of Camber were able to display and express their art, pictures and music talents. God gave us the freedom to put on display his glory through music and paintings. I was blown away. We also gave those that just showed up a chance to express their feelings with a blank banner and some paint brushes. I really enjoyed this.
9. Acts series. Ron did a series that spanned the whole book of Acts. It may have seemed long and drawn out, but I really enjoyed it. I love reading about the early church and the early days of the disciples. Acts is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I would love to do a study again on it.
8. Camber Christmas concert. Last year was absolutely amazing. Ryan and company did a great job of putting this together. It was very well put together and really got the crowd in the Christmas spirit. I don’t know how they are going to top last year, but I’m already looking forward to it.
7. Baptism night at the Liston’s. Incredible night! Ron invited anyone to head over to the Liston’s house to be baptized in their pool after Camber one night. I believe over 20 people were baptized that night. The cool thing is that 100+ people from Camber showed to support those that were being baptized. We must of been there till 1am.
6. Serving on the Camber staff. Ron assembled about 30 of us one day at Dave Sweet’s business to talk about serving on the Camber staff. We went through all the service opportunities and put together an amazing team to run Camber. I felt very blessed to be a part of this.
5. We will not talk series. The summer series that just blew the roof off of Camber. We discussed various topics that many churches refuse to talk about. Homosexuality, eating disorders, cutting, drugs, porn, etc. On top of that we had members of Camber that have struggled with these issues share their testimonies. It was an amazing summer.
4. College Briefing at Forest Home. A huge group of us traveled to California to to spend Labor Day weekend with several other college groups at Forest Home. Our very own Brayline provided the worship for the weekend. We played volleyball, had milkshakes and hung out. Ron got our group together and we had an incredible time of sharing one night. This particular weekend was when I really started to make amazing friendships at Camber.
3. Worship. What can I say.. Cornerstone is blessed with incredible music talent. Ryan, Jason and the band just bring it every Thursday night. Not a Thursday goes by that I feel God’s presence through the incredible music that is being played.
2. The speaking. Ron Merrill was the heart and soul of Camber. He brought a huge vision to that group. Yet God spoke through him with love and compassion toward the people of Camber. The topics and series were amazing. The guest speakers were incredible. It brought my faith and knowledge of the Bible to a whole new level.
1. Passion Atlanta. Can’t say enough about this trip. It changed my life. About 40 of us from Camber traveled to Atlanta on New Years Eve to this 4 day conference. 20,000+ gathered to hear Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, John Piper and Beth Moore speak about living your life radically for God. Chris Tomlin and David Crowder provided the music. This was the trip that turned me on to missions. Going through the Do Something Now booths and talking to missionaries just opened awareness to me. And then being able to hang out and fellowship with other Christians from around the world was so moving. The week was capped off with all 20,000 of us surrounding the Georgia dome and singing “Amazing Grace” while holding candles. One of the highlights of my Christian walk that I will never forget.
There are several more stories I could write about.. Point South Mountain, Sunday BBQs, Camber beach trip, etc.. but these are my favorites. I won’t forget what being a part of Camber did for me. I could write a long list of people that have touched my life during this time as well. I will miss Ron, Ryan, Chris and the gang. But at the same time I will be next door plugging into Rhythm. I’m excited to see what God has in store for this next phase of my life.

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I found out 2 weeks before we left that I was going to Forest Home camp in California to help counsel kids in our 5th/6th grade program for 7 days. I was pretty stoked about this. I have a heart for two things – the nations and youth ministries. I had helped out on occasions with this program, but I really wanted to go to camp this year. We ended up bringing about 70 kids on two buses. The not-so-fun thing about that – very loud and Axe deordorant body spray. The boys poured it on on the way.

I had 6 kids in my room – KJ, Jake, Dylan, Brian, Tanner and Marcos. Most of them were skateboarders. We spent the first night going over rules and getting to know each other. They were up pretty late goofing off. But the mosquitos and spiders freaked them out…and the mouse running around the floor.

We spent the first full day at the lake. Water slides, kayaking and the big inflatable Blob were on the agenda for the day. I spent most of the day laying on the beach. Then I threw C.J. – one of our leaders into the lake. He would eventually get me back be dumping cold water all over me at lunch. Then the lead pastor Jeff took us counselors down to the zipline to have some fun while the kids had their freetime. Forest Home famous shakes followed that. The evening was war night as the kids dressed in camoflauge for a night game of crawling around. I brought face paint and colored most of the kid’s hair to make it fun.

I got teased most of the week about one of the staff members – Mango (her camp name).  She was pretty and all the boys liked her. The boys tried to set me up with her. I woke up in the middle of the night with my kids shinning a flashlight in my face trying to get me to admit that I like her. Then they told her that I like her. I had a lot of explaning to do.

We had a safari the next night. I had to do the hula contest.. and I lost. Later that night was deck connections. Each counselor spent 10 to 15 minutes with each kids and spent some time chatting with them. I really enjoyed this time with my kids.

The next day was at the lake again. We had a counselor vs kids water war. Then the couselors went to try out the blob. As I got ready to go on, we had a scary moment. The worship leader of the camp came walking up and was covered with blood. Then he passed out. He had hit his head pretty hard while diving in the water. So lake day got cancelled early while they attended to him. He ended up being fine. We played vollyball later and then had group deck connections. I talked to the kids about being a missionary and what that was all about. We then had night time free time with hot cocoa and cookies.

The showers were separate from our rooms. I got up early to take mine. As I headed back to my room, a bear stood in my way. He saw me and then ran. I was the only one awake, so no one else saw him. Pretty crazy. I got a care package and a letter from one of my kid’s mother at lunch time thanking me for watching her son. I thought that was really nice. Later that night we watched a movie under the stars in our sleeping bags.

By the way, the food was pretty good for camp food. I had no problem going for seconds. We did a long hike to the lost mine the last day. Then we baptized some of our kids later after that. Then the pranks rolled out that evening. I put a fake rat in Jeff’s sleeping bag. Then our cabin got Axe’d. So we retaliated with baby powder in thier sleeping bags. And of course.. the underwear hanging on the hook for all to see. Things got serious for the last camp meeting that evening. We challenged the kids to be a light in the world after camp. We then took time in our cabin to say nice things about each other.

I really enjoyed going on this trip. It was good to get away for a week from busy life. I had fun being a kid again. But I most enjoyed plugging into these kids and building some long lasting relationships with them.

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