Kansas City pastors on their recent prayer/vision trip to Lawrence, KS, where they met and toured the community with church planter Jamie Ladipo. Jamie is currently gathering the Launch Team for Lawrence Covenant Church and anticipates initial preview worship in early 2016.
The Midwest Conference is blessed with three
Covenant camps! Every summer, hundreds of youth descend upon these camps to experience adventure, make new friends, and, more importantly, encounter Jesus in a significant way. Our wonderful camps are filled with terrific staff to guide our young people in making lifelong commitments to Christ while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Check out the incredible ways God worked through each of our camps this summer!
Twin Lakes Bible Camp, Manson, IA
I (Executive Director Scott Larsen) was in a conversation with Tom Cousineau a few years ago and he said, "Camp is a fun place to get serious." I ran with this insightful phrase and use it as the official Twin Lakes Bible Camp tagline. Night games, crazy songs, adventure activities, and age-old traditions are all a part of what makes camp fun. The eternally significant serious part takes place during the chapel sessions, cabin devotions, and campfire talks. The combination is why so many people consider camp an unparalleled part of their spiritual journey. Consider the amazing statistics from this past summer:
- 35 salvation decisions (10% of campers)
- 29 re-dedications (8% of campers)
- 24% of campers (grades 4-12) made a significant spiritual decision, and another 30% claimed to have “changed and will be different after camp.”
- Almost every camper listed at least one area of spiritual discipline that they committed to improving.
This summer at Twin Lakes, we studied the life of Joseph and focused on the sovereignty of God. We were a little concerned that the theology might be over the heads of our campers. But, of course, God was faithful in delivering His Truth to the campers, as evidenced by the comments they wrote on their surveys:
Covenant Heights Camp, Estes Park, CO
- “God is in control.”
- “Nothing can pull us away from God.”
- “I will definitely be letting God lead my life for his purposes and not mine.”
- “Learning more about forgiveness made me want to change my life and forgive more.”
- “While at camp we prayed my dad would get a job and he did!”
- “I reaffirmed my belief that God is Sovereign over everything.”
- “I will strive to live out my faith and live a life mirroring Jesus’ life.”
- “You don’t have to have a crazy testimony to be special.”
Covenant Heights Camp and all the people involved here had a fantastic summer and we’re enjoying celebrating the victories of the season. We praise God for a wonderful summer, full of His grace, fun adventures, spiritual growth, friendships, laughter, and joy. Covenant Heights Summer 2015 by the numbers:
- 636 campers over 4 weeks of camp
- 36 first-time commitments to Christ
- 1,540 miles hiked
- 1,087 burgers eaten
- 29 summer staff serving in the ministry
- 1,624 hours of volunteer service
- 840 ice cream sandwiches bought at Tahosa Camp Store
- 64 hours of Cabin Bible Studies
- 5 weeks of camp planned for 2016! (We’re expanding our program and are excited about this step of faith!)
- 1 loving God served!
As we reflect on the number of lives touched, it’s great to see this reality through the campers' eyes:
Covenant Cedars Bible Camp, Hordville, NE
- “[I learned] that His love is never-ending and we all have a place in His heart."
- “[God] will never leave you. No matter what situation you are in. He loves you no matter what.”
- "I learned that God is all around us. We just have to pay enough attention. I also learned that you should always look at and love people the way that God does."
- "I learned you can ask Him anything.”
- “I now like spiders.”
Our first week of summer youth camps brought eager senior high campers who grew in their desperate hunger for God. The following week saw junior high campers who broke down barriers of sin to become a more unified body of Christ. Regardless of the week, one thing remained constant: the gospel moved in the hearts and minds of our campers. From the moment campers arrived to their departure, each person is forever changed from their week at camp. Consider the evidence:
- 595 total campers in attendance this summer
- 19% of students gave their lives to Christ at camp
- 69 campers felt called to be a pastor, youth pastor, or missionary
Our prayer is that these campers take Him in their hearts back to their families, friends, hometowns and schools. We pray that our campers continue to grow in their faith and love for Christ, taking delight in serving Him every moment of every day, patiently awaiting all God has to offer for next summer.
As you can see, camp provides a place for youth to meet Christ in a fun and safe environment. The success of these ministries is due in large part to your gifts and prayers. Thank you so much for your support of these incredible, life-changing ministries!