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May 27

Encounter Joy

Camp 2013 is coming up!

As we begin to get into crunch time with organisation, I reflect upon my first time at camp. Why is this event so important to me? Why does the month of July mean something so deeply to me every year?

For me, camp was never just an event. It was never just another 4 days spent somewhere together, playing games, getting to know one another, learning about God’s word.

My first camp experience was something out of this world. It was an encounter with God. Yes, we do spend every day with Him, we do connect with Him when we pray, when we read the Bible and when we love one another. But once or twice (or more!) in our lives, we have a deep encounter with God, and it’s so personal and life-changing that you will never forget it.

I can imagine what Paul felt like when he first fell off his donkey and heard the voice of God calling out to him, and the shock that came in the next few days as he is lead on an unbelievable journey in Damascus by his Creator. He was never the same, and neither was I. From that year on, I understood the importance of camp – it didn’t matter how many people went, it didn’t matter what we did, as long as God was there with us.

Today, 7 years on, I still have the privilege of attending these camps and seeing others encounter God in their own way. This is why camp means so much to me, not because of what I enjoy from camp, but because the joy I receive is completed when you enjoy God at camp.

In Philippians 2, Paul says “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”

He has experienced God and his joy is made complete when he shares it with his brothers and sisters and when they share it with each other. This is why we are so eager to bring others to camp – because it completes our joy in Christ!

Therefore I encourage you brothers and sisters, take this opportunity to give your joy to others, so that your own may be fulfilled.

🙂

-Simon Lan