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First Thoughts

Camp Thrive Recap

Last week, we had the privilege of taking 220 students and over 100 adults to Lake Placid, Florida for our annual student camp. It was a remarkable week of fun, fellowship, and tremendous spiritual growth.

Our theme for the week was Thrive from Jeremiah 17:5-8. This passage describes two plants that are in a parched, dry land. The first plant is a shrub that is wilting away and bears no fruit. This is the person who trusts in man. The second plant is a tree that has deep roots, bears much fruit, and does not fear when the drought comes. This is the person who trusts in the Lord. We want our students to be like the tree, bearing much fruit for the rest of their lives. Despite what the world throws at our students, we want to see them bear fruit forever.

Our students learned in the evening sessions that they were created to thrive from Genesis 1. In the garden, there was perfect harmony between Creator and creation. They learned that to thrive, you must cut through the distractions and seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. They considered the overwhelming problem of sin that we face from Ephesians 2. Sin is consuming, kills us, and keeps us from thriving.  We learned that we have been adopted into God’s family because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We were once slaves to sin, we have been adopted, and God is now our Father. We can thrive because of what Christ did for us on the cross. We also considered the parable of the two builders. One builder built his foundation on the sand and had a great fall. The other builder built on a firm foundation and lived. There is no thriving apart from building on the firm foundation of Christ.

In our afternoon sessions, our students learned how to “put off.” Sin is a mortal enemy. Sin is not a pet that we keep close but something that we should wage war against. Our students learned how to kill sin so it doesn’t kill them. They also learned about “put on.” After taking off sinful behaviors, we replace those sinful desires with holiness, righteousness, and the fruits of the Spirit. Our students also learned how to think about assurance. That our loving, powerful God is powerful enough to keep them in His hands. When we are truly God’s children, we can never be plucked from His hand. God loves us whether we have a good day or a bad day.

Our students accomplished some amazing things while we were at camp. Many students made professions of faith for the first time. Many students are seeking to follow the Lord in baptism. Many students are looking for accountability as they seek to grow in the Lord and fight sin. Many students were convicted of serious sins and had the courage to seek out leaders for help with that sin. Our students memorized over 1900 verses of Scripture, including two students memorizing four chapters each. Each morning, students read through the book of Colossians. They took notes in sessions. They prayed together. It was a truly special week. I can feel the Lord at work in our student ministry.

I want to personally thank you, church family, for everything you have done for this week of camp. Many of you committed to coming to camp as a counselor, which is no easy job! Others of you gave sacrificially to send students to camp. We were able to send 35 students to camp because of your generosity. Every student who needed help financially was able to come because of you. I know that many of you prayed for our students and leaders. I am eternally grateful.

Continue to pray for our students in the following ways:

  1. Pray our students will continue to grow as they get back into their normal routines.
  2. Pray our students will continue to fight sin and put on righteousness.
  3. Pray our students will be protected from the evil one.
  4. Pray our students will continue to grow closer to one another and keep each other accountable.
  5. Pray for our leaders and staff as we seek to shepherd our students to thrive.

Student Ministry Associate

Margaret Tucker serves as the Student Ministry Associate at First Baptist Church and is an active, longtime member.

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