Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp Romania-Style

We're winding down our week of putting on a youth evangelistic camp near Lake Surduc in Timis, Romania. There are 140 campers, and our American team is participating alongside the Romanians. Kristin is singing with the worship team, with Kesh and Collin playing bongoes and digital drums and Nate playing some guitar. Collin heads up the sports events, Megan and some of the girls offer crafts, and most of us lead small discussion groups morning and evening. I delivered the messages each evening.

It was, apparently, a rather diverse group of Romanian churches and pastors, and I've come to realize that there was a good deal of skepticism--as to whether camp would even work with the Americanos so involved and about my different (apologetic) approach to the talks.

And then, if I'd have told them beforehand about the theme skit, they'd have certainly said 'no way!' The theme of the camp--The Quest for Truth--was carried to extremes of absurdity by Louisiana Jones (my son Nate) and Georgia Jones (Kesh Phillips) and their enemies Count Vladimir (Alex Hardin) and his apprentice vampire Fido (my son Jasper). Their antics had everyone in stitches, but did serve to set up each of my talks, which tackled (in turn) the existence of truth, what science and reason really tell us about the universe (that only the three monotheistic faiths come close to describing it accurately), how fulfilled prophecy and the reliability of the New Testament separate Christianity from Judaism and Islam, the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and its implications, and, finally, what occurred at the crucifixion (what it means to us and what should be our response).

In the end, it all came together in a powerful, supernatural way, and everyone at camp was deeply affected. I know that our team will remember this week for years to come, and I trust that the Holy Spirit is still moving in the lives of many from both of the cultures that shared this exciting week at camp.

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