So many stories and so little time. For almost one entire week, a group of kids and adults ranging in age from around eight or nine years old through 56 years of age (my age, I was the oldest from Hope Lutheran to attend), 33 (thirty-three) people from Hope (around 28 youth, four counselors, and one pastor) attended one summer camp at Ceta Glen, joining youth and sponsors from other Lutheran churches from West Texas to have a camp that numbered around 140 people I believe. It was a large gathering as some said for a year that also had a national youth gathering on the other end of the week (starting Saturday).
I am told the camp is 94 years old, and one of our member's grandfather was one of the first to camp there at the age of 8. I was assigned (along with another member of Hope, Austin Ratke), with 18 junior high boys ages 11 - 14, to that grandfather's first dorm room. Oh, it had running water, electricity, toilets, a/c, showers, and beds (about 20 bunk beds put in a room slightly bigger than the average living room in a house), but when you put a man in a room with adolescents whose primary objective at camp is to be adolescents, the housing conditions are primitive no matter what the modern conveniences are.
Play we did. Games with names like "Nuke 'Em," "Snow Ball Fights," "Slip n Slide Kickball," "Camp Olympics" and other such activities filled our time along with Bible Study (it is a church camp after all), song, and worship. The temperature hovered, in the canyon, around 110 - 115 degrees during that heat spell that saw temperatures in Lubbock around 105. At one point, I looked at my fellow counselor Austin and said, "These kids stink, but so do we," as we sat supervising some activity.
The theme of the camp was "Follow and Share" and the logo was an android with the words "Follow and Share" written in the face of the android (reflective of the modern social media culture). The passage that drove the event was from Matthew 4 in which Jesus calls his disciples to follow him, and immediately they drop their nets.
As men of a church and as fathers of some who went, we have a responsibility to teach these young children diligently to become those kinds of disciples like the men Christ called, and we have a responsibility to be disciples who share the good news in our own way as well. Over the next few days, you will hear stories that came from that setting, all good, that will give each of you reading these the opportunity to impact those around you in your home, your work, and your own church if you are not a member of Hope.
We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for our youth and the opportunities to develop them to become faithful followers of Christ. We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for their safety and for their safe return from each of these events. We prayer a prayer of thanks for everyone who made these events possible, from donations, prayers, and working directly with the youth as opportunities arose.
Hope Men's Ministry