On June 5, shortly after leaving Clarion, the Elim Arrival made their way to Central Iowa Bible Camp in Earlham, Iowa. As a team we traveled to this camp with eagerness and excitement.
This camp was a week long, starting on Sunday night and ending on Friday afternoon. Unlike camps in the past, our role was a little different, as we were not able to stay throughout the entire duration. Rather, we were present each evening Monday through Wednesday, and all of Thursday. This of course is because all of us Elim boys also hold jobs back at home, and although our hearts desired to be at camp, we had to return each night to prepare ourselves for work the next day. This different role and separation during the week did not stop God from doing an amazing work.
The theme of the week was ESCAPE, and was rooted in scripture from 2 Peter 1:4-9. “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
David Chase was the leader of this week of camp and we are grateful for his allowing us to take part in these kids’ lives. Each day consisted of many activities which could make, mold, and grow relationships among the kids.
There was a time slot in the day in which the kids would separate themselves from everyone else and have personal time with God - a time to read His Word, pray, ask questions and wrestle with the theme of the week. Family groups were also formed so everyone could come together and have a time to share what was on their hearts, things on the surface, and things that go deep, if they were willing. In the evening there was a time of worship, in which the Elim Arrival would lead and be joined by the speaker of the week, Kirk Evans. He spoke on subjects directly related with the text of the week. He gave genuine and authentic teachings based off faith, knowledge, and perseverance. In the midst of these teachings Kirk made it very clear that for us to escape the lusts of this world, we will in fact be outsiders.
The joy of pursuing and following Jesus overwhelms and overcomes the discouragement that may come at times from being an outsider to this world. This point was made clear as Kirk shared a story, with tears welling up in his eyes and emotion grabbing hold of his voice so that it became shaky. He was sharing a story of a young man he met at a camp, whom by the end of the week came up to Kirk and said he was ready to give his life to Christ. He was ready to escape all the brokenness and vanity of this world and to truly live. He was ready to embrace Christ and in his drawing near to God, be embraced by the Father Himself.
This story told by Kirk was a beautiful portrait of what happened throughout the rest of the camp. As young men and women engaged in worship and heard the message, many tears beat the ground. Confessions and broken hearts were unveiled and life-long choices were made. Defining moments were experienced and the Word went forth and did not return void. God was asking the kids to “come lay them down; all of your stains, pains, fears, tears, and plans.” That is exactly what many of them did, as they sang with all their heart, “GIVE ME JESUS, I WANT JESUS.” As a team, we thank the leadership for giving us the opportunity to minister to this camp and take part in the work of the living God.
We want to encourage you with the same verse Kirk ended the time of worship with. The same verse which is preceded by the scripture that was given to support the theme for the whole week. “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11). As you escape the vain pursuits of this life, you will find yourself being lead to an entrance of hope that is only found in Christ.
-On behalf of the Well of Iowa and the Elim Arrival