Well, folks, we’ve got an announcement for y’all that we were hoping we wouldn’t have to share. Our Governor recently held a news conference in which he stated that he is issuing an order for the state to stay in Phase 2 of this virus until at least July 21. Part of the restrictions during Phase 2 include no overnight camping. Therefore, we are in a position that we have never been in since the beginning of Camp Pearl in 1947…we are not able to have physical summer camp this summer.
Though we can’t meet in person, we do still plan to host an Online Community Chapel Service each Monday-Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. that’ll be available on YouTube, followed by a community worship event on Facebook Live at 8:00 p.m. In the next week, Lord willing, we will be sending out information regarding this and how we can get the summer camping experience online.
If you have already registered your camper for camp this summer, there are a few options regarding the money you’ve sent our way: 1) you can email email@example.com to get a full refund (minus the $11 processing fee we had to pay to the company that does our registration), 2) you can contact Robin for a refund but if you have us hold onto an extra $20, we’ll be glad to send you a camp T-Shirt from this summer (We’re selling them as a fund raiser, so contact her if you’d like to buy some extras!), 3) you can let us hold onto the money and reserve it for your student’s camp fee next year, or 4) you can donate the money as a tax deductible donation, though don’t think we’re going to try to guilt you into giving it if you contact us.
With all of this being said, we also ask each of you to do a few things: 1) Share the Good News of Jesus (that He died for your sins, rose again, and offers Himself freely to all who will believe in Him) this summer. If you’ve got a testimony, share it! Since we can’t do it in the same way that we normally would as a camp, we’re relying on the community to help us spread the Word to those around you! 2) Pray for us this year (for opportunities to serve and share Him, for provision, for guidance, safety, etc.) 3) Pray for the decision leaders around you, in your churches, and in our world. These are unprecedented times for each of us, but they’re not for our Lord. 4) Lastly, as you pray, keep trusting Him. He’s not surprised by any of this.
Take a moment to read what our Camp Theme would have been had we been able to have camp. It’s really fitting for 2020.
What would you do if you got to stand before the God of the universe? I think we’ve all considered this before: “What questions would I ask” “What would I tell Him?”
As we look at Scripture, I think we’re given a pretty clear answer on what we’ll do…and it’s probably quite different than what we’d imagine. As much as we might like to consider what we’ll say, I’m not sure we’ll be speaking at all. In fact, again and again as we look through the pages of the Bible, we see that when various men stood in the presence of God; their response was similar to Isaiah’s as seen in Isaiah 6:5,
““Woe is me, for I am undone (ruined, doomed)!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
God’s Word shows us the nearer a person was to the throne of God, the more aware of his sin he became. Person after person fell flat on their face understanding their need for God’s grace. Person after person forgot about themselves, forgot about their circumstances, and person after person began to worship. And then we see this beautiful interaction between God and man. It was in this moment of brokenness that God lifted these people up, and He gave them a reason to live. After that, they were never the same.
It’s easy for us to become ho-hom or complacent about our faith. Yet what is the purpose of mankind? It’s to glorify our Maker. God is not glorified in us thinking of Him as normal, He’s not honored in apathy. He’s honored in worship…sincere, committed, forget-about-self-focus-only-on-God-type of worship.
This year, we’re praying that our youth will begin to grasp the God who made them. We pray that those who have never met Him will enter into a relationship with Him through faith in His Son; but we also pray that those who already have a relationship with Him begin to understand Him for who He is; and that they’ll worship. Lastly, as they truly praise their Maker, we ask God that He’ll reveal to them that they have a purpose; and that purpose is to show the world His goodness. Would you join us in that prayer?