(Written by Betsy Sullivan)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
I was nine years old when I first went away to summer church camp. I loved it so much that it was the highlight of my year and every year after through high school. I enjoyed the team competitions in both sports and Bible verse memorizations (I was born competitive!). I enjoyed making friends from outside of my little rural town. It’s been over fifty years and I still have vivid memories of the smell of wet leaves and French toast coming from the food hall, as we gathered outside in the woods for morning prayer and the pledge of allegiance.
As we prepare to help lead the camp for high school students in Czech Republic, I think specifically about my high school years at camp. It was a time when I felt God’s presence in my own life in a way I had not experienced in other settings. It was so powerful to be with other believers my own age, as well as with the camp counselors, from beyond my local church. It taught me that Christ’s church is universal, and we are so privileged to be a part of His church. The music at camp always impacted me in a special way. I remember one song particularly that was a camp favorite and included these words – “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord… and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” My hope and prayer are that we will be able to experience the love and unity of Christ’s church with Czech campers and workers, and that we will all grow in our walks with Jesus!
- Health for the team, especially Sarah, who is recovering from surgery
- The Family Bible Church team will reflect unity and the love of Jesus
- Czech students will come to a personal relationship with Jesus
- Effective preparation for teaching
- Attention to detail as we plan for what items we need to bring