The theme for Junior High B was “Seen, Heard, Known, Loved.” Our speaker “Warhammer” used the song “Invisible” by Disciple and spent a lot of time in Psalm 139.
Psalm 139:1 –“Oh, Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”
These twelve to fourteen year olds are at such an amazing place in their lives. They are still children, and watching them laugh and play in the meadow and at the lake is such a beautiful reminder that there is good in the world.
But they are also on the cusp of growing up and are at that moment when their young adult minds are capable of the great searching and questioning and seeking of adult faith. They must decide if they will choose God for themselves or let it simply be something that their parents or pastor taught them to believe.
Psalm 139:3—“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.”
Warhammer said that “The whole week was full of great questions from the campers. Questions that challenged me as a speaker and showed a maturity that adults often don’t realize middle schoolers possess. In fact, I rewrote 2 of the mid-week chapel messages based on these questions! I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me that these kids needed to hear something different from what I had prepared ahead of time… .”
Psalm 139:4—“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”
Warhammer: “There was one time, I was sitting in on one of the girls’ cabin discussions and had 15 hands shoot up at the same time when I opened the floor for questions about the message or the Bible in general!”
Psalm 139:5—“You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”
Warhammer—“ A girl from that same cabin brought tears to my eyes when she said her favorite part of chapel was hearing for the first time in her life that Jesus loved her so much he would have still died on the cross for her sins even if she was the only person in history who would believe in him!”
Psalm 139:9-10—“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Sometimes ministry doesn’t look like one expects. Sometimes it looks like singing worship songs in the bright morning light of the outdoor amphitheater, searching through the Bible during chapel, or memorizing scripture with the whole cabin. Sometimes it looks like jumping off the dock at Lake Chelan with friends, paintball wars, or a counselor who is willing to help you build a house for an interesting caterpillar. Warhammer reminds us that: “Sometimes, ministry looks like listening to a young man who was sitting alone in the grass at the lake as he tells you all about Pokemon for 30 minutes. Because that same young man, later in the week, just might be willing to open up to you about why he has struggled with going to church for the past couple years… .”
Psalm 139: 13-14—“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in y mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
It was a delight and honor for me to see my own son growing and learning, laughing and finding joy in both the activities and the chapel sessions this week.
Psalm 139:12—“even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
Thank you, everyone who prayed for us and supported us this summer. Thank you to the wonderful counselors who showed their love in games and listening, midnight pranks and diving into God’s word, cutting off their hair and allowing the campers into their hearts.
Camp is such an amazing place. A place where there is forest and beauty of the kind that God Himself created. A chance to play and learn with people in a way that has become so terribly scarce in our lonely, digitalized world. A place where questions can be asked and God can be sought with the honesty and bravery that is such a part of the Jr. High heart.
Psalm 139:23-24—“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”