DAVIS—Each summer as students and children head off to church camps, there is a buzz of excitement. As the kids are away, there are always parents, family and friends who are back home praying for each student. With a total of 6,583 life-changing decisions recorded between CrossTimbers Children’s Mission Adventure Camp and Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, there were at least 6,583 prayers answered this summer.
Falls Creek began about 10 weeks ago and concluded with 6,185 total decisions. While many of these decisions occur during the evening tabernacle experience, others are made throughout the day. Andy Harrison, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Falls Creek program specialist, was able to lead a young lady to Christ in the morning.
“I met a young girl and her friend who wanted to talk to me just after the Morning Tabernacle Experience,” Harrison said. “She told me she needed Jesus and she didn’t want to wait until the evening. So I said, ‘We can fix that.’ We sat down and I led her to Christ. It was a special moment of watching the Spirit go to work in someone’s life.”
Falls Creek experiences an overflow of the Holy Spirit throughout the summer with many divine encounters. There were 2,149 total recorded professions of faith, 263 assurances of salvation, 2,543 restoration decisions, 507 special needs or other decisions and 723 students who were called to missions.
Amy Benton, a soon to be junior at Oklahoma Baptist University, worked her second summer at Falls Creek in the Wynn Center for World Missions.
“I have seen students who are completely broken for the nations,” Benton said. “I have also seen a lot of students really want to know how they can get involved with missions. It has been a blessing to get to see the students and their heart for others.”
Benton also worked in the front of the tabernacle during the invitation time each evening. Each night, she watched hundreds of students go to the front to make a decision.
“I got to see students make decisions and then watch them immediately go and take action on their decision,” Benton said. “The students did not take their decisions lightly, but wanted to get involved immediately.”
Being on staff at Falls Creek seems like it can become tiring. Benton explained that it is easy to slip into a weary mindset toward the end of the summer.
“Often times it is easy as staff to worry that when we pour out to the students that we will not be poured back into,” Benton said. “But I have been poured into by sponsors and students. It has been a blessing to get to work in this environment and to see students’ hearts for us and for the people of this world.”
Falls Creek holds many life-changing stories from years of camp experiences. Planning for next year has already begun.
“We will plan on continuing and expanding our breakout opportunities,” Todd Sanders, BGCO youth education specialist, hinted. “There will probably be a new look and redesign of our missions emphases in our mission mobilization areas as well. There is also a chance we can expand and enhance our recreational activities around the grounds.”
While changes might be coming for the look of Falls Creek, one thing is for sure, the purpose of the camp will always be a place where students can radically encounter God and prayers are answered.
CrossTimbers ended with 398 total decisions, 220 being professions of faith, but it all began with 39 staffers and eight weeks of summer to conduct 10 four-day camps. Among the staff members was Somi Lee, a Korean student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Lee first heard about CrossTimbers during her interview for the Falls Creek accounting staff. It was there that God pushed Lee to leave her comfort zone and follow His leading and Lee agreed to become a CrossTimbers’ staff member. Lee experienced God’s blessing through her obedience, but nothing compared to her experience during one of the final weeks of camp.
Having a strong international program, Oklahoma City, Northwest drew several international students into their children’s ministry. Out of the 40 campers Northwest took to camp, two were Chinese and four were Korean.
The ministry was blessed by a Chinese speaker who accompanied the children to camp; however, Danielle Hill, Northwest’s director of children’s ministry, began praying for God to break down the language barrier with the Korean children.
“On the very first day of CrossTimbers we walked into our mission stop and I noticed an Asian staff member,” Hill said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I really hope she can connect with our Asian kids.’
“The next day we went to the Mission Stop again, and Lee made a bee line to the two girls and started speaking in fluent Korean. I couldn’t believe how good God was. I kept telling our sponsors, that His love for us is so amazing, in that He planned Lee to be there JUST FOR THEM!”
God was at work even in the details as He put each piece into place for a great week at camp with the four Korean siblings and Lee.
“To be quite honest, it’s very awkward to go up to another Korean that I don’t know and suddenly talk Korean to them,” Lee said. “But my friend, Jacob, and mission stop leader, Autumn, asked me about translating for the girls in the different mission stops throughout the week,” Lee said. “God put it on Autumn’s heart to push me, and I was able to translate for the girls.”
Even through Lee’s fears and doubt, God proved Himself faithful. God used several other staff members to encourage and push her to step out of her comfort zone.
“Lee was so faithful to make sure she was at every activity with us, so she could communicate the Gospel and the story of God’s people at every stop,” Hill said. “I have no idea what she gave up to do that, but it was so touching to see.”
Each staff member is divinely selected with a purpose to spread the Gospel to each child who enters the campgrounds. Lee’s story is no different.
“The last night of Chapel, my friend, Rayleigh Sun, who was our Chinese sponsor,” Hill explained, “said the two girls asked her ‘Who is God?’ She explained as best she could in English and then came to find me. We talked and knew that we had to be sure Lee clearly communicated the Gospel to them in their native language.
“When Glenn called me over to ask me to talk with the girls about their decision and make sure the girls understood, there were a million other doubts in my mind,” Lee said. “However, God heard my thoughts, and He gave me a mental head smack. He reminded me He was the one and only God, and I was to do what He called me to do, plain and simple.”
Hill watched Lee pray with them to receive Christ.
“I am so amazed at the details that had to come together for the Gospel to be clearly communicated to them,” Hill said. “They were hugging and giggling with us the rest of the camp. It was very clear God had already begun to transform their lives.”
These four siblings are only a small portion of a bigger picture God created this summer through CrossTimbers and Falls Creek. Each child and teen who made a decision was an answer to someone’s prayer, and part of a more mysterious divine orchestration through the hand of God.
Falls Creek and CrossTimbers not only have a legacy of changing lives, but they also have a legacy of revealing a God Who works all things for His glory, especially through 6,583 answered prayers.