The first time I ever went to church camp I was 14 years old. I was a new Christian and in the infant stages of my understanding of the Bible and what it meant to be a follower of Christ.
My church went to Centrifuge Camp at Glorieta in New Mexico that summer. It was a long way from home, and I was nervous not knowing what to expect—but I sure was glad I went. I had never experienced anything like it before!
The worship services, the challenges to deeper obedience to the Word, fellowship with other Christians my age and quality time with my youth group made a huge impact on me and my desire and determination to follow Jesus deeply. Four years later, I was in Glorieta again as a senior in high school, and during one evening of camp, I clearly sensed God’s call to serve Him as a pastor. I will forever be grateful for the way God worked in my life as a young man at church camp.
Fast forward to today, and I am still amazed at the way God works at church camp. Thousands of students hear the Gospel proclaimed every summer at Falls Creek, CrossTimbers and associational camps across our state. Many commit their lives to follow Christ in salvation, sense God’s call to ministry or missions and have their faith deepened in ways that impact the remainder of their lives.
Oklahoma Baptists understand the value and importance of church camp—that’s why we must commit to pray for these camps as the summer begins. Since I became executive director last year, I have seen up close the spiritual warfare that surrounds these camps, particularly Falls Creek, and how Satan hates them. The enemy actively opposes these places and programs where countless students have been and are being brought to Christ.
I want to challenge Oklahoma Baptists to make a serious commitment to pray for our camps this summer. In this culture today, how vitally important it is that we have camps proclaiming the truth and hope that can only be found in Jesus! Pray for the Gospel to be clearly proclaimed and students to respond. Pray for life change among students and adults. Pray for the summer staff and administration who work so hard at camp. Pray for churches and sponsors as they prepare for and lead student groups at camp.
Will you make a serious commitment now to make a plan to pray this summer for camps? How important that is! I am praying for one of our greatest summers ever at camps this year.