DAVIS—Campers attending Falls Creek are doing more than attending great worship services, drinking icees, zip-lining and trading pins. They are learning to impact the world for the sake of the Gospel.
It’s full circle. Students have the opportunity to hear and accept the Good News of Jesus Christ, and then they are equipped to share that Good News.
Each year, during the regular weeks of youth camp, hundreds of students have the opportunity to visit the Missions Center and Missions Village. These colorful locations are set up to show students the places where GoStudents will be offering future mission trips, as well as educating them about different cultures and equipping them to share their faith.
Areas decorated with interesting artifacts and fascinating statistics from other countries compel students to think outside of their own small world and see the bigger picture. Recently, a few students had the opportunity to share their thoughts about what the Missions Center and Missions Village meant to them.
Carly Merrick thinks that the Missions Center at Falls Creek “is a pretty cool place. It shows the culture of other areas, and until I walk in, I don’t always think about how I could impact the world. I am now thinking and praying about it. ”
Pauls Valley, Trinity
Beau Seabolt said that he is “motivated by visiting the Missions Center. Most kids come into the Missions Center just looking for the (trading) pins, but while they are in here, the staff talks with them about the mission trips, and it really opens up their eyes. It gets them interested in going places and making a difference.” Seabolt believes that the Missions Center has impacted his own thinking. “I will consider talking more with my leaders about taking a mission trip to see what I can do to help others,” he said.
Sulphur, Midway Hill
Lexie Reeves said, “I went on an Oklahoma mission trip, and if the Missions Center wasn’t here, I don’t know that I would have done that. It gives direction to a lot of kids who don’t really know what to do but know that they want to do something. The (Missions Village) shows kids the destinations for upcoming GoStudent trips, but the indoor Missions Center teaches you how to have conversations about Christ and how to get to know people, so that you can tell them about Christ. I’ve always been interested in missions, so to me, this (Missions Center) is a very special place.”
These are not seminary graduates or people involved in full-time ministry. These are Oklahoma students who are sharing their hearts about what it is like to visit the Missions Center and Missions Village during Falls Creek Youth Camp. They are honest, eager and listening to God. And they are the future. It may be hard to realize, but from Falls Creek Youth Camp in rural Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptists are reaching and impacting the world.
Falls Creek staff members understand the importance of their role as missions educators. They are enthusiastic, passionate and contagious. They inspire campers.
Naaman Henager is one of the program staff members in the Missions Center and Missions Village. With a welcoming smile he shared, “Through the Missions Center and Village, we are helping students look at different places around the world and think, ‘Maybe God is calling me to these locations. Maybe I have come in here for a reason.’ During my time of working here, I have had students come and tell me that because they visited this Missions Center they took a GoStudents mission trip. We are making an impact on students, and as Oklahoma Baptists, we are advancing the Gospel.”
Everyone understands their role, and they embrace it.
Brian Baldwin, youth missions and evangelism ministry partner, helps coordinate both Missions Center and Missions Village at Falls Creek. He challenges all Oklahoma Baptists to evaluate how they are involved in making a difference with the Gospel.
“What is your role?” Baldwin asked. “How will you participate in advancing the Gospel? Today, will you pray for Falls Creek Youth Camp, staff members and campers? Will you pray that the hearts of Oklahoma Baptists youth will remain pure and tender and will listen for the call? Will you pray that God calls out and brings forth many this summer who are willing to go and share the Gospel? Will you see where God is working and join Him?”
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).