DAVIS—There is no greater blessing than to give “children the opportunity to engage in worship, hear the testimony of a camp missionary and respond to God’s Word,” said worship leader Ken Austin during Associational Children’s Camp at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, May 27-June 2.
Associational Children’s Camp is comprised of 15 associations mainly located in central Oklahoma, and hosts about 100-120 churches every summer. There are two camps in a period of one week, each lasting three and a half days. Children who have completed 4th-6th grades are invited to participate in times of recreation, worship and fellowship.
Assistant camp director Russell Cook, director of missions in Pottawatomie/Lincoln Association, said the staff spends “a lot of time praying for the salvation of students.” As a testament to the power of these prayers, Cook said that over the 32 years camp has been running, they have averaged about 10 percent of the students making salvation decisions in each camp. On the first night this year, there were 98 professions of faith. However, Cook is not the only member of the staff invested in the students.
Camp pastor for session one, Todd Fisher, pastor of Shawnee, Immanuel, focused on teaching students how to get to know the Lord through scripture and prayer. The camp’s theme for this year was “Who do you say I am?” coming from Matt. 16:15, where Jesus says to Peter, “But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’”
Fisher captivated the young audience’s attention by incorporating props, video and humor, but his message remained clear. He urged the students to shift their focus to Jesus, and find a time and place where they can become more intimately acquainted with Him.
Students also had the opportunity to experience the Lord through worship led by Austin, minister of music at Blanchard, First, and the 150 Band. This is the band’s 16th summer at this camp, and Austin said he has consistently seen the camp grow over the years.
With the growth have come new people and new events, including Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bill Buchanan and the staff of Kid’s Celebration. They lead the children in team building games and encourage godly sportsmanship and enthusiasm. This enthusiasm is further expressed during recreation time, when the students have the opportunity to play water games, climb ropes courses, skate in the skate park and visit the missions center.
This year’s camp missionary was Tim Louderback, who serves with his family in Panama. He, along with his 11-year-old daughter Gracie Lynn, spoke to the students about Panama and about the importance of serving where you are. Gracie Lynn stated that “no matter how young you are, just smiling can make a difference.”
Their family asks Oklahoma Baptists to pray that church planters would have open doors to be able to go in to the communities and that they would find people of peace.
So whether it was through singing praises, hearing a message, playing games or learning about world missions, students at Associational Children’s Camp experienced the Lord, and were sent home prepared to be on mission right here in Oklahoma.