I had the privilege of ministering at the Beaver Creek Bible Camp this past week (July 1st – 9th). Located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Beaver Creek was established in 1969. It has a long history of leading kids to Christ and building up their spiritual lives. For the last four years it has been directed by Elmer and Danya Zacharias. Elmer and Danya have a real passion to see the Lord move powerfully in the lives of young people. It was a pleasure to work with them.
The first weekend was spent ministering to the Staff. They were mainly young people who would serve as Cabin Leaders during the various weeks of camp. We took them through the Basic Ministry Training which includes sessions on Hearing God, Power and Authority, as well as the Prophetic. It was an amazing time as many of them began to experience the Holy Spirit in a new way. Some of them experienced the power of the Lord moving on them and through them. The session on the Prophetic went really well as the Staff learned to listen for what the Lord wanted them to pass on to others.
Camp officially started Monday morning, July 4th, for young people going into grades 9 through 12. There were kids there from all over the place. Some were from the Camp’s sponsoring churches. Some of these brought their friends from other churches. Others were from Child and Family Services. I am still wondering where some of them came from. The one thing they all had in common, however, was that the Lord had brought them to Beaver Creek so He could work in their lives.
As I observed the kids who came, I quickly realized that conventional measures were not going to work. These kids did not need or want more religion. Most of them had had more than enough of that. What they needed was an encounter with the Lord. They needed Him to touch their lives in a very real way. All my preconceived ideas quickly went out the window, and I found myself quite literally trusting the Lord for every single message. Needless to say, He did not disappoint.
On the first night I shared my testimony so they could see the “old dude” could actually relate to them. From then on most of my messages were based on stories from the Bible, particularly from the life of Jesus. Instead of reading the stories and trying to explain them, I would refer to where the stories were found in the Bible, then tell the story from the standpoint of the various characters involved. This really helped hold the kid’s attention. They even laughed at some of my silliness! I am so grateful for the way the Lord used these messages to speak to the Campers. When the call would come to receive prayer, we would see many of them respond.
One particular Camper showed up with the words “There is no God” scrawled across their arm in black ink. They had dabbled in the occult and been exposed to all kinds of stuff. They said they had two demons living in them (I uncovered at least one while praying with them regarding some nightmares they were having). There is no case too hard for the Lord, however. One night this individual came and asked if I could get the demons out of them. I confidently told them that the only way they could get free and stay free was by surrendering their life to Jesus. They agreed. The Camper’s hands shook like a leaf as we prayed the Sinner’s Prayer together. Once we said, “Amen,” all the shaking stopped. They could hardly believe it. I then led them in ordering the demons out of their life in Jesus’ Name. The spirits departed without incident. The next night this individual stood in front of the whole camp and said, “I want to thank God for delivering me from witchcraft. That crap is gone forever!” The whole chapel erupted in praise. Jesus is Victor!!
While I cold share more about what happened in the lives of Campers. I feel I should share a word about the Staff. I have ministered in various camps with all kinds of staff members. The Staff at Beaver Creek Bible Camp are honestly some of the finest I have ever seen. It was a joy to watch these exemplary young men and women minister to the kids in their respective cabins. While there was no end of challenges these young leaders consistently rose to the occasion. I was so blessed by their ministry. It was truly a joy to serve with them.
The week of camp has come and gone. All that is left are precious memories I will always hold dear. My number of Facebook friends has increased significantly as a result. That’s okay. I want to be friends with this generation. They are the next wave of warriors in the Kingdom of God.
As I bring this post to a close, I would like to share a couple of the songs that served as anthems during the week at camp. Enjoy!