Friday night, we ended the evening with a practice called "carry your cross." Together these diverse teams would carry a large wooden cross from one side of the camp to the other, and then raising it up, nail all their hurts, their sins, their issues, to the cross, so that Jesus could carry their burdens for one and for all. It was a very deep significant finale to a cool week of God stuff. As each team finished, much prayer broke out. Not the typical pass the hat, now its your turn to pray stuff, i mean, deep groans that only the Holy Spirit could interpret and could do something with.
While the students and leaders were praying together, the Lord began to show me a picture of the battle that was at hand. At first it startled me, cause what i saw was men coming from the edge of the woods towards the students huddled together, these men carried large swords and other weapons. They were taking aim at the students, attempting to slice and dice them, yet to this point none of the students had been harmed. It took me a minute to realize that i was viewing; a spiritual battle happening all around us. So i began to call on the ministering spirits to show themselves. Slowing i began to see the angels not only protecting these students but also attacking the enemies. I was over whelmed by awe, so i prayed, Lord send more, send your protectors not only to this place, but to the hoods and neighborhoods these students are from. Send them in large battle ready forces. Send them now Jesus!
As this time of prayer ended, the group came together as one large group and the 90 or so of us began to worship together. Then we took the next step in the battle. One by one, students began to come up and share what they had seen God do in the life of another co-camper this week. Or talk about what another camper or leader meant to their life. This edification lasted a long time. What was interesting, is that there was very little fluff. These students in a weeks time had also found maturity. They were helping each other see themselves the way God sees them, and lose much of the false identity they had created on their own. As this time ended, we all knew who received the glory that night, Jesus. We also knew, who had been reminded he is defeated, the enemy.
Speaking of God's glory, here is a small list of the things He did in the lives of our campers that He should be magnified for: At least 4 students accepted Christ's gift of salvation for the first time. Many of the students broke out of their box, and left the need to be cool, in order to take on their acceptance as part of the family of God. On Friday, God touched the lower back of one of our campers who was injured and healed it, when they got to the hospital, no injury. Numbers of students were healed of addictions (Sexual, smoking, lying, cheating, self deprecation) and found freedom in Jesus, so that their lives may be free. Each day, reconciliation happened, as walls were trampled and divisions were no more, only family was left, it was awesome.
As Saturday came, I think we all knew that our lives would never be the same. Like in Joshua 3, many, many stones had been laid in the river, and the Hope had been ignited. So that in the years to come we would tell the story of what God did summer of 09 at the first Sr High Barefoot Republic Senior Camp ever on that campus. I hope many of you will find the Barefoot experience to be part of your journey in the years to come. PEACE.