“Beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…” Romans 10:15
We never know what God’s going to do when we head up the mountain for a Camp weekend. Months of planning games, talks, activities, and preparing for the unexpected always culminate in an epic weekend and 2023 Fall Camps were no exception. Over 350 kids and leaders participated in Camps – a real answer to prayer! Clubs like South Doyle, Eagleton, Clinton, Halls, and Lake City, which all got late starts this semester, brought kids and new leaders to camp. Altogether 23 schools from 5 counties were represented.
The theme was Extreme Color Wars: schools were paired up and assigned a color team to compete with throughout the weekend. We love seeing the Kingdom come as kids from different communities and cultures build friendships as they work together. Each team had a mascot costume assigned, ranging from a wearable sleeping bag (green team) to a leather fringe jacket & fake horse to ride (blue team), but all brought an amazing amount of hype and team spirit! Teams competed in “Bring me your champion”, a big race in the dark to find their team gear, dodgeball, capture the flag, crab soccer, and more. When the big moment for color wars came, some teams were surprised with bonus ammunition – slime! Like we always say, middle school ministry is messy.
Our staff shared spiritual talks throughout the weekend focusing on the Gospel. Topics like “how to know God is real” and “why a relationship with God is important” led students to have a lot of good conversations with their YOKE Folk. On Sunday, staff member Kelly challenged students and leaders to do business with God before leaving camp. A high school student who had served both weekends even stepped out of the kitchen to follow Jesus.
We know that several students made first-time decisions to follow Jesus, while others expressed a desire to move forward in their faith. Schools gathered for prayer and had fruitful discussions during Saturday’s “cabin time.” And God has continued to move during the week. We’ve heard stories of YOKE Kids and YOKE Folk sharing Scripture and asking questions by text message. YOKE Folk are engaging with kids’ families and are spending time with them outside of club, and plans have been made to worship together on Sunday.
We are so thankful to all the YOKE alumni, financial partners, churches, and school administrators who came alongside our YOKE Folk and staff to make Camp possible. We have specific need for small gift Bibles and bulk food donations as we plan toward Spring 2024, if you are interested in helping to meet those needs, please contact Sarah@yokeyouth.com.