Good ole Manville…
Another camp down, 2 more to go. But this last one was special. The last camp I spoke at was at Manville Nazarene camp grounds. It was the north west IL district Jr. high camp. This camp and I go way back! It was at Manville (I know, funny name) but it was here that I began to follow Jesus and was SAVED from dead ends and dark allies. It was at this camp that I cemented a call to ministry and it was at this camp that I have had many other significant spiritual moments. Because of my history with Manville this camp was unlike any of my other camps. It was pretty incredible.
It was funny, as I was heading to the Lye E. Eckley tabernacle I would start to think, “I wonder what the speaker is going to talk about” only to stop mid-thought and realize, oh yea I’m the speaker. It was incredibly special to have students respond to God and come to the alter during the week. As I stood and prayed over these students at the alter I would look at there faces and I see myself. I saw myself in Jr. High making commitments to God, the church, my friends, my spiritual growth and so many more things. I saw myself in their faces and I saw my commitments in their tears and heartfelt prayers. This time prompted me to pray again at that same alter where I prayed for the first time to follow Jesus to pray again for a recommitment to follow Jesus. I don’t want ministry to be a Job, I don’t want my bible study to be work, I don’t my church attendance to be a burden, I don’t my prayers to be formalities, I want to follow Jesus as authentically as I did the moment I got up from that alter the first time.
This camp was special because I came home, I was able to give to a place and a people who have given so much to me. This week was awesome because I saw Jr. High students make the same kind of deep lasting, authentic commitments that I made when I was there age. And this camp was amazing because God spoke to me and I responded in an old way, at a familiar place but I responded again! Fresh!!!
Manville was as good as I remember, check out some the picture in my summer 06 photo album and get a feel for all the fun!
PS -- manville pics will be up soon!