So a bit of a late Sunday Summary from me this week. I’ve been away at our annual youth camp Awesome for the last 5 days.

Last Monday night, I headed to a welcoming round table at NCA Church run by Communicate Jesus. There were a number of different churches represented, all to look and learn about the best practices of church welcoming. On the way home I dropped in at church to see Nicky and some of the girls organising the booklets and nametags for Awesome.

On Tuesday morning I went to work, stressed out for the half hour before our graceat6 meeting and then left work after that to head ice skating with Elishba, Tim and Jason Abel, Nicky & Steve, Sophie Craig and Penny Fisher at Norwest for 3 hours; a fairly long and tiring session. Then I dropped home to my folks place to utilise their washer and dryer and grab some food before heading to church for a planning meeting for Awesome. It was pretty exciting to see what everyone had planned for the week, and good to get a bit more clarity around things I needed to organise.

Wednesday ramped up as the day went on, with more people coming in throughout the day with requests. We also printed the booklets and nametags for Awesome in the afternoon and collated them. In the evening we had growth group and looked at the final two chapters in our 1 Kings series: 13 & 14. After growth group, I headed home to edit some videos for Awesome.

Thursday I was waiting around for our stationary order, which finally came around lunchtime. I helped Nicky to stuff nametags in the afternoon before heading home to continue editing video and sort out some missing and duplicated nametags. I also got the Abels to come around to play some xbox, but wasn’t really free to play with them.

Friday morning I tried to organise all of my gear for Awesome, but wasn’t able to get everything done before work, so it was a quick trip in to get absolute essential stuff done then left just after lunch to pack my clothes, bedding and all tech equipment into my car. After a quick stop by Bunnings for some extension cords and power boards, and Carlingford Village for some Asian Redbull, it was off to Elenora Heights for Awesome. It was a quick and semi stressful setup to get the night session up and running. I was roomed with the year 10 dudes, which was pretty good. I managed to sleep well for the week, without much trouble at all. The speaker for year 9-12s this year was Leon Stead who preached through Philippians. His talk this night was on Philippians 1:1-11. It was a really good introduction to the letter, giving us the context of where Paul was, and why he was writing. Leon also pointed out the joy and the passion that Paul has because of the gospel and because of the partnership which he has with Timothy.

Saturday morning, Leon spoke to us from Philippians 1:12-2:30. He spoke to us about common-unity, how we’re in this together, giving us the model of a Christian:

  • like minded
  • having the same love
  • one in Spirit
  • one in purpose

In the afternoon we played outdoor games which looked like some good fun. It all ended in a big ‘cake mix’ fight on the oval… I do have to mention that during the inner-tube pulley battle, I almost was hit when the pulley came off the tree. It was about 10cm clear of me, but that was still too close for comfort…
At night we had our split guys/girls night. The guys had a bit of a riot together/against each other before running around the site for a wide game which got rained out about 20 minutes into it. Following on from that we got together and sung a few songs, before hearing from James Moore on what being a real man was: one that is trained up in the bible, that works hard at it. Finally we had a panel to answer some pre-determined questions as well as field some questions from the floor.

Sunday morning with Leon we heard from Philippians 3 and investing our lives in Christ. We aren’t to be focusing on what things we ‘DO’, but we are to take the theoretical knowledge of God and work it into a relationship. We need to realise the profit in knowing Christ. To hold onto our lives outside of Christ is to sit on a pile of our own excrement. Leon also showed us a video about Ricky Hoyt an amazing story about a father and son, and the amazing lengths that people go to. I think most of the girls in the room shed some tears, and some of the guys as well… Take a look:

In the afternoon we were meant to go to the beach, but the rain had been coming down and continued to, on and off, so we pulled out the wet weather emergency plan: indoor games. They were really quite good, with a big theme that involved the youth a fair bit more: kind of a Cluedo whodunnit.
After dinner, we had Brad Konemann from ThirteenThree, the youth arm of Voice of the Martyrs, come to run the night where a number of stations were setup to educate us about the persecuted church.

Monday morning Leon spoke to us about direction from Philippians 3:12-4:1, about looking forward to the end, to the goal that we strive to attain, and not looking back at where we’ve come from, the place where we can be tempted to go back to our ways of sin.
The sun came out after a couple of days of rain, and some really heavy rain at that, so we headed to the beach. It was a nice time, though the water was a bit cold. There were plenty of activities for people to do. We got a game of touch footy in there as well.
When we got back to Elenora, it was time to setup my gear down in the dining room hall in preparation for the Monday night extravaganza. Our theme this year being prison, we brought the kids through as ‘criminals’, getting mug shots on the way in, some of them facing punishment on their way through.
The night kicked off with some acts – stand up comedians, and musicians. After dinner and a best dressed award, we got into come more acts along with some of the videos that kids and leaders had been making over the last few weeks and months.

Today as we finished up, I found it really encouraging to see and hear how the youth of Awesome had grown and been challenged.
As the kids headed home, we did our final pack up before heading off to the Newport Arms Hotel for our traditional wind down. I grabbed the prawn cutlets with chips and salad and a relaxing CC and lemonade. It was good to just sit and relax, with some sun and just bask in the end of a well run and enjoyable camp.
When I got home to Carlingford, I unpacked most of my gear before sitting down to play some Gears of War 3. Then Tim and Jason Abel, Matty B, Jack Day came around as well.