Week 8 Worship Explosion
As I thought about what the meaning of ‘explosion’ meant, I looked up the definition and one that certainly was easily applied to this week was this, ‘An expansion of energy which is transmitted as an outward shock wave’. This defines our week here at Pagweak. When looking for explosions in the Bible there is no greater explosion in my mind than the Birth of Jesus Christ coming into this world to save us from our sins! As we read in the gospel of Luke ‘Suddenly, (An Explosion), an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid”, he said. I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. (Another Explosion) The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David.’
On Sunday 57 campers exploded on our Camp. Again there was the loud sounds of laughter and excitement as we all prepared for another fun week of Camp. I love the way that the presence of God explodes here each time the campers arrive! Our staff this week was ready to experience this sudden burst of energy, the shock waves and of course it came in many forms. This week we were blessed to have Bette Pring here again and her love for worship was at the forefront. We praised the Lord in song and had great teaching about the garden that God desires to cultivate in our lives. She also prepared us as staff as we ready ourselves to once again leave the ’bubble’ of Pagweak and return into the world. Again making sure we cultivate our gardens, our heart and soul. Thank you Bette!
We had a great week with the campers as they participated in all our activities – from kayaking to swimming, rock wall to archery and crafts to indoor games, it certainly was a busy week! The campers also were busy preparing to sing for a small concert that was held for parents and others who came to hear them sing praises and dance showing how much they truly love God. There was an ‘explosion’ of lifting the name of the Lord! The Psalmist says in Psalm 100, ‘Shout to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.’ What an explosion of joy in the voices and feet of these young campers!
Camp is all about challenges as well. This week we had a young camper here with a physical disability and we wondered what we could do to make his camp experience memorable? So instead of thinking we were limited, we asked him what he would like to accomplish. We asked him if he would like to go up on the rock wall and with a great smile on his face he said, ‘can I’? Our staff made this possible for him and that evening when I asked if he had climbed the wall, he looked at me with a great smile and said ‘Yes!’. He even had ’beach time’ with Bette by her cabin as he sat with his feet in a big bucket of water as the two of them shared thoughts about his disability. For him it was an explosion of love and accomplishment to be just like the rest of the campers. We also had a young boy here who spoke only Spanish but what a great blessing to see him run and play just like the other kids. Though it was hard to know what he was thinking, it was such a joy to see one of our counsellors just sitting on the picnic table eating hickory sticks with him and communicating back and forth!
Then there was the explosion of ‘new Life’ that only Jesus Christ can bring into our hearts that was evident. 12 new souls were added this week to the awesome Kingdom of God. One day campers were just coming to Jesus right in the middle of the afternoon!! The staff was so excited as they saw the power of Jesus exploding into the lives of these young campers! As Jesus exploded into the world at His birth He again was exploding and showing His power and energy of salvation. Not only was salvation seen this week but other campers drew closer to Jesus as well.
As the campers left we were all saddened as this was the last week of our ministry here this Summer. As parents took their children back out of camp we looked on in disbelief that our time here is over for another year. Next week I will touch on this with my final report as we look to see the greatness of God here. The great thing is that He does not stop exploding into the lives of these children or our lives if we let Him. Continue to pray for His exploding presence to be seen and experienced by our world!
Week 6 Explorer Camp
What a wonderful week here on the shores of Pugwash Harbour – 46 boys and girls, aged 6 to 9 arrived here on Tuesday morning ready and eager to see and experience all that our great Camp and more importantly our Saviour has to offer. They found both in abundance!
For some it was a real stretch to be away from home – some for the very first time, yet each and everyone remained. As we see the campers come it is interesting to see how they transform from not enjoying the loudness of chapel to jumping right in with all the actions and joy of our worship songs. Such was a young girl by the name of Grace. The first couple of days she did not even enter chapel because the music was too loud and there was too much going on. Today in Chapel Grace was standing beside me doing the motions to the songs and singing and we were praising the Lord together whether she understood that or not. It is amazing and humbling to see the Lord at work. He uses all of us to share and show the love of Christ to others.
Our Spiritual Director this week was Leah Hobbs from Springhill Baptist Church. She serves there as the Director of Children’s Ministry and was able to keep the attention of these young hearts. Leah shared with us all about gardening. She introduced the campers to ‘the Gardener’ – and how we are valued by Him, that it is good for us to catch His words and as well connect with Him. She shared with us on Thursday evening that we need to get the weeds out of our lives and then once we have done that we can flourish and grow for and in Him. Leah also challenged the staff and volunteers to go and grow deeper with Jesus. She wants us to “salsa” more with Him, which being translated means to take more time with Him. Thank you Leah so much! Let’s remember the words from the prophet Isaiah from 61:11, ‘The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise Him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring with plants springing up everywhere.’ The Kingdom had 5 new souls won in it this week and we are being blessed by two baptisms of staff today in Alyssa Stinson and Hudson Burke. It is my prayer we see more plants springing up here at Camp Pagweak in our last two weeks of Camp!
Each and every week we have a 20 minute time – daily, talking about missions. Our project this year is to help people in Kenya. Megan Atkinson has been leading us this year and she set a goal of raising $1500.00. This is done through our Mission Soakers where staff sit before campers and other staff and allow wet sponges to be thrown at them for .50 cents each or people can either buy a bucket worth $5.00 or a Garbage can for $10.00 which is all their tuck money for the week. To date, we have surpassed the $1,500.00 goal and have set a new one of $2,500.00. We currently have raised $1,947.00 which is a great praise!
We are also saddened to say good-bye to several of our staff and volunteers this week as they are concluding their ministry with us for the Summer. Vienna Hamilton is going on a Missions trip to Guatemala for two weeks, Aaron Reimer is heading to Western Canada firstly for a wedding and then for school in the Fall, Eli Dykeman who has served us for 5 weeks is completing his time with us as is our volunteer Mackenzie “Big Mac” Campbell. We were blessed to have Heather MacKinnon of Brookfield Baptist with us this week and she is desiring to return next year! May the Lord bless you all as you serve and live for Him.
Next week will be our second biggest Camp of the year called Eco camp with at least 66 campers coming on site. With our staff and volunteers we will be at 100 souls on site! Please pray for us as God moves and works in all of our hearts. We look forward to the annual visit of Pastor Brian Johnston and how he brings the word of God alive and how well he interacts with both campers and staff. Keep us all in your prayers please.
In His Service
Week 5 Combo Camp
When you read the description in our brochure you will see these words – ‘great friends, fantastic campfires, loud music and crazy activities’ and with the exception of the campfires because of the burning ban, this camp lived up to its name and so much more! There was kayaking, beach time, craft making, and God’s love was evident all through the week. It was a winning combination for His Kingdom!
We were blessed this week with about 44 campers ranging from the ages of 10 to 12. To see the moving of God’s hand was totally amazing. Betty Pring was our Spiritual Director this week and she came prepared with a booklet entitled, ‘Shine Through Me’, which allowed the campers to follow through each day with the teaching of the word and then great discussion questions for the small groups. She shared with us how we matter to God and that we are formed that God should matter to us. The next evening was showing us that we are all designed with a purpose and along with a spiritual gifting survey, shared that our purpose is for His glory. Last evening we had chapel down by the campfire area and what a wonderful evening it was. The sun setting, boats coming and going in the harbour and the word of God going forward from Jeremiah 29 about the plans that God has for us. That night many young hearts came to faith in Christ as well as some rededicated their lives to Him. In all during the week we saw 14 souls added to the Kingdom!!
We were blessed this week with many visitors as well. We had family of a staff member as well as former staff members. One staff member from the past shared with me she was here when there was just a ‘one seater’ ! We always welcome visits from our friends, it is uplifting to our staff.
Many of you are great supporters of the Camp and maybe there are those who have thought about sponsoring or help to sponsor a child and I want to share the story of a young boy named Dakota with you so you know your help does make a difference. Dakota was a sponsored camper who all week wanted to go home every night. His Mom and Dad told him each night that they might think about coming and getting him the next day but I knew they wanted him to be successful and make it through the whole week. Well last night he came to my office and asked to call home again. I told him he could under one condition – that he did not ask to go home. He told me that he had no intention but wanted to call and tell them how much fun he had had today and that he wished he could stay here longer! He may not realize it but we had been praying for him all week and today he can say he did it. He was here last year and gave his heart to Christ and this year rededicated himself to Jesus. God is so good! Your support of the Camp and the children coming do so much good for the Kingdom. Thank you from all the Dakota’s who come to camp.
Let us all be reminded that God’s greatest desire is to let His goodness shine through us. We are His children and it is my prayer that we all will make that our desire each and everyday that God gives to us. Pray for us again next week as almost 50, 7 to 9 year olds come down that lane to experience God. And 28 of these campers are new to camp and may have never heard that He loves them and that Jesus gave His life for them.
Week 3 AAA Sports Camp
If it was possible to have a smoother week than last week, this was it! We were blessed to have 43 amazing campers for AAA Sports Camp. However, much to the confusion of everyone (especially the staff), we were forced to swap sides of the camp as we had 32 boys and only 11 girls!
We were also blessed to have John Andrew, his wife Lisa, and three of their kids, Ezra, and the fifteen month old twins; Daisy and Markaiza join us for the week! John was our Spiritual Director, and he taught the campers all week about a broad range of biblical topics; including covenants, love and distractions.
It was a very busy week at camp, as it always is at Sports Camp. The campers were divided into four teams competing in games of basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, tug of war, water games, track and field events, and of course, as always, ‘The Amazing Race’. Congratulations to Joseph Varner and David Robinson for coming first in the insanity that is all part of ‘The Amazing Race’.
A big thanks goes out to all of our staff – the counsellors who pushed on through the relentless heat and kept ministering to the campers, the volunteers who keep our camp sparkling clean all summer long, and our Camp Director, Greg Porter, who had to leave early this morning for New Brunswick to be at his son’s wedding. Congratulations Ben and Tiffany from all of us at Camp Pagweak!
As a final word, I want to share a quote that John Andrew shared with us a few years back, and repeated this week.
The main thing, is keeping the main thing, the main thing.
All the glory to God.
Week 2 Teen Experiment
What do Zombies, Scars, Crowns, Coffee and Habits all have in common? Believe it or not they all point to Jesus Christ! Micah Linkletter from Immanuel Baptist Church came and shared powerful messages with our 69 Teen Campers this past week. Micah also led us as staff in a daily devotion as we studied John 12. It gave us greater insight into who the person of Jesus Christ is in our lives. It was a wonderful week with a full camp. Micah also brought with him his two interns Mary MacLean and Alyssa Dykeman who helped out in many ways, with programs and even pitched in with daily chores. Thank you so much ladies!
We had a great week where God supplied all our needs. Phil 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” We had a need for another male counsellor and God was so great to answer our prayers as He sent us James Wilmot from Camp Malagash. James said to me that he knew that God wanted him there this week. Three of James’ campers came to faith in Christ this week. One of them asked the Junior in that cabin, Elijah Rich, to stand with him as he and 4 others went through the waters of baptism on Friday afternoon. The impact that God is having through our staff is truly amazing! All in all 5 people were baptized and three souls were added to the Kingdom.
Teen week is usually a more laid back week with the older campers and this week was no different. With almost 100 campers and staff on site I want to thank our cooks Connie McRae, Sarah Berry and Atlanta Newell for a job well done. Their gift of great cooking abilities helps fuel all of us to serve Him better. We are all apart of working together for Jesus.
Please keep us in prayer as next week is our Triple “A” camp with another 43 campers coming on site. There will certainly be lots of activity. Pray for our safety and that again God will show His presence to us in many wonderful ways.
Week 1 Base Camp
Week one of the camping season is now here and gone and our Camp on the shores of the Pugwash Harbour was blessed and drenched by the Lord with the warmth of His Spirit and the warmth of His Son shine! The week started with 47 energized campers ranging in age from 6 to 9. After a weekend of training, the staff were so excited to hear the voices of the children as they came ready to have a lot of fun and getting a chance to meet the Saviour and then for 13 souls inviting Him into their young hearts. We just praise the Lord for what He did in our midst!!
Wanda and Andy Cox along with their 4 children joined us as our Spiritual Directors. It was their first time with us. The Cox’s are from Milford and attend the Stewiacke Baptist Church. They both lead staff in very meaningful devotions each morning and then shared simple but Godly truths that touched the lives of the children. On Thursday evening Andy taught the children about expressing thanks to others. He invited them to come forward and share about what this week at camp meant to them. Here is what Molly Tirrell, a Senior Girl shared about what happened at chapel that evening,
“When the children began to express their gratitude toward the counsellors, I cried happy tears. The campers proved to me that I have a purpose here on earth. I am so proud of the campers and staff. God blessed us with an amazing week!”
The kids all week ran and played – climbing the rock wall, riding bikes, doing archery and learning about Missions. This week the campers and staff raised a huge total of $373.50. Our goal for the summer for eight weeks of camp is $1500.00 so the Lord is well on His way to again showing that we shoot too low in what we expect Him to do.
Our staff this year are relativity young and need your prayers – as for many they either experience Camp for the first time or the first time not as a camper but with expectations to serve Him in an awesome way. I shared with one of the volunteers this morning that because of their efforts, even though they might not feel like it, 13 souls were added to the Book of Life this past week because of their willingness to serve here. It reminds me of the words God gave to Paul in 1 Cor. 3:6-9, “I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow. So the one who plants is not important, and the one who waters is not important. Only God, who makes things grow is important. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work. We are God’s workers, working together; you are like God’s farm, God’s house.” Not only does this verse apply to our staff and volunteers, but it also applies to all of the individuals and churches that give so generously. You all have a key role in making a Kingdom difference!
Be in prayer for us as a Camp as next week we welcome a full camp of teens 69 strong! God has answered our prayers with full male staffing which was an item of prayer. Pray again that God will touch the hearts of the teens as we seek His face.