August 6, 2018
Southern Oregon and California Youth Camp 2018
Activities for the Southern Oregon and California Youth Camp scheduled for Monday, July 30, through Friday, August 3, began the Sunday evening before with a combined youth rally and pizza party in Medford, Oregon. With the exception of six from Los Angeles, California, everyone who had registered for the camp attended. The excitement among the staff and campers was palpable, and the Spirit of God was present as Pete Sferle, pastor from Sacramento, California, brought the first message. Drawing from Esther 4:14, “...who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this,” he preached about answering God’s call while demonstrating humility and courage, and ultimately experiencing God’s redemption.
The next morning, the group arrived at the camp in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where a variety of activities awaited them during the week. These included swimming, archery, crafts, baseball, basketball, volleyball, wall climbing, and racing down a zip line! In addition, they could look forward to daily devotionals and chapel services centered on the account of Queen Esther and the camp theme of “Now!” with the key verse, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
In the first chapel service, enthusiastic singing and several testimonies were followed by a message from Randy Lee of Medford. He preached from Psalm 103:11-12, expressing that salvation provides a new beginning, regardless of our mistakes and failures. Afterward, there was a time of prayer.
During Tuesday’s devotional time, small group activities, including skits, highlighted different parts of Esther’s story, emphasizing that her beauty came from her discreteness and humility. This led to group discussions of Esther and Mordecai’s humility juxtaposed with Haman’s pride.
In the evening, Florin Baros of Sacramento spoke on pride and humility, and used a balloon to demonstrate how easy it is to become puffed up. Ultimately the balloon popped, providing a powerful illustration.
Wednesday’s devotion time focused on Esther’s courage. The staff members from various churches led small groups in activities emphasizing the point that honoring God requires courage. In the evening, Sola Omolayo of Richmond, California, preached from 2 Corinthians 6:2, the camp’s key verse.
On Thursday, the group devotionals focused on the theme of redemption, using Esther 8:16, “The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour,” as the basis for discussion. To conclude the session, Christianne Lambert of Los Angeles shared her testimony.
In the evening, Brother Pete took his text from John 7:37-38, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” He spoke about being a troubled youth, and how that changed when he was invited to youth camp as a teenager. He went on to tell how the Lord satisfies.
This year’s Southern Oregon and California Youth Camp was a great success. From the fun activities to the inspiring Bible lessons from Esther, God’s Spirit was felt throughout, and by the close, there were many reports of salvation and sanctification received.
(Mouse over the image to click through the album.)