Wow, what an amazing time we had again at WAY Camp this year – ChristianGovernance’s 2nd annual Worldview, Apologetics and Leadership Youth Camp.
It’s incredible how much fun and learning and friendship you can have in a week among 8 young adults and a few leaders and teachers…
- when those young men and women are motivated to know God more and to dig deeper into the truths of God and His Kingdom;
- when you have excellent teachers who challenge these young adults, feeding them vital truths and expecting great things from them;
- when you have activities and participation that encourage these young men and women to strengthen healthy and valuable relationships;
- when Christians are praying for God to bless such an event and to raise up leadership for His Kingdom in the next generation;
- when God is moving by His Spirit in the lives of His people.
We hope soon to bring you additional post-camp reporting from the mouths of the campers themselves.
We were able to record most of the lectures so we hope to have them posted soon as well. Unfortunately, you had to be there in person to hear the lecture about the powerful advancement of the Kingdom of God in a key nation of this world, and the way in which the relentless advance of the Kingdom of God is overpowering the kingdom of darkness in this country. What a testimony to the invincible power of God! His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the land (Psalm 72:8).
Also, we will only be posting excerpts from the two lectures by Calvin Smith of Creation Ministries International (CMI). You had to be there in person to benefit from the complete messages on critical thinking around origins and on the Biblical teaching on race. There is only one human race. The evolutionary notion of multiple human races fuels racist bigotry.
We have so many people to thank for making this WAY Camp week such a success. In order to keep costs down, and to provide a different experience, we decided to make it a camping week. And I can assure you that my wife and I are not campers! And although the camp was a month earlier this year, we still picked a week that included a 3-day heat wave. Thankfully this year we had access to water – the Ottawa River (upstream from Ottawa!), and we made use of it on each of those three days.
We are most grateful for the use of my father’s rural property, 20 acres of mostly forest where I was raised. A friend from church who can build just about anything built us an outdoor shower stall at very short notice. Another very generous friend prepared and donated lunch for the campers, bringing it fresh to camp each day. Actually she was prepared to bring lunch each day, but she provided so much the first day that we had to ask her to skip a day. Families of the campers as well as other friends and family provided additional camping gear and valuable tips to make our camping experience much more enjoyable, especially when it came to sleeping. It rained heavily over us for a full hour the first night we were there. We also had to seek protection from a heavy thunderstorm on our last evening.
We are grateful to our church for the use of various resources such as tables and chairs, and for its donation to cover the cost of the creation pacs provided by CMI. I am very thankful that my employer supports charitable and non-profit work by making a week available for service like this. We are also grateful for those who made a special donation to ChristianGovernance at this time when additional finances were needed in this vital work of building powerful truth into the lives of future leaders in God’s Kingdom.
This year we asked each of the campers and some of the speakers to share a few minutes of testimony about God’s work in their lives, whether related to their conversion or some other aspect of His work with them. We really appreciate the willingness of each person to share from their lives. As brief as this time was, we believe that it was a valuable contribution to the camp experience to hear how God was moving in their lives and how they understood His working with them.
Last but not least, we are so thankful for the fantastic speakers God sent us this year. Rev. Brian Murray from Grace Presbyterian Church in Woodstock came back again this year to flesh out the implications of God’s law for us. This year he lectured on the First Commandment (You shall have no other gods before me), the Eighth (You shall not steal) and the Tenth (You shall not covet). His lectures generated a lot of discussion because the young men and women at the camp were eager to know how God calls us to live. Steve Zink, associate pastor at the Ottawa Reformed Presbyterian Church, joined us again this year for several lectures. He provided some core apologetics teaching on the doctrine of justification as well as on the source of knowledge and how God gave us His authoritative Scriptures.
Our theme for the week was the Kingdom of God and its advancement through history. Steve Zink talked about the theology of the Kingdom and also taught about the future of the Kingdom. Pastor John McFarland, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor who joined us from Kansas, taught about the impact of Christianity on science. This and Calvin Smith’s talks included reference to the beginning of history, and the earliest days of the Kingdom of God in the lives of men.
Pastor McFarland had a great ministry among us, also teaching more generally on the impact of Christianity and the Kingdom of God on culture. He demonstrated the civilizing – just and merciful – impact of the Kingdom of God in history. He focussed particularly on the impact of Biblical thinking on the behaviour and attitude of men towards children, both born and unborn. He also gave us a window into the mighty work of God in a particular nation on earth during more recent history.
Professor Edmund Bloedow (my father) gave us a very detailed biographical sketch of the apostle Paul and his era, which was the “fullness of time” when Jesus Christ came to accomplish redemption for His people. He demonstrated how significant the human factors were in making the apostle Paul the man he was for advancing the Kingdom of God in his day. He also talked about the significance of key aspects of Middle Eastern reality at that time – “the fullness of time.”
We were saddened that Brian Brodie was not able to join us again this year as one of our teachers due to last minute health problems. We rejoice with him that he is now on the other side of that ailment.
One of the primary goals – perhaps goal #1 – is to teach Christian young adults HOW TO think, not simply WHAT TO think. Most of today’s churched young adults are floundering in their faith, if not walking away altogether. Many of those who remain in the Church live superficial lives because older adults are afraid to entrust them with the ability to think; to wrestle with ideas and beliefs. Young people are mostly not taught WHY we believe what we believe and why we don’t believe other things.
Our teachers this year again helped us to fulfill this goal powerfully. We were led in honest discussion about the human dynamics in the development of our Scriptures without fear that this introduces error into these Scriptures. We were given an overview of the leading non-Christian worldviews throughout human history and shown how they differ from God’s truth in several key areas including ultimacy, ethics and history. The other lectures also challenged this year’s campers to critically examine and understand the Christian faith, all while keeping them rooted in the fundamentals of Christianity, including the authority of Scripture and the centrality of the Gospel truth of salvation in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.
This year’s campers are already talking about next year, so we have to think about 2013 as well. We will work hard to get preliminary information out early, particularly regarding dates, so that your family can make summer plans that include WAY Camp for your 14-19-year-old adult children who want to lay down an enduring foundation for strong Kingdom-advancing faith. Some said our first camp in July was too late, but this year’s camp was probably too early, conflicting with some graduation ceremonies even for those whose studies and exams were over.
Thank you very much for praying for God’s blessings on this past week and for His work in the lives of the young adults who attended. God answered your prayers in many wonderful ways. Please continue to pray for enduring impact in their lives, and for extended blessing to others through the lectures that, Lord willing, will be posted on our website. And please continue to pray for the Biblical worldview and apologetics ministry of ChristianGovernance, and consider sending a donation as you are able to help us continue building and expanding this ministry to the glory of God.
God’s Kingdom is advancing,