Elevate News for July (front page)
Mornings at Reflection Circle are some of my favorite times at camp. The setting is amazing. Facing the lake in the quiet of the morning, students can take in the full majesty of the God of creation. It is all underproduced, on purpose. This is a special place for us. As a teen, I came forward to meet with God and dedicate my life to serve God at this same circle. This is where we hold our campfire meeting on the last night of camp. Hearing students proclaim newfound faith in God, new commitments to God, and victory over issues in their lives that have been a lifelong struggle brings joy to our hearts. More than any other aspect of camp, we feel a loss over the impact a week of camp has in the lives of students. Students have few opportunities to unplug from the noise in their lives that distracts them from the voice of God. Cell phones, video gaming, friends, and routine often keep us so busy we don’t slow down to listen to what God has to offer us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control all flow from a life surrendered to God’s Grace in our lives. These traits don’t come naturally and cannot be gained through our own works. Just as it is not by works of righteousness we have done but by grace He has saved us, it is not by works that we can live a grace-filled life. Out of this grace-filled life flows the fruit of the Spirit. Interestingly enough, you cannot make fruit grow, it has to flow from the nutrients coming through the tree to the branches and out into the fruit. The Scriptures remind us that God is the vine and we are merely branches from which the power of the vine bears fruit. No work of our own causes fruit to grow, only resting in complete dependence upon the vine. As much as we miss camp and know how God uses this experience to reach youth, we trust that God is perfectly in control of everything we see today. He was not surprised by a virus nor is He limited by it. While this is a difficult time for Elevate we know we can trust in the sovereign God of the universe for our direction and needs. Thank you for supporting and partnering with Elevate. Your prayers are felt and appreciated.