About 35 eager campers arrived at the Kirup Valley Farms camping site early enough to setup tents, prepare for Sabbath and welcome the Sabbath in with singing at around 6:15pm. The WA Field Youth Camp got off to a beautiful start in a lovely bush setting.
The theme of the conference was “Victory in Christ” and brother Luke Kneebone opened Sabbath with a meditation about temptation. Luke first defined what temptation is – a strong enticement to do something wrong – and then he looked at how to deal with it.
Our youth admitted to some things they find tempting. Chocolate, Lego, books, social media, Minecraft, music, friends, peer pressure, school work, not keeping the Sabbath properly, movies, shopping, cooking, chilies.
The Bible tells us that the human race has always been tempted in the same ways, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man….” But what is the promise? “…God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Before temptation comes to us, God promises us that it won’t be more than what we are able to bear. Luke then asked an interesting question, “what is more common in our lives, falling or resisting temptation?” To this question, most responded that they experienced falling into temptation more than victory. The question was then put, “what enabled you to overcome temptation when you did?” Various answers were given including prayer, a consciousness of not offending God, remembering a Bible verse at the most critical time, etc.
It is God’s intention that we should live by every word of God. This is how we can overcome temptation when it is all around us. James 4:7 guarantees success in this area of overcoming temptation. It tells us to “submit” to God – this is the key to victory, for it is God that empowers us to gain the victory. He is far stronger than our enemy.
Sr. Shelley Newman commenced worship with Romans 8:38, 39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Shelley used a mobile phone to illustrate how we are to be charged to do God’s work in sharing the gospel, for a phone does not work without charge. A phone is confined by a power point to charge, but we are not confined to space and time, for God’s love is unbounded and we can access him anywhere. Unlike a mobile phone, we cannot die if we are connected to God. Shelley concluded by saying that whatever we do – stay plugged!
Bible Study Activity
Instead of a sermon, Sr. Catherine Robles organised everyone into small groups and gave each group a Bible verse to investigate. The method of investigation is based on 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
There were 9 groups all up, and they had to write down how their Bible reference answered these four questions:
- Doctrine – What does it teach?
- Reproof – What does this verse show me I’m doing wrong?
- Correction – What does this verse tell me I should be doing?
- Instruction in righteousness – How should I do it?
The groups each took turns in sharing what they found. It was amazing how much each group got out of a single reference using this method.
After a combined lunch in the beautiful camp grounds, we took off walking around the campground surrounds. It was agreed that the youth would all bring back an object lesson from the walk, and here are a few we can share:
Hannah Lausevic: the organisers of the nature walk had put out markers to follow, but nobody followed them. God has put markers on the way to heaven. How many of us will bother to look for them and follow them?
Jonathan Brown: There’s a fig tree growing underneath a pear tree at camp. Jesus cursed a fruitless fig tree, and it died. Jesus’ lesson in cursing the fig tree is in helping us to understand that we need faith in God to accomplish great good. Submission to God puts us in a place where we can be used by God as he sees fit to bring about that good.
Nozie Tshadoc: The illustration is of a sponge and how it illustrates God cleansing us. John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Romans 5:1-5 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Trials are there to cleanse us, even though we might not feel pleasant at the time. God squeezes us like a sponge and gets rid of all the dirty “fluid”.
Emma: There was a trail of about 15 caterpillars following each other, one after the other, on our walk. This illustrates how we are to follow Christ along life’s pathway. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalms 32:8
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
Kadin: Tumblr is a social media platform. One of its features is commenting shown up as “strings” on a page – or a string of comments. Observing the comments shows us that groups of people tend to have differing comments; to have a vibrant and interesting discussion, you need to have people with various backgrounds and ideas contributing. This illustrates how the Bible writers bring their own unique aspect to the Scriptures, and it’s why God inspired different men to write.
Precise: Ephesians 4:11-13, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
The caterpillars whole journey came to an end when the first caterpillar was removed and placed at the end of the line. This illustrates how we should encourage others to lead and to take care of their own, to take on responsibility, for if we don’t, people won’t know how to lead when needed. When flying, ducks take turns leading on the v-shape. The wolves are also a really good example of leadership. They lead from the back.
Question & Answer
Sis. Lidia Voncina (who was visiting us in WA along with Br. Joe) and Sis. Chipo and Br. Luke and Br. Gerson were asked to be the panel for a Sabbath afternoon question and answer session. A question box had been placed in the campground, and it was now filled with lots of great questions including:
- People say “don’t judge”, but is there a time when judgment is necessary?
- Can we play video games?
- What’s the difference between knowledge and conviction?
- How can you have true faith without it being presumption?
- Should we strive to build wealth though we know that our treasure is in heaven, or should we not make the effort and be “poorish” because we know the things of this earth are not forever?
- Is it ok for men and women to wear necklaces?
- Should I use my tablet on Sabbath?
- Is it ok to have gay friends?
- How can a young person be motivated to live for God, when there is no desire to?
There was lots of participation and interest in these questions, and the answers given were appreciated. This report is too short to include all the answers given; suffice it to say that it was very beneficial.
Sabbath Closing Worship
Br. Gerson Robles led out in worship as we considered how to have victory over temptation. Gerson had bought a Kitkat and some chocolate sweets to illustrate how enticement works and how the frontal lobe helps us resist temptation.
Our frontal lobe, which makes up for 2/3 of our brain is hugely important in the process of resisting temptation because it regulates our impulsive decision making. It helps us deal with conflicting thoughts and assists us to reason from cause to effect.
Interestingly, it is the last part of the brain to finish developing (at 25 years old) and therefore is the most sculpted by our environment and experience. This shows how important the training of our youth is to overcome temptation. While their frontal lobes are developing, and the younger they are, the greater the need to have strong families, supportive churches and positive social environments. They need those who will teach Biblical values and morals and who can lead and guide them in the right way.
Sunday Morning Worship
For morning worship, Precise Mamuse dwelt upon 2 Corithians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Precise expounded on this verse. Grace is sufficient for all our needs. We don’t need wealth, we don’t need many things, but we need grace. Weakness is not always weakness. Weakness is strength when we see our need of God and lean upon Him, for He is greater and more powerful than we are.
Submission to God is where it all begins. If we submit to Him, everything else is put in its proper perspective. We will not sink into depression, or anxiety, for we know God is there for us, and His love is far greater for us than for the animals, the grass of the field and the lilies. We can confidently trust in Him.
Sunday afternoon we all took off in our cars for a vehicle-orienteering challenge. Markers were setup with numbers corresponding to Bible verses with clues which told us where to go to our various destinations.
During this activity, we climbed three massive trees located near Pemberton at the Gloucester National Park. The trees were between 52 metres and 65 metres tall, the third being the hardest and tallest to climb. These trees are fitted with spiraling steel pegs sticking out from the trunk reaching all the way to the top, where wooden platforms have been erected where you can stand and get a 360-degree, panoramic view of the landscape.
Lots of lessons were learned by those who climbed, and it was definitely a scary feeling going all the way to the top since all that was between us and the ground was a thin little peg underneath our feet!
Everyone got a certificate with a star for each tree climbed; and when we were finished, we were given a prize by our Youth Leader – Sr. Inneka Lausevic.
Camp was beautiful. It was a great venue amongst the pear and apple orchard at the Lausevic’s farm. We were blessed to spend this time together, and we praise God for another memorable Youth Camp.
~ Gerson Robles