“Getting to Know God” – 3-6 April 2015
Good Friday dawned bright and sunny after a cold evening and Lake Navarino, Waroona, WA saw the arrival of Perth and Stratham families coming together for a youth camp entitled “Getting to Know God.”
After setting up camp, we started the program with the opening Sabbath Worship entitled “What is your picture of God?” We explored how each one of us view God through a pair of glasses. How we view Him depends on how we have been brought up, who has role modeled Christianity to us and, in particular, our relationship with our earthly fathers. Some glasses are sunglasses where the view is darkened, some are the wrong type of reading glasses where the view is distorted and some are prescription sunglasses where the view is distorted and darkened. We learned that Satan’s number one effort is to distort our image of God and make him out as a tyrant. We then learned through what glasses God would have us view him, and we looked at 1 John 4:7-12. God loved us enough that He made a huge sacrifice to give us His Son to be humiliated and killed so we could live forever. The glasses He wants us to view Him through are love, and then all other aspects of God will be made clearer.
After dinner we had youth question time where some questions that had been previously asked by the youth were explored and answered by Br Luke and Br Csongi Matyas, the Union Youth Leader, who we were privileged to have attend our camp.
Sabbath morning began with morning worship taken by the first youth group. Their title was “How do I acquaint myself with God?” We learned of different ways we could have the initial contact with God before really getting to know him. Nature, the Bible and self-sacrifice were the ideas highlighted.
After Sabbath School we began a bush walk past the Waroona Dam, crossing over a dry section of it to the bush beyond. Unfortunately we had a casualty along the way when one of the young people slipped and fell on the pebbly gravel and scored a very nasty graze on her leg. The hike halted until first aid was given and a decision was made whether to take her back to camp or let her continue. We crossed the dam and had lunch, and a relief four-wheel drive was brought from camp to take back the injured and weary while the rest continued on.
At approximately 3.00pm the spiritual section of the Sabbath was held by Br Csongi Matyas where we looked at “How do you spend time with God.” A few selected young people shared how they spent their time during a normal day and during a busy day and where they found time to spend with friends during their busy schedules. We then looked at how we could allocate time to spend with our best friend, God, and how He is such a good friend that He can spend time with us even when we are busy.
After dinner evening worship was taken by another selected youth group where we explored the question “What does God love?” As part of getting to know our friends we find out what they like and dislike; and we learned that God loves justice, as we do, He loves beauty and nature, like we do, and He loves people as we do. He also loves to see our obedience stemming from love.
Sunday morning began with worship entitled “What does God Hate?” We learned God hates disobedience, because of where it leads us to. It hurts parents to see their children disobey because they know it will lead their children down a terrible pathway, and God also hates to see our disobedience because He knows it will destroy us.
After worship and breakfast we joined in with some spiritually focused activities. The first section was the “first aid” section where we had four casualties coming in, one at a time, with life threatening injuries. The first casualty was so busy playing computer games and listening to her loud music through her earphones that she was not interested in being helped for her life threatening injuries. However she had a lot of time for a friend who came and talked to her about the latest movie and cars doing doughnuts on the dam.
The second casualty was unconscious and could not ask for help with her life threatening injuries, so help was given.
The third casualty did not want any help whatsoever for various reasons; and although the person trying to help him persisted, he refused help.
The fourth casualty had life threatening injuries but only wanted to help herself. She did not want to accept help from others.
The lessons we learned from these cases were that we all have life threatening injuries. We are doomed to death from sin. Some are too distracted to even notice or pay attention to God trying to help them, some are not able to ask for help because they don’t even realise they are hurt, some refuse help from God and the Holy Spirit and there is little God can do for them since they do not consent, and some realise they are in need of help but want to do all the work of healing spiritually themselves.
After these activities the youth went down by the lake where they participated in a further activity whereby they had to make their way through a maze, blindfolded. The maze represented our lives and pathways. One pathway lead to eternal death and one to eternal life. Each person had to maintain their way along the pathway of eternal life while resisting influences for evil along the way. There were influences and suggestions of good and evil and their response to these suggestions and decisions would determine how they stayed on the pathway.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in free activity canoeing on the lake and enjoying some social time together.
Evening worship was taken by a fourth youth group who briefly explored “How do we follow God?” We learned that we first have to have a need, secondly we need to choose and thirdly we need to find out God’s will for our lives and pathways and then do it.
Sunday evening saw the continuation of question time which was participated in by all.
Monday morning worship was the close of the camp, and we briefly summarized all that we had learned and closed with an appeal for all who had not made their decision to get to know God and follow Him to really make their choice to do so. To get to know God was to receive eternal life, as set out in John 17:3 —“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
~ Reported by Catherine Robles