After this youth camp, I can say that I understand just a bit more of why God placed Adam and Eve in a garden. Being surrounded by God’s handiwork ultimately magnifies His greatness and works to reveal His plan for us in our lives.
This wonderful experience all started on the 14th of April when families packed their cars and headed off for a four-hour drive east of Perth to Wave Rock, in the wheat belt region. Though the journey was long, there was something special about leaving the city and entering the country with wide expanses of golden coloured land on either side of the road. Even in something so simple as this, one can start to experience the peace that God intended for us all.
Upon arrival, we found a busy campground and many friendly campers. However, we were blessed to be given a portion of the campground backing out onto the bush with enough space for everyone to be together. All hands were on deck as we set up tents, prepared dinner and had showers in readiness for the Sabbath hours.
As the evening came upon us, we all gathered together under the gazebo and opened the Sabbath with some favourite songs from the children. A discussion taken by Br Gerson Robles on Life Choices followed. This discussion centred around the impact of the choices we make, understanding that we will face major life choices and to safely navigate these decisions we need God to direct us. After the discussion, we all went for a night walk to Wave Rock. Even though it was dark and we only had the light of our torches, a first glimpse of this structure left us all in amazement as to its magnitude and formation. Every visit to the rock left us talking about how it was created. We always concluded that such a thing could only be a work of the mighty power of God.
Sabbath morning, we awoke to the crows in the trees above our tents, sounding the alarm of a new day. We all came together in the freshness of the morning for worship which was taken by Br Luke Kneebone. This was followed by a hearty breakfast to prepare us for the day ahead.
After breakfast we all walked up to Wave Rock where we hiked to the top of the rock to be welcomed by an amazing view of the campground and the massive expanse of plains and bush surrounding it. We found a relatively sheltered portion of the rock and all sat around in the fresh air ready for our next discussion. The study was led out by Br Luke Kneebone on the parable of the sower. We all thoroughly enjoyed delving deeper into this parable and really understanding its meaning and significance for us today. Some people will readily accept the truth, others will allow the light they received to be taken from them and still others will completely reject it. But we need to keep sowing the seed. If we are faithful in this, then the Holy Spirit will bless the soil upon which our seeds are sown.
Lunch time came and we all headed back to the campsite for food and drinks to keep us going throughout the rest of the day. A big walk was planned for the afternoon which took us past Hippo’s Yawn. This called for another long stop and many more photos. Hippo’s Yawn is a massive rock structure that essentially looks like a hippo yawning. Again, it is something that could have only been formed through the power of God. As we continued our walk we passed more wildlife, bush and a number of salt lakes until we reached our destination at the amphitheatre. Tired from the walk we sat down on the grass to catch our breath. As we were all together, we decided to start singing. We sang a number of songs from hymns through to favourite choruses until it started to rain, at which point we all moved under the shelter of the stage and continued our sing song. After a few more songs, we started a discussion based on a question that was asked about what it means to make a complete surrender to God. This was such an encouraging and thought- provoking discussion! Personal testimonies were shared and more questions were raised as we tried to understand what it really means to surrender. Have I surrendered myself to God? How do I surrender myself to Him? When can I surrender myself to Him? These are all questions I would encourage everyone to ask themselves and talk about with others. We all thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and agreed that we would like to have a part two session at some time. Later that evening we closed Sabbath with singing and gathered together for a game of Bible taboo.
Sunday morning came before we knew it, and everyone was eager to begin the day. We all looked forward with excitement to the day’s activities. Worship was taken by Br Jacques Payet, where we looked closer at the life of Joseph and how he never doubted God’s plan for His life. He knew that God would lead him, and he remained faithful. The God that Joseph served is the same God that we serve today. So we can have the same faith and assurance that God has something planned for our own lives. We may not see this plan straight away, but never doubt—claim the promises of God and in His time He will reveal His plan to you.
After breakfast we all headed off for a 15-minute drive from Wave Rock to a place known as Mulka’s Cave and The Humps. It was here that we were to begin our orienteering session. Br Luke Kneebone and Br Gerson Robles had gone to great lengths in setting up the course and met us all there. After being divided into four groups we began the course, searching for clues, answering questions and working out puzzles. Some of us got very lost, while others found their way after some time and persistence. What was very interesting in this activity was seeing how different teams worked together to move forward. We all learnt a valuable lesson from this activity. When we are searching for treasure in the Word of God we should never give up. Don’t be like those of us who gave up searching for our clue during the orienteering session only to find out later that we were just a few steps away from it. Persist in your search for the truth! We also learnt that sometimes things may not make sense until we search a little harder to find the next clue that helps it all make sense. This is the same with the Word of God. If you don’t understand something, keep searching, keep praying and you will be given light to help you understand. Have faith in God!
After orienteering, all the groups hiked up a rocky mountain to meet everyone at the top for lunch. The setting and the view were beautiful, a magnificent testimony to the majesty of God! Later that afternoon we visited a mineral lake which contained very similar properties to the Dead Sea, allowing you to float on the water.
Sunday evening we had our worship and close of camp meeting. We spent the time reflecting on the lessons we had learnt that day and sharing personal testimonies of our own experience over the weekend. It was very encouraging to see many of the young people share their thankfulness for the time we could all spend together out at such an amazing location.
As Monday morning approached, it was time to pack up and prepare for the journey home. The camp was such a blessing to everyone who attended and inspired us with the desire to more earnestly search for God, surrender to Him and learn of His will for our lives.
~ Amariah Payet