Vic Camp 2017 was definitely one that will be remembered as a camp that was special for many reasons. Held in the same beautiful spot, with mostly the same church family, at the same time of the year as others before it, little did we know that this camp was going to be so different. It began when the planning committee decided to make “Family” the camp theme. This meant no long, dry doctrinal discourses for the sermons; no argumentative debates during the workshops; and an involvement of youth and children rarely seen.
Every topic that was presented in some way gave practical and biblical advice and suggestions about how to raise and run a family for the glory of God. Topics ranged from Christian education, family Christianity, how and why to conduct family worship, the missionary family, and preparation on becoming part of the heavenly family. On Sabbath, the workshops involved more detailed and specific discussions regarding the various roles and responsibilities of individual family members. These were a blessing and enjoyed by all involved.
A huge blessing also came from something else we don’t see every camp – the welcoming into the fold of seven children of God by baptism. The occasion was made even more special by the visitors from NSW and QLD joining us to witness Chris and Rosa Leaosavaii, Ben, Pepe, Inga, and Salati Ahmann, and Irina Duna all don their baptismal gowns and make their commitment to Christ public in the waters of the cool (freezing) waters of the camp lake. Not to worry about the Victorian climate though, as the camp fire was lit that Sabbath evening, and the family socialising continued into the night.
On Sunday, the youth participated in an extremely original and well thought out activity that not only taught and encouraged them in life skills but made camp a delight instead of a duty. The idea was that they would simulate real life by being delegated different jobs in which they could earn (pretend) money. With that money they could pay the church tithe by giving some of the money to pastor Luke Philips, or they could donate to feed the homeless man Gaby Mandic, or they had the opportunity to buy goods and services like kayaking or food or wifi. It proved a really good idea with very real lessons learned – something special and enjoyed by all involved.
Camp closed on Sunday evening with something else to make it a special camp. After thanking the cooks, their helpers and the coordinators, Br. Nathan Tyler gave his final thanks to his Victorian Field family, with whom he had the pleasure of organising field camps for the last eight years. This camp, he said with slight nostalgia, depending on certain circumstances, was likely to be the last one he would share in the organisation of, for his ministerial duties will see him being transferred to NSW (with his family) some time this year.
So it was that with friendly farewells and a little sadness, most went home on Sunday evening. A camp to be remembered for so many reasons: the baptisms, the activities, the lessons learned and family bonds strengthened. May God help us have such an experience not only every camp, but every day. For this let us pray “unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant (us), according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in (our) hearts by faith; that (we), being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that (we) might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).
~ Adriana Stanciu