Wow, what a day yesterday was! We alter the schedule on a day in the middle of camp each year. We still have our classroom time in the morning, but we get through our discussion before lunch. Then, instead of playing team sports on that day, we give the students some free time on campus which they use to sleep, play sports, or just hang out in groups in the classrooms. On this night, we have our cookout too; burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks and blizzards for everyone! It’s something we all look forward to.
After the cookout, we split up the guys and girls. This year, my wife Ashley and Brooke Ritterbush (who is our events coordinator with Transform) led the session with the young women. They covered all sorts of topics ranging from preparing to be a wife, to setting expectations for what to look for in a future husband, dating, modesty, sexuality, you name it! In the guys room, three of us (myself, Michael Krause [youth pastor and former bootcamper], and Mark Rykse [our “camp dad” at camp 1]) shared testimonies around our upbringing and leading towards our family lives.
Why did we choose to address these topics in this way? Well, Ashley and I have sensed God’s prompting to minister to teens concerning their current and future family relationships for the last couple of years. The family, God’s design to demonstrate the Gospel and produce disciples, has become a source of conflict, division, and great pain for too many young people. In fact, we work with the singles ministry in our local church here in Chattanooga and constantly see a stream of working professionals in their 20’s and 30’s who have no clue what a family life is supposed to look like. We don’t want that to be the fate of the next generation!
We feel so strongly about this topic, that next year’s bootcamp is going to be some variation of the out of print “Someday, A Marriage Without Regrets” study. We’re going to watch God’ Word address all of those issues (and then some) I mentioned above. I’m excited about that, and judging by the responses of the campers to what we did last night, they’re hungry for it. Will you pray for healing and truth around these issues in the lives of the students?
The students are in 2 Corinthians 4 today. Go take a look at the passage and keep up with us! We’ll have our last update for you tomorrow!