By: Neema Anderson

The Monday of camp arrived and I was really excited.

I wasn’t quite sure what the theme Diverge meant but I was interested to find out.

Camp is always a good place for our whole youth group to grow closer and have a lot of fun. The van ride to camp was a crazy mash-up of funny hats and fake facial expressions as riders in each van made their very own live music videos. All of us were excited to get into the cold lake water, play sand volleyball, and have some really good worship and preaching. I couldn’t wait to worship alongside everyone with the band Gozur leading us.

The great thing about our youth group is that we like to include everyone. It was so much fun to play volleyball with 10+ people per team! Honestly, it was kind of silly but we didn’t want anyone to be excluded. Even when we were out on the lake everyone did the different activities together. It’s really cool to see everyone getting along.

One of the most meaningful moments was the last day during worship. Being by the lake and having fewer distractions made it easier for me to worship freely. In those moments looking out on the lake I was able to let go of the distractions, fears, and other hindrances and fully worship God. It was freeing.

The camp theme was Diverge so for every sermon there was a different definition for diverge. For the Apostle Paul diverge meant to become or be different in character and that’s exactly what Paul did.

For me one of the most impactful moments at camp was when Bruce Gale preached on Saul/Paul. I liked the other sermons but Saul/Paul stands out in my mind. I knew the story; Saul, a Christian killer, blinded by God then became (in my opinion) one of the most influential Christians in the Bible. In my mind that was the full extent of the story. But in that sermon Bruce talked about how God’s choice in me isn’t dependent on my perfection and that God’s love is bigger than my mistakes. These are things that I already knew in my head, just like I knew the story of Paul, but when I heard them side by side my perspective changed. This time Paul’s story reached my heart and everything I thought I knew I really understood in that moment.

Now here we are weeks after camp and what I learned from Paul diverging from his old self is still rippling through my mind and my heart.  God has a plan for my life that supersedes my own human wisdom so it’s about time that I start remembering that.


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