Margy and I were recently in an airport security line and my bag was flagged. I was asked if there was anything sharp and dangerous in my bag. He pointed to a dark image in the left side of the bag. I replied, “no”. Come to find out the offending item was the chronological Bible Margy had purchased at the suggestion of Tara-Leigh Cobble, this year’s Refresh: Ladies Retreat speaker.
Hebrews 4:12 makes it clear that:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I, in fact, was carrying something sharp and dangerous – the inerrant Word of God.
Once on the plane, I started listening to an audiobook “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In the forward, it told of Bonhoeffer’s careful study of God’s Word and his love of teaching and writing good theology – even if it stood in opposition to the teaching of Adolf Hitler. In 1945 Bonhoeffer was hung for his beliefs.
Over the years Lake Ann Camp has developed many powerful teaching tools. One of which is the climbing tower that was featured in our recent appeal letter. Many lives have been changed on the outdoor climbing tower since it was built in 1993. Lessons learned on the wall become metaphors for issues campers are dealing with back home. I could tell many stories from mothers who found a love for an errant son-in-law to a bitter teenager that found forgiveness for a deep hurt in life.
Tools like the climbing tower are pretty powerful but make no mistake about it, Lake Ann Camp has not become known internationally because we have great “tools”. The real secret behind the life-change at Lake Ann Camp is no secret at all! It rests in our deep commitment to hire people who love God and are committed to skillfully using His Word in a way that helps campers apply its principles to their life.
Take the climbing tower for instance. It is an obstacle to overcome. A counselor will ask a camper what does this obstacle represents in their real life? Once identified the counselor will point the camper to the Bible where God addresses the challenge they are facing. As the camper climbs the counselor is asking the climber to think not just about his/her climb, but also how it is like the real challenge they are facing in life and how applying Scripture will help them move forward in life.
Additionally, a camp day begins with “God and I” time and each day ends with a rehashing of what was learned in cabin wrap-up time. In between are two chapel sessions where God’s Word is presented in an age-appropriate style. Make no mistake about it, God’s Word is a guaranteed impact as Isaiah 55:10-11 says:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Campers love Lake Ann Camp for a lot of reasons, but the ones who care the most about the camp are those whose lives were forever touched as they learned how to live out biblical principles in their daily life. This is one of the things that gets our staff up in the morning! Every camper is to us an opportunity to set a heart on fire for Christ!