I haven’t written at all for the last five days, instead I was travelling to — and cleaning toilets at — the South Island Eastercamp 2012. Over 4,000 teenagers from around the South Island converged on Spencer Park in Christchurch for what I can perhaps best describe as a Christian non-stop What Now with rock concerts thrown in. It is loud! It is huge, very well run, and God is there. Surprisingly, even with about 4,100 young people at the camp there is no trouble — the single Police officer had a fairly relaxed four days. But it was loud.
I did discover that while my trusty sleeping bag kept me toasty warm, my ageing bones need more than 20mm of closed-cell foam between me and the hard ground to facilitate a sound night’s sleep. So while I yawned my way around camp, my 10-year-old daughter revelled in being counted an honourary youth group member. She loved the ‘Big Top’ meetings, the activities, lots of people to hang out with, staying up late, most of the food (but not the gluten-free buns!), and came home wanting a closer relationship with God and to read the Bible more.
I learned what an awesome group of youth leaders our church has, how much I need my beloved wife, and was encouraged to more fully pursue a couple of things God has placed on my heart. I will also miss Stormy’s hilarious commentaries as we did our midnight loo-crew rounds.
Photo credits: Eastercamp media team