In truth, I can only speak for myself, and I've done that elsewhere (my part and what we did and learned). But I can give my perspective on what else I have seen. And like Paul, I believe I have God's viewpoint on this.
This year's camp wasn't as exciting on a visceral level as some of the others. On the other hand, I see a lot of things going on at deep, personal levels. Several people got saved. Several others renewed their commitments. And these alone would have made it worthwhile. But these are the easy things to see.
One girl (let's call her Genny) broke down one night, and all she could say was ``I wish you could all see yourselves. You're so beautiful!'' Later I pointed out to Genny that she was a part of this particular "y'all". And she cried again, because she's been struggling with self-worth. But she kind of had to see her worth, because God had let her see through His eyes for a moment, not something we expect Him to do for the worthless. And I've seen a new strength and passion in her for her Lord.
For some of the kids who were already moving in the right direction, camp was a deepening, or a confirmation. Two other teens (call them Elizabeth and Kristi) felt like they needed to go dance and worship in a particular spot, so they did. This was odd, only because (a) they're a bit timid sometimes, and (b) usually at camp, the aisles are full of people dancing and worshiping, whereas that night they were mostly empty.
So they danced there while 100 Portraits played. And at the next service, that aisle was full of people dancing and worshipping. Elizabeth and Kristi said later they felt like "something broke" (as if an enemy line had broken) while they were dancing. So they noticed that the aisle on the other side was empty, and they danced there during the next worship time. After that, you had to go pretty far back in the auditorium to find much room in the aisles!
If you think, ``no big deal!'', I have to disagree. First off, it's a big deal when you can hear God. It's a big deal when you obey. And it's a big deal when the enemy loses ground. I think their Father was real proud of them, and I don't know of any bigger deal than pleasing Him. And if they indeed, by their obedience, broke through something, which impacted hundreds of other people, that's a pretty big deal, too. In summary, it was a very cool, big deal to a lot of peeople, most of whom probably have no idea what these girls did for them.
A couple of the girls who've really been rebellious realized that they had to stop fighting their parents all the time. And they're working on that. Several of the guys who have a really hard time getting into worship were able to really let go and get into it; I've seen changes in their lives as a result. A couple of the girls who've been super insecure got some healing in that area, realizing that they do matter, and that God really does love them, and that some of us do, too.
A number of the youth at RRC really saw, for the first time I think, parts of their purpose in life. And that God not only could use them, but will and does use them, and is using them, and how much more He's ready to use them. Some of them are starting to take on leadership roles and responsibility. Some of them have a new boldness.
And the youth leadership has realized that we have to stop tolerating some things from some people, that grace is wonderful, but God calls us to both grace and holiness. And I think we all got refreshed, and saw more of our destiny, as well. And I know most of us saw some aspects of God, and of ourselves, much more clearly than we ever have.
What more could we ask for?
And that's why every year I can hardly wait to spend my summer vacation with a bunch of teenagers.
Copyright 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
NOTE: The opinions and beliefs, along with everything else, expressed here are those of the author, and may or may not reflect those of Round Rock Chapel, New Breed Network, ORU, and their attendant staff, members, and other related people. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514