Mike Hottinger, Chaplain
In my studies at Anglican Youthworks College, we were taught that one three-day camp was equivalent to an entire semester’s worth of youth group. The connection and relationships that are fostered on camp through sharing meals and activities, as well as reading the Bible together, are invaluable to the relationship between leaders, kids and classmates.
At church, we battled to get as many kids as possible on camp in order that they would hear the gospel, have fun and bond with other kids and Christian leaders. Here at Kuyper, it is not a battle. For this reason, I make it a priority to volunteer for as many camps as my strength will allow. The relationships that are built and deepened on these camps cannot be underestimated.
I was on the Stage 5 camp to Dubbo during Week 1 of this term, and have just returned from the Stage 3 Bathurst camp. So many aspects of these camps were amazing: visiting the “Dish” at Parkes; panning for gold; Western Plains Zoo; Wellington Caves; singing students’ favourite songs on the bus. But by far the greatest blessing is my job as Chaplain, because I lead devotions on these camps. I was able to speak with almost every student in Year 5, 6, 9 and 10 about Jesus, according to their age and stage.
Year 9/10 Dubbo Camp
After visiting the Parkes Telescope, we discussed Genesis 1:14-19 and Colossians 1:15-20; God’s greatness in creation, and worshiping none other than him. Creation was brought into being through, for and by Jesus himself. After our trip to the zoo, we discussed Revelation 5; Jesus is both the lion of Judah and the sacrificial lamb of God. He is not to be trifled with, but worshiped for his loving sacrifice on the cross. This is the responsibility of anyone calling themselves ‘Christian’. After our visit to the caves, we discussed 1 Kings 19 and Hebrews 1:1-4; God ‘turning up’ in a still small voice to Elijah as he cowers in a cave. Although he can use other means, God promises to speak to us through his Word and by his Son.
Year 5/6 Bathurst Camp
The theme of this camp was ‘Treasure’. We discussed Matthew 13:44-46 and Isaiah 40:11; what do you treasure and why? God treasures you above all else and he showed this by dying for you!
Through each of these devotions, inspired by what we had learned and experienced that day, I had the opportunity to convey, as best I could, the glory of Jesus Christ. Each of us is on our own journey with the Lord. We are all learning and growing in our relationship with him. It is my prayer that the students who were able to enjoy “camping” this term would be moved forward in their journey towards the true and living God.