In the weeks leading up to camp, I could feel tension. Because I’ve learned that in ministry and often times just in life, before God is going to do great things, usually there is tension. But nothing could have prepared me for the many, many great things that God would do during NTS Camp 2018. What follows, are simple iPhone pictures (I realize I’m probably the only person that cares when the quality of my pictures isn’t what I’d prefer. That being said, since NTS is such a full week, and my primary job is to watch all the teens, I leave my nice cameras behind).
If you are my friend and I talked to you the week before camp, you know that one of my biggest stresses was having to drive our 15 passenger church van, six and a half hours up to Houghton. We had our biggest group yet this year, so we needed additional vehicles and didn’t have any other options for driving. Thank you to those who prayed for me and I’m happy to announce that both the trip there and back was flawless. We made it through the city without traffic and God truly blessed our travels. When we arrived at camp, you could feel this incredible excitement coming from the both the youth leaders and directors as well as the hundreds and hundreds of teens in attendance.
In the next three and a half days that would follow, these incredible kids would participate in workshops, big group sessions, games, activities, small groups, themed nights and would end each day in a huge worship session.
These pictures might be a bit in random order, but bear with me and I’ll try to explain each one a bit. The next few were all from our Team Comp (competition) times. NTS Camp always comes up with the most creative games.
For Team Comps, the entire camp was divided up into four color teams, ours being blue.
I was incredibly proud to see our students working hard and working together.
And then each evening, after dinner we’d gather all together to worship. You cannot imagine how beautiful and powerful it was to worship together with so many amazing people. Erik Bledsoe led our worship this time and it was absolutely outstanding. Each night, our students also heard the Bible preached powerfully through our speaker, Derik Idol. His messages hit home with many of our students and each evening was truly a blessed time together.
And as for the rest of the week. It was pretty epic.
Jeremy and I really enjoyed being with our students. For full disclosure, there were a challenging moments. Which is completely normal when you are working with teens. But overall, they all did quite well and this week for me helped to confirm my continued love to serve along side of my husband in Youth Ministry.
Our kids truly had such an amazing time.
Throughout the week, I’d see them hanging out with new friends and it always brought a smile to my heart. Often times we’ve heard that they don’t know many other Christians in their schools outside of the ones from out Youth Group. So it’s always great to be able to bring them to a camp where they could see that there were many others who believed the same as them.
And a quick note on this picture. Our son Christian loves Volleyball and could not wait to bring a team up to play at camp. He even held a practice session the week before. Well, I’m happy to share that his team ended up taking first place in the volleyball tournament. It was a solid day for the Blue team too as our Ultimate Frisbee team also took first. And in a fun turn of events, the Frisbee guys were all from a church in Ann Arbor which made my Michigan hometown heart happy.
There were so many memorable moments during NTS.
Lots of laughter
And times of tears.
Most every single second was filled to the full. To be honest, I feel like it’s going to take another week to just fully process all of the amazing things that went on.
On another side note, I adore this man. He is my absolute favorite person in the entire world. I loved being at camp with him and seeing the incredible ways that God was using him. I loved seeing his heart for our students and his passion to connect them with Jesus. I also loved seeing the connections he’s made over the years and the genuine ways that he loves others. I could not be more thankful to get to serve with him. I really wanted a picture together so had our friend Steven take it but then did have to laugh when I noticed the expressions on the faces of those around us. It could have been their responses to our PDA which was a Level 1 infraction for camp, haha.
When the end of the week came, it was hard to believe that time could fly by so quickly.
And on my final side note, I could not have done this week without these amazing young women. They were part of our leadership team (though Jules was technically still a student, I considered her a leader. You could not believe the gifts and talents that God has given this girl). She, along with Jade and Chloe made this week possible. We also had Steven and Kyle who were there to help Jeremy and hang with the boys and again, we were so thankful for them and for the ways that they served on our leadership team.
And that, somewhat sums up our amazing week of NTS Camp. It truly would be impossible to put into words all that God did and worked during our week. I hope I was able to give you a simple glance and just want to thank all of our students and leaders for being so incredible. In addition to all that happened, in our group we also celebrated because we had two students accept Christ for the very first time and five stand up during the call to serve in some specific area of Ministry.
If you are interested in learning more about NTS Camp, who they are and the wonderful things they do, you can by clicking here.