“I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” Psalms 78 v2-4, 7 (NLT)
We all love a good story. A captivating plot, some engaging characters and an interesting setting can transport us away from our normal, day-to-day lives to somewhere different. Stories can help us to see things differently, to understand more about the world around us and about ourselves.
In the words of a well-known Scottish folk-rock song, the story of camps “started long ago, with heroes forged and legends told”. A vast army of characters has contributed invaluably to its plot; different chapters have been set in different places; but throughout the past 60 years of Free Church Youth Camps, through all the changes in culture and practice and personnel, the Main Character of the story remains the same, and His faithfulness endures to all generations (Psalms 119 v90). The plot running through the whole story is one of serving The King and of living in willing submission to Him; of spreading the good news of His Kingdom and of inviting people in.
As we know, all good stories should be shared. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing one story a week from some of the people who have been involved in Free Church Youth Camps over the past 60 years, telling how God has worked in their lives through the camps.
We pray that, for those of you who are already Christians, you’ll be inspired to share with those round about you your own story of how God has worked in your life. For those of you who are not yet Christians, we pray that you’ll see what an amazing God we worship and that you’ll want to know Him for yourself.
As we share these stories, it is our hope that you’ll be encouraged through hearing how God has been working in so many lives over these years, and that you’ll be reminded of His faithfulness. We know that He “is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews ch13 v8) and, as we look back over the last 60 years and see how He has blessed the work of Free Church Youth Camps, we entrust the next 60 years (and more) to Him, with all the camps, campers and leaders He will yet use for His glory.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians ch3 v20-21
With thanks to all who have brought this project together, in particular to Sharon, Kirsten S and Maddy.