Spring Break is a fun time of year for everyone. The ice cream trucks are back out; the parks are full again; children are laughing and playing. For students, spring also affords a week off from school. Each year, in celebration of the warm weather and new life, school systems and universities shut down for a week to appreciate the opportunity to be outside again. For YOKE it makes for a boring week, but for our YOKE folk it gives the opportunity to serve the Kingdom outside of Knoxville. Many of our YOKE folk take the opportunity off from school to go across the country and around the world with their churches or schools. This year we asked our traveling YOKE folk to take pictures of themselves in their YOKE T-shirts wherever they go. Here are the stories that go with some of the pictures we received.
Comparing two weekends of Survivor Camp would be like comparing a meal from Calhoun's and a meal from Chandler's Deli. They are two very different types of meals, but they are both beyond satisfying.
Our second Survivor weekend was different than our first, but no less delicious. We won't waste time comparing the two, but we should say that in every aspect God was faithful. Once again the Holy Spirit was active in the lives of our campers. This weekend we had 13 students make decisions to walk closer with Christ; one of those was a first time eternity changing decision. We also gave away 17 Bibles to students this weekend. Stay in prayer for these students. Pray that the Scriptures given away this weekend would become the true Word of God to those who received it. Pray for those students who made decisions this weekend, that their walk with God would become their way of life.
What else can be said about a perfect weekend of camp? We are already excited to trip back to Camp Ba Yo Ca for summer camp in June. Between now and then continue to pray for the handful of clubs left this spring. Pray for our YOKE Folk as they finish their classes and prepare for their summers. Our prayer is that we don't lose too much continuity over the summer, and summer camp is the perfect way for our YOKE Folk to maintain contact with the students. God has obviously heard our prayers this spring, let's continue to pray for the work of His Kingdom in the Middle Schools of East Tennessee.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And this picture contains a thousand different words to describe the first week of spring camp 2014. It was messy, wet, rainy, fun, memorable, remarkable, life changing.
Twelve middle schools from Knox, Jefferson, Blount, and Grainger counties all made their way to Camp Ba Yo Ca this past weekend for YOKE's first week of Spring Survivor Camp. Despite flood and high water (literally) camp was a huge success! We were still able to participate in most of our scheduled programing and the rain certainly did not slow anyone down, although the stench left from wet clothes and shoes may have made a few people stagger.
Beyond survivor challenges and messy wars, the Holy Spirit was active in the lives of students from middle school to college and beyond. Campers were challenged with the implications of forgiveness and what that means for their life. We were reminded that sin destroys lives as was the case between Cain and Able, but forgiveness heals lives as was the case for the paralyzed man in Luke 5. This weekend 42 individuals made an intentional decision to walk with closer with Christ, two of those made that decision for the first time in their life. Along with that, we gave away 26 Bibles to students who did not have access to the Word of God in their homes before this weekend. This past weekend is cause for great celebration!
But do not stop praying for camp. This coming weekend twelve more schools will flood Camp Ba Yo Ca for our second and final week of spring camp. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in the lives of students and everyone present. We pray that the Name of God be exalted and pleased with our words and songs. We pray that the Kingdom of God is expanded. We would like to ask you to continue to pray with us in this regard. Don't forget to pray for safety and nice weather to enjoy God's creation. We are excited to report to you all that God does this weekend at Survivor Camp.
About the authors
YOKE's staff maintains this blog, but we welcome reader submissions and feedback!