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We were honored to serve your campers this week. It has been incredible and we could not be more thankful. Memories were made that will last a lifetime. What an amazing week filled with God's love! Please mark down June 12-17, 2016 on your calendars to sign up your campers for next Summer! Enjoy this last video which sums up the week of REYOAD. Lastly, remember that God has made you remarkable! Until next time...
Campers enjoyed one last jamboree this afternoon. It began with a slideshow of pictures shown on the big screen. Epworth staffers then led the campers in worship:
- I Am Free - Newsboys
- Trading My Sorrows - Darrell Evans
- Awesome God - Michael W. Smith
- Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord - Michael W. Smith
- You Are Remarkable
- I'll Fly Away - Albert E. Brumley
Campers danced their hearts out, raised their hands to Jesus, and prayed with one another during worship. In following, Pastor Dave gave a recap of this weeks messages. From Monday's lesson of God's remarkable creation, to Tuesday's lesson about our remedy for being regrettable, to Wednesday's focus on prayer, and finishing with Thursday's focus on love and joy. What an incredible week to learn more about Christ and His desires for our lives! Pastor Dave also went over this week's memory verse one last time, 1 John 4:17.
Click HERE for more photos.
Love as I have loved you
At this morning's last worship session, Pastor Dave gave a very important message about Jesus' final commandment He gave to His disciples. John 13:34-35 states,
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
This is God's command to us. We are to love each other with our whole hearts. This is how others will see God through us! Our actions mean so much more than our words. When you truly love someone and serve them, someone else might see this and see Christ through you. Pastor Dave also explained that when we love we receive joy. John 15:9-12 states,
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
God doesn't command us to love one another just to simply give us a demand. He tells us to love because loving others brings true joy! He knows us and He knows what we need. Challenge yourself to love those around you today, even when it's hard. Strive to love others like Christ loves you. It is what you were made for and it will satisfy your heart with true joy.
Goodbye Camp REYOAD
Be Still and Remember His Sacrifice
After Pastor Dave's story, the campers had the opportunity to take part in communion and prayer. The night before Jesus was crucified, He had a last supper with His disciples. Matthew 26:26-29 states,
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.'
Pastor Dave explained that communion represents the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. We eat the bread and drink the wine (grape juice in our case) in remembrance of Him. The bread represents His body and the wine represents the blood that He shed for us. Communion is a time to be still before God, to repent, and to draw near to Him.
Campers joined together to partake and many prayed together. Tears were shed and the Holy Spirit was evident in the room.
View more photos here.
Unicycle. Unicorn. Ursala. Ulysses. Unique!
At the program tonight, Pastor Dave shared a story about a boy named Ulysses. Ulysses' Uncle came to his house and told him that his prize unicorn was missing! The story continued as Ulysses searched for Ursula, the unicorn. Ulysses found Ursala in a tree. Ursula was upset because she was told that she was ugly because she had one horn rather than two. Ulysses explained that being different is what makes us special! God has made us one-of-a-kind. He has made us to be remarkable. If we were all the same, how could we be special? Ursula felt a lot better after learning this incredible truth. Ulysses then proceeded to help Ursula out of the tree.
This story applies to all people in real life. God hand-made each one of us. Every person is special. Every person is unique. Every person is beautiful. You are remarkable!
Enjoy these photos of Pastor Dave demonstrating the story.
Watch Pastor Dave in action in this video!
Check out more photos here.
Cooling off at the beach!
Campers enjoyed a hot afternoon hanging out at the beachfront.
For more photos, click HERE.
The Ultimate Servant
At this afternoon's jamboree, Pastor Dave furthered his discussion about serving from the morning session. He told the story about Jesus in John 13. The night before Jesus was killed, He had a last supper with His disciples. Jesus got up from the meal, wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin, and washed His disciple's feet. This was a huge deal in this time period. People wore sandals and walked around on dusty roads all day. The King of Kings knelt down and did the job of a servant. John 13:12-17 states,
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. 'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 'You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus is setting the example for us here. He is the ultimate servant and we are to strive after being like Him. It is our calling to serve others with all of our strength. Serving others is serving God! We must humble ourselves just as Jesus did when He washed His disciple's feet. Remember that it is your job to serve, not to be served. This is your calling in Jesus Christ and it can bring great joy because serving is what we are made for. Pastor Dave demonstrated a foot washing with Gru and his minions.
Seas the Day
Campers enjoyed having relaxing pontoon rides today! We are so sad that it is the last full day of camp. We are enjoying every last moment we have with these incredible campers.
Would you like to see more photos? Click HERE.
He Came to Serve
At this morning's worship session, Pastor Dave gave a message about the importance of being a servant. Pastor Dave shared Mark 9:30-37:
They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.' But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, 'Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.' He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.'
Pastor Dave explained that we are called to serve. When we serve others, we reflect Christ. People can see God through us when we serve with our whole hearts. We must remember to think of others first. We must remember that in God's kingdom the last are first. We must live counter- culturally and serve with our entire being. Pastor Dave ended the session by singing the song "Make Me A Servant" by Kelly Willard:
Make me a servant, humble and meek
Lord, let me lift up,
those who are weak.
And may the prayer of my heart always be;
Make me a servant, make me a servant,
Make me a servant, today.
Camp shirts are in!
Many campers enjoyed wearing their camp shirts for the first time today! Campers were proud to show off their shirts before morning worship session.
To view our gallery, click here.
Last Full Day of Camp!
Tonight we had our annual dance party! This year it was Despicable Me themed. Campers and staffers had a blast on the dance floor! Gru and his minions even joined the floor. Enjoy this video of campers and staffers dancing the night away!
Check out photos from the dance HERE!
What We Want VS. What We Need
At this afternoon's jamboree Epworth staffers led the campers in worship:
After worship, Pastor Dave gave a message furthering his discussion about prayer from this morning. He explained that just because we pray for something does not mean that we will get it. When the Lord's prayer mentions "our daily bread" this is talking about things that we actually need. For example, we may think we need a significant other right this moment, but that is incorrect. God gives us what we need and His timing is perfect. Pastor Dave discussed that our prayers should reflect our actual needs. He also discussed that we need to store up our treasures in heaven and not focus on storing up earthly things for ourselves. We should not depend on earthly things; rather, we need to keep an eternal perspective and store our treasures in heaven. Pastor Dave shared "The Parable of the Rich Fool" found in Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. 'Jesus replied, 'Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?' Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.' And he told them this parable: 'The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, 'You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.' But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.
Hands Up for the Dixie Ride!
Ruby enjoying her relaxing ride.
Wanda and Ashley enjoying the top deck together.
Click HERE for more photos of the Dixie ride!
Campers enjoyed a relaxing ride on the Dixie boat around Webster Lake today!
The Power of Prayer
At this morning's worship session, Pastor Dave gave a message about prayer. He shared a story that happened to him recently. He lost his car keys and the entire camp staff searched for the keys and the keys could not be found. Pastor Dave asked people to pray that he could find his keys so that he would be able to drive home. The next day, Pastor Dave found the keys in plain site. Prayer is powerful. Pastor Dave explained that incredible things can happen when we pray. He shared Luke 11:1-4 which gives us an example of how to pray:
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. 'He said to them, 'When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.
Pastor Dave explained that Jesus often would leave His disciples to pray. If Jesus needed to pray, imagine how much we need to pray! We must realize the power we have with our prayers. Once we declare Jesus as Lord of our lives, we have power in Christ.
Al and Mitch praying together after the worship session.
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New Day, More Fun!
REYOAD takes it HOME!
Check out photos from the game HERE!
It's a close one!
The battle for the trophy rages on as the REYOAD campers compete against the Epworth Staff.
The Big Game
The annual kickball game is taking place tonight here at Epworth! However, this is the first year that we are playing campers vs. staffers. Who will be victorious? Stay tuned!
Check out these campers who are ready to play!
Check out more photos HERE in our photo gallery.
Seventy Times Seven
At this afternoon's Jamboree, Pastor Dave gave a lesson about the important topic of forgiveness. He explained that sometimes we get angry with one another. He explained that we cannot be better if we are bitter. Forgiveness is the answer to conflict, but how do we forgive? Pastor Dave shared a story from Matthew 18:21-35.
Then Peter came to him and asked, 'Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?' 'No, not seven times,' Jesus replied, 'but seventy times seven! Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.
This story explains what Christ did for us. He forgave us with His whole heart with nothing in return. We did not deserve forgiveness; rather, God had grace on us and forgave us! We must forgive each other with our whole hearts just like Christ forgave us.
Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord!
Campers raised their hands for Jesus during today's jamboree worship session.
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Duecker Takes the Win!
Once again, cabin leaders took the stage to announce what has been remarkable about their campers today:
- Barbara Heck - Remarkable Sharing
- Strawbridge - Remarkable Thinking
- Cartwright - Remarkable Direction Following
- Embury - Remarkably Motivated
- Fenstermacher - Remarkably Persistent
- Duecker - Remarkably Responsible
Each cabin leader took a step forward as campers cheered for which cabin they believed should be the winner. Duecker took the win!
Lord I Lift Your Name On High!
Enjoy this video of Pastor Dave leading our campers in worship after delivering his message at this morning's lakeside worship session.
Remedy for Regrettable
At this morning's lakeside worship session, Epworth staffers led campers in worship. Once finished, Pastor Dave took the stage to continue his message about the change from regrettable to remarkable. In the beginning, God made us remarkable, but sin soon entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3). The world soon became full of sin and God decided to flood the earth. God regretted His creation. He found favor with one man named Noah who God instructed to build an ark in order that he and his family could survive. Genesis 6:5-6 states,
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.' But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Unfortunately, the descendants after Noah continued to sin. God decided to save the world from sin by sending His son Jesus to the earth. Jesus was crucified on a cross in order to save us from our sins. He never sinned once in his life. He was nailed to the cross to save you. After three days, Jesus rose from the dead. It was an absolute miracle! We now are free because of this sacrifice. Jesus took away our sins. God's love for us was and is so deep that He sent His one and only son to die for us. He has changed us from regrettable to remarkable. Romans 5:8 sums up the point of this gospel story:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
This is the point of the gospel. We do not have to do anything to be saved. It is a freely given gift from Christ. All we have to do is simply accept Christ as our Savior. This gives us the power to be a light in this dark world. This is a commitment that drives us to serve others. Accepting Christ is our remedy for being regrettable. He will make you remarkable if you let Him into your heart.
For more photos, check out our gallery HERE.
Morning of Day 2
We had an amazing first full day here at Epworth. Despite the rainy weather, we still had a blast! To end the day, enjoy this video of Peter! His joy is contagious. Come back and check the blog tomorrow for more updates.
Strike a Pose!
After a delicious lasagna dinner, campers and staff spent some time together before entering the auditorium to watch Despicable Me. They were full of energy and silly faces!
Check out more photos HERE in our photo gallery!
Fun in the Sun!
Campers are enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the beach swimming, lounging, and having yummy snacks in the beach house!
Your Campers are Remarkable!
After worship was led by Epworth staffers at this afternoon's Jamboree, REYOAD cabin leaders joined the stage and said why their specific cabins are remarkable!
- Strawbridge - Remarkably Grateful
- Barbara Heck - Remarkably Creative and Helpful
- Embury - Remarkably Friendly
- Cartwright - Remarkably Generous
- Duecker -Remarkably Friendly and Welcoming
- Fenstermacher -Remarkable Attitudes
In following, Pastor Dave shared with us the memory verse for the week which is 1 John 4:17.
"This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus."
Through You My Heart Screams I Am Free!
Campers praised Jesus with enthusiasm at this afternoon's jamboree. Worship was led by Epworth staffers:
Many campers danced for Jesus and lifted their hands during "I Am Free."
Through you the blind will see
Through You the mute will sing
Though you the dead will rise
Through you all hearts will praise
Through you the darkness flees
Through you my heart screams
I am free
I am free to run
I am free to dance
I am free to live for you
I am free
Click HERE to view more photos in our photo gallery.
Boating and Fishing
Despite the rain, campers braved the weather and enjoyed boating and fishing! The rain cleared up and campers had a blast.
For more photos, click HERE!
A Visit from Gru!
Campers were excited as Gru and his minions joined Pastor Dave during morning worship session!
Campers gathered in the beach house this morning as Epworth staffers led in worship. They began with singing our theme song of the week "Remarkable me."
"You are remarkable. Your works are wonderful. I worship You my God, my Maker. You are remarkable. You are incredible. I stand in awe because You are remarkable!"
After worship, Pastor Dave spoke and talked to us about how God has created us to be remarkable. He referenced Genesis 1 where the creation story is told. God created the land, the sea, the sky, the animals and He said that it was good. When he created Adam, He said that it was very good. Pastor Dave told us that God has created us to be remarkable. He used an example from the movie Despicable Me. We are not simply minions doing whatever our master says. We are not robots. Rather, God has created us to love. He has created us to love like He loves. We are children of God, not robots. God has made each and every one of us special. Pastor Dave referenced 1 John 3:1:
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
Remember that you are remarkable. God's works are wonderful!
After having a delicious supper of chicken sandwiches, campers rocked out at their first jamboree! The campers were led in song by Epworth staff members:
- You Are Remarkable
- Every Move I Make - David Ruis
- I am Free - Newsboys
- Trading My Sorrows - Darrell Evans
- Awesome God - Hillsong
- Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord - Michael W. Smith
Check out this video of the campers and staffers worshiping our awesome God!
Campers enjoyed reuniting with with friends and leaders during registration! It is obvious that everyone is excited for camp.
Be sure to check out more photos HERE
Welcome to Camp!
Today is the day! We are so excited as we are anticipating the arrival of your campers this afternoon! We are looking forward to all of the amazing adventures God has in store for this week. Check the blog to see what your camper is experiencing! We will have daily updates with photos and videos included.