August 2013 Thank You!
"We're traveling through here. This isn't home. Don't get too cozy. Live this life to the fullest but know that one day everything will be perfect. Jesus will step in front of the Accuser. But until then, be aware of God." Melissa delivered these words of advice to 50+ campers, leaders and staff members on the first day of our last camp of the summer.
Awareness. It is defined as "vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences." Here at Daystar, we often talk of the "invisible audience," a psychological phenomenon that occurs around adolescence. Although in the case of the invisible audience, awareness can cripple a young person's self-confidence and freedom to be him or herself, the concept itself is crucial to growing in relationship with God and others. To be self-aware is to be fully alive. It is directly correlated to the Biblical principles of repentance and forgiveness. For, in order to experience new life, we must come face to face with what Colossians 3 describes as our "filthy set of ill-fitting clothes," or, in simpler terms, our sin.
We came back to this verse again and again throughout the last week of Camp Hopetown as we explored what it means to take off the old and put on the new...and discovered that it is only in relationship with Jesus that we can truly acquire this new set of clothing. During small groups at camp, campers had the opportunity to simply talk and, in the process of conversation, build a healthy awareness of themselves- their gifts, their sin and how both can impact others. They learned that everyone has a story, a story that is meant to be told.
It was a week of taking off and putting on, of pursuing Jesus and of traveling towards a greater awareness of who God has called us each to be. As we traveled, Melissa asked different staff members to share something that we have come to know through their own journeys of digging and pursuing, something that we wished we had known as a 7th or 8th grader. One intern said, "Be confident in the things that you like. Don't try to fit a mold or give into peer pressure. Don't ever try to hide who you are."
As a staff, we thank you for your continued support of this ministry. It is because of your generosity, your prayers, your encouragement, that we have been able hear the stories of so many kids this summer- stories of pain, of loss but ultimately, because of Jesus- stories of hope.