Every year I look forward to the hundreds of kids that pour into Latham Springs for a week of Camp Collide. It’s a camp I have been a part of running since I was a 19-year-old intern at my home church and it has been a place where my own life has changed, as well as become an opportunity for me to witness countless other lives change as well.
This year was no different.
All week our speaker Robert had taken us on a journey through scripture to explain what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is and what it means to know Him deeply and intimately. On the final night, in the exhaustion of multiple days of camp behind us, he reminded us of what it means to leave all our sin and shame in what he metaphorically called “a dirty old room” because Jesus had taken it all. And I watched hundreds of students get out of their chairs, head to the altar, and leave their sin in that place, in that “dirty old room”.
After that? I heard story after story from every student about what it meant to leave their sin behind, what it meant to have a heavy burden lifted, and what it meant to fall in love with Jesus for the first time, and it was beautiful.
Our church as a whole is going to be better because of what God did in the lives of students this week, and I want you to be able to hear it from them and their leaders.
“As someone who has been at First Baptist Church Marble Falls for over 16 years now, I have watched a lot of our upperclassmen grow up from a distance. This weekend I was able to hear them, laugh with them, and grow with them as brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank each of them for being such great role models for our young kids and being the ultimate example. They are wise beyond their years. I love our church, youth group, and more than anything, these students. Our future is in great hands.”- Scott Leon
“At camp, God moved me to put down the life of sin I had been living and give my whole life to Him. No more being a part-time Christian.”- Brody Herman
“This week at camp I realized that I wasn’t participating in my relationship with God. I wanted a relationship with Him but I didn’t want to work for it. Now I have committed to being more mature in my faith.”- Sawyer Jones
“This year at Camp Collide, God taught me that no matter the circumstances, He will always be there for you and help you through your highs and lows. He also taught me that worshiping with believers and diving into the Word of God can get you closer to Him at camp.”- Daniel Edwards
“Between surrendering sin, feeling God’s presence in worship, growing in my faith through sermons and Bible studies, growing relationships with friends through vulnerable discussions and fun activities, and feeling a call to ministry, this week at camp has truly changed me in ways I will forever be impacted by and thankful for.”- Alexa Boerm
“I felt a strengthening in my connection with God. I felt convicted for sins I have more or less been okay with. I repented for those sins and look to keep those out of my life moving forward.”- Caleb Allen
“God taught me to give away my heart to Him completely in order to protect it. I learned that I can do all the right things, such as raise my hand in worship, serve in youth group and go on every mission trip, but if I have the wrong motives internally then it means nothing. I learned that we can be externally saved but not internally saved. I learned that Jesus only goes where He is invited and to allow God to mold my heart in a way that looks more like Jesus and not me, I must invite Him in.”- Shelby Pearce
“At Camp Collide, I saw the Lord move and touch so many hearts. I saw a massive amount of people at the altar laying down their lives, sins, and burdens, and that was truly amazing to behold. I loved worshipping with 800 teenagers who were all giving praise to God, and upon pausing, hearing so many voices lifting their voices to the Lord. I heard many broken people’s stories and testimonies, and they all touched my heart and inspired me to incorporate more prayer into my life.”- Hope Todd
Quite honestly, the response to the altar on the last night of camp was like nothing I had ever seen. All week it had felt like a trickle in the midst of a drought… and then it came like a flood. Before, it seemed that the enemy was doing his best to keep anything good from happening to those kids, but then the Spirit of God showed up triumphant and changed the lives of all those who would hear. It was absolutely. incredible.
Camp still changes lives. The Gospel never returns void. And our church is in good hands.