… because I might change my mind.

NaBloPoMo 2009 Day 4 – Deep Water

In mid-July, I helped co-lead a mission trip to Scotland with our church. This was a return trip for me, but a new leadership role. Even with the added responsibilities, it was a great trip made better because Jen came with us this year. I enjoyed introducing her to my Scottish friends and vice versa, and now they are her friends as well.

I had several questions from people about why there might be a need for a mission trip to Scotland. Many hear “mission trip” and associate that with third-world countries where clean water is a luxury or in remote areas where the Christian faith is a stranger. There are plenty of mission trips to those areas. Our trips to Scotland involve providing a summer camp for middle- and high-school-age students where we try to create an atmosphere where they can learn what the Lord thinks about them and the plans He has for their lives; an atmosphere where they can ask questions; an atmosphere where they can unashamedly worship; an atmosphere where their concerns about their level of acceptance at school or at home doesn’t determine anything about their standing in life. We partner with a small church outside Glasgow that has a huge heart for the students in the area and across the country but doesn’t have a budget to match.
The church in Cobb County that sends us to Scotland has a summer camp each year for hundreds of our students and their friends. That camp has been going on for over 30 years. We attempt to capture the spirit of that camp and pack it up in Rubbermaid bins and fly it over the Atlantic with us. We spent the better part of 6 months meeting and planning and praying for our 11-day trip this year. The Scotland camp included about 35 Scottish students this year. Our theme was Deep Water, and we wanted to challenge the students to go deeper in their faith; to trust the Lord more deeply; to get to know Him in a deeper way.
This was the third year of the camp — although just my second year on the trip. Some of the students have been to all 3 camps, and there were several new students who came this year because of the changes they observed in their friends who had come the year before.
We had a team of about 22 people this year — about half of which were high school students from our church’s youth group. One of the highlights for me each year has been watching our high school students model their relationships with the Lord for the Scottish students. Any number of the adults on the team can talk to the students about ways to deepen their relationships with the Lord, but when it comes from a peer, it’s just different. I love watching that happen.
As a co-leader this year, I spoke during the morning sessions Monday to Thursday. I am not a preacher, but I felt like there was something that the Lord wanted me to share with the students each day. Months before we left, I had thought I would be sharing a certain group of talks, but as the trip approached, I kept feeling that there were some other things that the Lord wanted me to share. When we left for Scotland, I had 1 talk and 2 outlines for 4 messages (that doesn’t add up for those of you reaching for your abacus). That meant for some long nights of writing and very short nights of sleep. But, in the end, I think the talks went well.
Before we left in July, we had already decided on the dates for the 2010 camp, and within a week of our return, the camp had been booked for our trip for next year. I am looking forward to going back, although I’m not sure if Jen will join us again. The 11-day separation from K-Man was quite a lot to ask of her. As much as we would love to bring him over with us (and our Scottish friends have encouraged us to do just that), the pace of camp just doesn’t mesh well with a then-four-year-old (regardless of how cute he is).
As we did last year, at the end of camp, we tried to capture camp in video form. The highlight reel is provided below. The four student testimonies at the end are worth listening too. There are some accents to cope with, but I encourage you to try and hear what they have to say.
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