FYC2016

The heat, the humidity, the rain storms, the long sweltering and sweaty evenings… they are all here, and so is the summer fun! Our kids are in camp in Falcon, and will be there for another week and a half. They are having a great time, and they are learning about the Lord and how to worship him. It’s fair to say that these two weeks are among the most significant spiritual retreat times for our young people each year. They are making life-long friends and learning to hear and obey the voice of God. Just see for yourself in the pics!

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What you will not so easily discern is that those young looking leaders on the platform, special workers, counselors, volunteers and Conference youth pastors, children’s ministry pastors and teachers, many of them themselves came up through camp and in the Pentecostal Holiness Church, and are now are doing the ministry. FYC20166When Youth Camp was in decline or threatened to be in decline in the 1980’s, Rev. Bobby Forehand took a new and innovative approach to camp, in order to turn things around. FYC201613Introducing a more vigorous daily activity routine and intense approach to teaching the Word of God, the Lord began to revitalize camp. Under Rev. Charles Boyd youth camp continued to grow and became a major and vital part of the year for literally 100’s of teens whose lives were transformed and went on into full time ministry, often after having trained and prepared in our Bible schools. Many times after camp these same teens went on short missions trips to serve God and others during the summer. The fruit of that ministry is now seen in the churches of our conference, Teen Talent leaders and in the credentialed and lay leaders who now return to camp each years as workers. FYC20162Rev. Jon Oliver, taking over from Charles Boyd, initiated a major and intensive down-reach effort to invigorate youth camp for the younger children, to restructure camp in order to make it more accessible to the changing school schedules, and to lower the ages of those who could attend. FYC20169Under Jon’s leadership the excitement and intensity of camp has increased, and remains consistent year to year, encompassing every age group in meaningful spiritual interactions, challenges and the development of friendships through fellowship that will last a lifetime. FYC20167What has happened in youth came since the 1980’s is a miracle from God!

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FYC201617All of this makes the $45 church scholarship per student eminently worthwhile! This is our investment not only in the student themselves, but in the kingdom of God as a whole! FYC20163This year we have workers at camp who are ministering to the children as counselors and leaders. Paula Bryant is at camp for the first time this year, for the whole two weeks. She will be exhausted, but excited when she gets home. Cholly Farrow is back once more, as she has been year after year in these recent years. FYC201616Travis Johnson has not missed a single week of camp since he attended camp as a teen, and is one of the most respected camp workers from our church. He now has his children in camp, and there is a good chance that out of his family God will be calling out workers and disciples for Christ who will continue to build the kingdom of God through their ministry and efforts. When I think of this I am in awe and stunned into silent praise at the work of a God whose plan is so much greater and bigger than my puny imagination as a local church pastor!

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About the Author

Paul and Loala pastor the Wilmington First Pentecostal Holiness Church, where they have served for almost 20 year. They have two children who work and serve in the church worship department, along with their son-in-law. Paul is a graduate of Holmes Bible College (Greenville, SC), with a BA in English Bible and New Testament Greek, and of Global University (Springfield, MO) with an MA in Biblical Studies (New Testament Concentration).

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