Some came in search for an experience. Some came in search for fun. Some were sent by their parents and didn't want to be there at all. Others came without knowing why they were there; but for some odd reason, they just knew they needed to be there.
For all those who came to Still Waters Camp last week, they each left a different person. As Brother Joseph told them the day they arrived, "You'll either leave this camp a better person or a worse person, but you can't leave here the same way that you came."
Still Waters Camp is a place of refuge for our young people. Day in and day out they have to battle with the world at school, at work, at the park, in the mall, even at home, but not here. Nothing of the devil's world is welcomed beyond the sheltered realm of Still Waters.
On day one of camp, many different walks of life stepped foot onto the grounds. There was excitement, anticipation, a little anxiety, lots of smiling faces, but most of all, Christian love.
It usually takes a little time to break the ice and get comfortable with new faces, but it didn't take long for this group of 128 youth to mesh like armor. Brother Joseph set the tone for the camp as he welcomed them to THEIR retreat. "This is YOURS," he said. "The world has their fun and activities and retreats, but God gave this to you, and His Holy Spirit is welcomed in this place."
Each day there were activities ranging from paintball, to archery and gun ranges, canoes, kayaks, and pontoons, fishing, biking, volleyball, and a lot of good fellowship. On top of all the activities, Brother Joseph had set a time slot of one hour each day, called "quiet time," where the youth could get alone with God. What an hour this was! The whole atmosphere would change as each camper experienced the move of the Spirit and force of love that was present at Still Waters. Each night was concluded with singing around the campfire on the lakeshore.
On night two at camp, our special guest speaker, Brother Gordon Tutani from Zimbabwe, introduced the theme for camp, "Hidden In Christ, In God." Some were already feeling this in their hearts, while others still needed a few days for it to take hold.
By night three, Wednesday, lives were already being changed and 24 young hearts broke the stillness of the lake waters as they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come day four, Brother Joseph had a special surprise for the youth. After morning devotions and breakfast, the chaperons handed each camper an iPod and headphones and told them to find their quiet place and wait for the bell to ring. Once everyone was situated around the lake, Brother Joseph rang the bell on Chapel Hill, and all 128 youth pushed play at the same time to hear the Voice of God. Words can't describe what took place along those still waters as every camper raised their hands in obedience to the prophet's call at the end of the message. Our Heavenly Father walked the shores, and visited His children. Two more souls took on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in baptism.
The rest of the day was filled with group activities where 16 teams of 8 battled in different events. It was another way of bringing the youth closer together as they strategized how they could work together. We all had a blast, as you'll see in the pictures. To top off the day, one more hour of quiet time, along with an evening of worshipping the Lord around the campfire, set the tone for the final service on Friday morning.
The last day of camp: Friday morning was a special time for the youth at Still Waters. They were gathered in unison on Chapel Hill, where they heard a message that stirred every soul. The Spirit of God fell, and an outpouring of the Holy Ghost filled many who were seeking the Seal of God in their lives. Nearly everyone dedicated or rededicated their lives to the Lord. It was a small taste of Heaven.
Before the shuttles starting gathering the youth to leave camp, three more stepped into the waters to be baptized, totaling 29 souls that took on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was the experience of a lifetime. For all those who came to Still Waters Camp, they each left a different person, by the grace of God.
As one camper put it, "It was the closest thing to Heaven on earth that I've ever experienced."
Here are some feedback that help tell the story of the lives that were changed last week:
01 I came expecting so much from the Lord to Still waters camp and now that the camp has ended, it's still NOT OVER for me...Still waters is my little piece of heaven that I will always testify of, wherever the Lord may take me. I'm so overjoyed and so blessed because the Lord met me and filled me with the Holy Ghost, His presence moves in Still waters, His Holy fire came down on me there. I AM HIDDEN IN CHRIST! Our promised blessings are beyond measure! Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rain may pour down upon us, the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, will comfort, strengthen, guide us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and KEEP HIS WORD. When life is too hard to stand, I WILL KNEEL.
Your sister in Christ,
02 I just want to say thank you for all the efforts and hard work that was put in to make this camp possible and just wonderful. I know it's a team effort and a lot of time was put in to making this all happen. I was just so blessed to be there. I can't tell you how much I needed to be refreshed and get away from life's routine. I love you all and may God richly bless you for your service to His children.
03 Dear Bro. Joseph & all the workers and volunteers at Still Waters Camp. We want to thank you so much for all the work and sacrifice and for sanctifying yourselves for the service of the Lord in serving our young people this past week.
Our hearts rejoice and we thank the Lord for all the wonderful things He did in the lives of our grandchildren who were there as well as all the other young people who were there at camp. We have been hearing all about the wonderful times they had and how God moved on their hearts. Also in church Sunday 2 of our grandsons gave testimony of the great things God did for them while there. One had to cry as he gave testimony of how he wondered before he went to camp if he had the Holy ghost and on Friday He knew! He got it. The other said the day Brother Joseph gave them the "Be Certain of God," it was just for him and he rededicated his life to the Lord and was re-baptized. Another told her parents the atmosphere there was like she was in another world. The pictures, as wonderful as they are, can't explain being there. They all want to come back. None of them wanted to leave. They said everyone treated them so nice and loving.
Thank you and God bless you again and again.
We have another grandson coming to the next camp. We are so happy for him.
04 I just wanted to say I had an AWESOME time at camp...and I'm very appreciative of Brother Joseph and all the volunteers and chaperons!!!! Without them it wouldn't of been possible! That fellowship was exactly what I needed to set me on the right path. Thank you and God bless!!!!
05 Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Special Thanks to Brother Joseph, Brother Gordon, the Counselors & all the staff at Still Waters Camp. Yesterday we had a special testimony service for those who were privileged to be to the camp. All the parents ,grandparents & saints were so happy to hear of the impact the camp had on there spiritual lives. God Bless you for all your endeavors efforts & hard work. It is truly bearing fruit in their lives. What a wonderful investment you have made in their lives for Eternity.
06 It's interesting because just like brother Joseph had told us, the world and devil was waiting right outside that camp to tempt us again. Went to a Cracker Barrel the next day and music was playing everywhere from the restrooms to the dinning room, it was on everywhere. I had truly forgotten that the girls don't wear long skirts, and when I saw a young lady was almost shocked to not see her in a long skirt, but found myself smiling because by God's Grace He shut me out from the world to allow me to forget something like that. Amen. I know these are trials and tests for us, but it made me want to hop right back on that plane and go back to camp for life! I'll just have to wait till next summer though.
God Bless you!
07 I have never been able to get anything out of those boys who came to the camp, but they are on fire for God right now!
08 Wow!! There are no words to explain how wonderful it has been to be a camper at Still Waters! It is an experience that has changed my life FOREVER. What a priceless gift to be able to have a place of complete refuge from the world!
In the 5 days at Still Waters, the chains that the devil has bound me with for the last 7 years were shattered!! Satan's bluff has been called and, by faith in G-R-A-C-E, I KNOW I have received the Holy Ghost and I KNOW I am a child of the King!
I enjoyed every bit of the camp! I had more fun with the activities than I have ever had in my life, but even greater than that was the spiritual activities! The Quiet Time(especially on Thursday) will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Thinking back about the camp, there were so many outstanding things that come to mind, but one of the most amazing and humbling things was how Brother Joseph made himself so available to talk to us and help us. Your words of guidance and encouragement, and the love we felt from you will never be forgotten. Also, the love that we felt from the counselors and all of the volunteers… you all have taught us so much about how to be true servants.
As hard as I try, I can't even begin to express my love and thanks to the Lord, and all of the brothers and sisters that made it possible for me to come to Still Waters. God had used YOU to make an Eternal difference in my life. Thank you for pointing me to the Voice, and giving me the tools that I need to fight the devil and stay Hidden With God In Christ!! God Bless You!!
09 It's hard to find the right words to express how blessed we feel. It is so wonderful to see such a difference in our children. They are all so much closer to Him. I know that there are a lot more others too! We are licking the honey. May God Bless you Brother Joseph and every one that has a part! We loved the Live Update. It helped us to be able to look in as God blessed our children. We could go on and on. Only Eternity will tell. We love you in Him! Thank you all so much again.