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Influencing a Generation
The following was written by Illinois Student Ministries Director Paul Hinzman, after leading four weeks of kids and youth camps at Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville.
Nothing excites me more than seeing students chase after the heart of God. Watching our students from across Illinois and abroad during
2012 Breakaway Camps
was certainly an opportunity to experience that kind of excitement! Kids and teenagers flooding the altars of the Lake Williamson auditorium were reminders of the heritage of those who have paved the way, and predictors of the incredible future of our movement.
It’s been an honor to once again be able to lead our student ministry’s legacy and district through the life-changing experiences of our summer camps. Where else can a student
from their surroundings and daily routines of life to be exposed to a God that will revolutionize their lives forever? On a nightly basis during the altar calls, students chased after, surrendered to, and demonstrated their love to God! I’m not certain we could provide an adequate evaluation of the transforming power that took place at Lake Williamson this summer.
Two teenage girls whose lives were transformed went home so excited about what God had accomplished in their lives that one of their 8-year-old brothers wanted to experience it too. They prayed for him, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a real picture of what
is all about ... students taking their life change home! What makes this even more amazing is that it’s just one of many stories that are flooding in! Such as…
A 16-year-old girl who had been raised Buddhist attended camp at the invitation of a friend. One night, camp evangelist John Velsor preached on Rahab the Prostitute and how her name had always been connected with her sin and her past – until her name was listed in Matthew 1 in Jesus’ genealogy. There she was simply referred to as Rahab. The young woman went to the altar and gave herself to Jesus. She said she was filled with a warmth and an overwhelming peace, and knew in that very moment that Jesus had forgiven her past and connected her name forever with His.
In another service, a wheelchair-bound 16-year-old girl got up and walked for the very first time! Earlier that week, God had laid her on the hearts of two young male counselors who had prayed and fasted for her. That evening, following a message on healing, the young girl asked the counselors to help her out of her wheelchair. She proceeded to walk around the Lake Williamson auditorium unaided and alone, not once, but twice.
During those four weeks of children and youth camps, over 550 students accepted Christ for the first time, and more than 900 re-committed their hearts to the Lord. In addition, more than 400 students experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. One 55-year-old male counselor surrendered to full-time youth ministry, demonstrating that it’s not just the youth whose lives are transformed during camps. And this is just the beginning. Nearly every student reported experiencing a life-changing moment during
We would never have encountered these kinds of blessings without incredible volunteers. All of us at ISM want to thank all the volunteers – from staff to counselors – for their contribution and commitment to this year’s camps. The organization of this year’s camps was second to none. You deserve the highest praise for your sacrifice. Please know that you not only served our churches well, but you provided the atmosphere for us to influence a generation together. Thank you!
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