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2019 JAM Camp Xenia Daily Recap

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2019 JAM Camp Xenia Daily Recap

 

26 JUNE 2019

A new camp year means there is more of an opportunity to extend God's love and grace to more young men who are involved. This year we are so excited to welcome 42 young men to be transformed by the Spirit and grow with their colleagues as they navigate the next few days together... 

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28 & 29 JUNE 2019

It's difficult to put into words the impact that the last two days at JAM Camp often have on everyone, staff and campers alike. This year was no different. Each year, a new set of challenges is presented or modified for the campers to overcome. This period of intense mental and physical challenges is what we call S.P.E.C.I.A.L. 

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DAY 1: AUDIENCE OF ONE

A new camp year means there is more of an opportunity to extend God's love and grace to more young men who are involved. This year we are so excited to welcome 42 young men to be transformed by the Spirit and grow with their colleagues as they navigate the next few days together. 

The day started off on a high with campers checking in and meeting fellow young men who will hopefully be some of their close friends by the end of the camp. They then proceeded to participate in some ice-breakers followed by their first lab session which involved a volleyball match which was guided by the first principle of the day, Audience of One. 

During the first day, the young men were challenged to perform in a way that went beyond their earthly or secular reasons for performance such as attention, money, fame and women. Mr. Taurus James, spoke to the young men about keeping their focus fixed on the Lord whenever they are performing. In this way, it takes them away from the bondage of performing for many audiences who will all demand their 100% attention. They were also challenged to embrace the manhood theme of the day, responsibility. With this theme, the campers are expected to learn what it means to show respect for others and for themselves. 

Later in the day, Aaron Craft and Dallas Lauderdale spoke to them about their own challenges with keeping their attention focused on always performing for the Lord and not for man. Craft mentioned that his biggest challenge was his drive to win. It consumed him so much so that it would affect his home life as well. And once He realized there are more important things that basketball, he was freed. Lauderdale mentioned that for him he was consumed by the need to perform for many. His life was dictated by what people told him on any given day. He then realized that it is only God who could define him and not the people around him.

These powerful testimonies were a testament to the quality of advice and direction the young men were going to get throughout the camp. 

"Allowing other people to define to define me was a problem. God defines you and who you are and not other people." - Dallas Lauderdale

"...I labor, struggling with all this energy, which so powerfully works in me."

- Colossians 1:29

DAY 2: INSIDE GAME

Day Two started off on a high right around the break of dawn. After breakfast, the campers went on their second lab session which was tied around the principle, Inside Game. With this principle they are meant to learn that the work begins within them whenever they do what they do. What motivates them is vital to how well they handle the results. During this lab they also followed the second manhood theme, leadership and how a good leader is motivated for the right purpose. 

In the afternoon, the campers headed over to Greene County Detention Center for a powerful trip and lesson on how the detention system works as well as to hear some testimonies. During the field trip, the young men toured the facility and learned the different ways in which juveniles go through the system. They later heard a testimony from Mr. Dustin about his time in the detention center as well as beyond that. He testified about going into the detention center when he was  11 years old and staying in and out all the way until he was 18. He then told them about his struggle with drugs and other detrimental habits that often got him in trouble. He concluded by updating them on his current life status. After being freed from the bondage of anger and his past, he has now been sober since April 2015 and now works in the rehabilitation center that helped him during his journey.

This testimony reflected back to the principle and theme of the day and that is that his motivation is now to free or inhibit those that are likely to be victims of pain and destruction from falling into the patterns that he fell into during his past. 

Towards the end of the evening, the young men had a powerful praise and worship session with Kris Whitlow, who performed some of his original songs. The spirit  moved within them and gave the campers such high energy to get them ready for the remaining couple of days of camp. 

DAY 3: HOLY SWEAT, WHOLLY SURRENDER

It's difficult to put into words the impact that the last two days at JAM Camp often have on everyone, staff and campers alike. This year was no different. Each year, a new set of challenges is presented or modified for the campers to overcome. This period of intense mental and physical challenges is what we call S.P.E.C.I.A.L. 

On the third day of camp, the young men were challenged to complete a ropes course of which a lot of them were quite against because of some fears that bind them. However, it was remarkable to witness how the team captains went above and beyond to ensure that each member of their team was motivated and fully encouraged to go through the ropes course. One of the campers, Runako, mentioned how he was afraid of heights but was able to accomplish the course with the encouragement of the mentors and his teammates as well. 

Later in the day the campers were presented with the principle, Holy Sweat, Wholly Surrender, as a way to get them ready mentally for what was ahead with S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Through this principle they discussed how to physically and spiritually train for their sport. The campers were taken through a sports performance clinic to get them warmed up and ready for the evening.

In the evening, the campers gathered to be drafted into their teams for the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. During this time the winning trophy was circulated among them to get them excited for the competition later on. Campers began their volleyball warm up game at about 8 p.m. before the official program for S.P.E.C.I.A.L. After about an hour, the real action began.

At the beginning of the evening, energy and morale was at an impressive high but it wasn't until they headed over for basketball that the real challenge began. During this time, some campers felt extremely defeated and questioned the purpose of why they did what they were being asked to do. The mentors extended themselves and exercised immense patience and grace towards those campers by encouraging them and reminding them of scripture. 

This was only the beginning of the difficult part of their training. After basketball, they were released to their dorms in order to get some rest. Points of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L were tallied and the team that had the least points was expected to be the first ones on the field, bright and early at 4:30 a.m.

The beginning portion of S.P.E.C.I.A.L was guided by scripture in order to keep the campers' minds transfixed on the purpose of the challenge. The Word was based on Luke 22:24-34.

DAY 4: A S.P.E.C.I.A.L DAY

After a few hours of rest, the most important and extraneous portion of the camp began. The first part was divided into stations that would include: an army crawl, jump rope and truck push.

This was all followed by a series of other exercises that truly tested and measured all the campers' ability to show up for each other, trust themselves, and most importantly trust God.

This year presented a different set of challenges that were all necessary for the spiritual growth of everyone involved in the camp. Ultimately, this year ended on an extremely high note.

The campers took a moment to give their testimonies after the camp which turned out to be such a powerful moment.

They got the chance to really open up and acknowledge all their highs and lows throughout the camp. It was extremely beautiful to watch them embrace vulnerability amongst their peers.

With another successful year in the books we all witnessed God's love shine brightly on them and truly look forward to the next year.



Topics: 2019 JAM Camp Xenia Daily Recap

 

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