This year Amplify celebrated 10 years. That’s 10 years of young people and leaders hanging out and learning together; 10 years of discovering themselves and their giftings, and how to use these to bring glory to God. Ten years of encounters with Jesus, lives changed and people meeting Jesus for the first time. What a celebration!
Amplify is The Salvation Army’s territorial creative arts camp for anyone high school year 11 to 30 years of age. It was held at Silverstream Retreat in Wellington, on 7–13 January.
Like other years, delegates chose a major and minor to focus on throughout the week—including dance, drama, photography, preaching, music, sports, DIY, craft and hospitality. They also took part in a bunch of cool workshops, daily Bible studies, church services, an exhibition night and plenty of other sweet activities throughout the week.
Top Four Classic Moments
1 When our new friend Jason (Silverstream guy) received the award for Best Amplify Venue and surprised us with an exceptional speech, and then realising he was back for Exhibition Night, joining in the mosh pit and then getting up to sing ‘My Redeemer Lives’… and then sticking around for the two hour dance party. Ledge.
2 Boy oh boy, how many times were we sweetly serenaded by the classic hit ‘Country Roads’ over the course of seven days? Not enough is the answer!
3 When Eric shared his story of gifting oranges to people in the rest home he was visiting as a child. With nowhere to place the orange, little Eric thought the back of the little old lady’s neck was the best place. Classic.
4 Seeing everyone all spruced up and excited for the Amplify 10th Birthday party night. With red carpet, photographers, banquet tables, an awards ceremony and the nicest meal we’ve ever had at Silverstream—it was the perfect way to celebrate turning double digits!
Top Four Surprises in 2019
1 The Donut truck—pretty sure we should have a mini hot donut truck permanently on-site in 2020. The best treat to nibble on while enjoying the first ever outdoor acoustic night. Solid.
2 The Lime Scooters—not even Amplify could escape the hire-where-you-find-them electric scooters.
We aren’t aware of any injuries yet, besides badly
hurt bank accounts …
3 The Dress—who knew Ben Willis would look so good in a dress? Surprising, while also stunning, while also probably not needing to see that ever again.
4 The Basketball Hoop—such a simple way to bring people together, create community, and encourage some healthy competition, as well as about 50 sprained ankles. Too good. Thanks Explorer’s Café team!
Top Four Church Challenges
1 Eric’s ‘El Roi’ sermon: Eric used the story of Hagar to encourage us that even an ordinary handmaid was seen and known by God, and had the honour of naming Him El Roi (the God who sees). We are seen and known too.
2 Eric’s ‘Fox’ sermon: Eric shared a dream he had about a fox which represented the Holy Spirit, ‘It is strange and it is wild. You could fear but you should play.’ He encouraged us to seek after the Holy Spirit.
3 Alana’s ‘Surrender’ sermon: Alana shared stories of ordinary people that simply surrendered their lives and God used them in powerful ways. Looking at Romans 12, Alana encouraged us to live a fully surrendered life.
4 Eric’s ‘Viking’ sermon: Eric shared about Jesus healing the blind man, as well as how when Vikings went to conquer lands, they would set their ships alight in a statement of ‘we are here now, there is no turning back’. Eric encouraged us that the Kingdom of God is our home now, and that maybe we want to make a ‘burning ships’ statement.
In Their Own Words
‘I wanted to learn something new and at home you can’t really do a lot because it’s always repetitive, I’m always learning the same thing. It’s full on, every day you have to go straight into something new without any warning ... I’m learning quite a bit, way too much actually’ [laughs]. - Cody Clarke Hamilton City Corps
‘I’ve never been before and my friends come every year and they always talk about how much they’ve learned, and how much fun they’ve had. I thought, why not give it a go and learn more about the arts and God at the same time and what I can do with that?’ Everyone is here for similar reasons and everyone is really friendly … you can turn around and pretty much start a conversation with anyone and not have to do the awkward “hi”. [My highlight has been] meeting new people and learning about what their strengths are and how they use them.’ - Olivia Limmer Hamilton City Corps
‘Other camps aren’t this creative and art-like because they don’t have dance or drama. So that’s really cool to do ... and interpret God into that. My highlight has been learning in general, in dance and drama. God has given us this gift and it’s really cool to do it for him in some way. And it’s fun as well.’ - Max Bailey Mt Albert Corps
‘I like how God is in everything, if that makes sense. The dances and hanging out with people have been a highlight. Everyone here is real nice, no one is mean.’ - Tara Burrows Winton Corps
‘I came because I really wanted to expand my skill in drama. I did a bit of relational ministry as well. It’s been really cool sitting in there talking about how God is and all that.’ - Dan Ellington Dannevirke Corps