One hundred and fifteen enthusiastic delegates, leaders and a few corps officers turned up at Keswick Park Camp, Rotorua, on Friday evening 11 August for what was to be a fun, enriching and transformational weekend.
The youth councils theme was ‘In Him’, and each of the four main speakers came at the topic from their unique perspective.
On Friday night, Andrew McKerrow shared some of his story of finding God and his journey toward realising his place in God’s Kingdom. The grace extended to everyone by God was a major part of Andrew’s message. Andrew’s sincerity and great sense of humour made this first session a warm and welcoming start to the weekend.
On Saturday morning, Kim McKerrow’s heart-wrenching story of brokenness, loss, grief, deep hurt, burnout and forgiveness was truly one of power, restoration and grace. Kim’s story opened the way for the next part of the weekend, a ‘tough questions’ panel where delegates could anonymously ask their toughest questions about life, faith, and God—and have perspectives offered by a panel of guests.
Saturday afternoon saw the camp empty out as everyone headed into Rotorua for ‘The Amazing Race’. Dan Popping from Grandview had organised an incredible set of challenges, detours and road blocks, making for a memorable afternoon despite a bit of rain.
Ben Maxwell, the Midland Division’s favourite Australian, brought a powerful message on Saturday evening about living lives based on who we are in Christ. Ben wonderfully illustrated his point through a demonstration using containers of clean and dirty water. This was followed by a high energy games event organised by the team from Territorial Headquarters.
Major Shar Davis brought the closing message on Sunday morning. Shar shared personal details of her story, particularly around her ‘never-again’ list. She invited people to think carefully what Holy Spirit was saying about their life in him. A literal line was placed on the floor that people could walk up to, contemplate what God was calling them to, before stepping over to new life.
Activities such as laser tag, slack line and board games between sessions meant something for everyone to enjoy. Complementing the four main speakers were other guests, with Territorial Candidates Secretary Captain Kylie Tong and Territorial Youth Secretary Major Joanne Wardle adding to a memorable weekend.
Every session brought its challenges, laughter, responses and victories. No one went away without, at the very least, having a moment that God will use powerfully in the future to draw them closer to himself.