Barton Camp is a great venue, especially when ‘Grace’ gathers as a family. We were well over seventy of us this year. - Wonderful to feel that it is Jesus has called us together, and that we are come up into the mountain with him, for refreshing, yes, and commissioning before he sends us forth again.
It would be our third year in this venue, and I knew I would be spoiled. A room to myself instead of bunk beds, and excused from washing up or cooking rotas.
No Kids Club for us. Our own wonderful youth had come from Uni to care for the little ones. Why then did I have misgivings about coming? I may be of the same age as Caleb who at 85 was ready to claim a mountain, but not too steady on my pins, I was afraid of being a liability. Should I stay home and enjoy my lonely comfort?
But no. Our wonderful leadership team had been working so hard to give us all a special time of blessing. All they wanted was for us to come and be blessed. Thank God I had sense not to let the enemy rob me of this blessing.
Nearing meal time, the dining room (or was it the dinning room?) was filled with happy families, the children so happy with their playmates even when rain kept them from adventure playgrounds outside. Always a happy hustle in the kitchen where cuppa’s were on offer while they prepared tasty meals and treats, and a special ‘tent of meeting’ where we met for worship. (With special drapes on the ceiling, it has the appearance, but not the discomforts of a tent.)
Each year the ministry is different. This time Ewan and Tom brought ministry from Ephesians, all to the end that we might be ready to go out with the gospel. And while the wind roared around the buildings, God’s Holy Spirit was moving so that, as a field of corn, we bowed before his great strength.
But now we got to the nitty gritty. Teaching on Spirit-led holiness and Spirit-led power are all to the end that we might put on our shoes of the Gospel of Peace, go forth and tell others. This is the hard bit.
Oh dear, whatever wonderful opportunities God gives me, in the schools and through my writing, still there is this issue of personal evangelism. I was not the only one feeling convicted. But no – ‘there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.’ Once I win the struggle of telling God that I am willing for him to use me, all I have to do is go out into the world, knowing that it is he who will create opportunities for me to tell others that God is willing to be to them too a wonderful Saviour.
Thank God for his family of Grace, and for his ministry to and through each one of his children.