The United Kingdom Apostolic Faith youth camp was held May 5-8 at the Pioneer Centre Kidderminster Camp Centre. The camp theme was I.C.U. (an acronym for “I See You”), emphasizing that God sees everyone. Campers from the UK branch churches, as well as international participants, arrived on Friday afternoon in anticipation of the scheduled activities beginning on Saturday morning.
The morning devotional on Saturday focused on “Identity Crisis.” The speaker brought out the need to be sensitive when experiencing this crisis personally, as well as the need to encourage and support others who may be facing this crisis. The concluding emphasis was that all people need to embrace their identity in God and His Word.
After the devotional, the morning session began with a time of worship. Then the campers were split into twelve groups representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and were assigned to various activities, including a tug of war, a treasure hunt, and other team-building games. A thought-provoking sermonette by Simeon Bamgbaye addressed the camp theme and reminded the campers that God sees them regardless of where they are in life. A great time of prayer followed.
The evening session was titled “I.C.U. Struggle.” After a time of worship, there was an icebreaker with the audience responding to comments about topics which would be addressed later with either “true” or “false.” The session included testimonies and presentations on some of the struggles experienced by the campers, including grief, identity, mental health, eating disorders, etc. Various panelists led the discussions on these topics, while sharing their personal experiences and what they had learned from their challenges. The point was to assure the campers that they were not the only ones experiencing difficulties and, with God’s help, they can overcome. Following the session, there was a time of prayer where the campers had the option to pray individually or join a group to pray and intercede for specific needs, including career choices, addiction, identity, purpose, grief, illness, and other needs.
The Sunday morning devotional was titled “Biblical Kindness in an Unkind World.” It was brought out that acts of kindness and compassion should be exercised daily in all aspects of life. This was followed by Sunday school, where everyone was separated into age groups to discuss the lesson on consecration.
The morning devotional service was filled with joyous congregational singing, instrumental numbers, and vocal specials. The sermon was given by Lara Shorinmade-Oguntoke and was titled “Saving that Which Is Lost.” She referenced the story of Zacchaeus and encouraged the congregation to reach out to God who is looking to save all who are lost.
The afternoon session was titled “I.C.U. in a New Light.” A drama presentation featured how various people came to God in spite of their past. Some of the characters portrayed were Rahab whom God chose in spite of her appearance and choices, and Paul who was chosen by God even though he had persecuted the Christians. The emphasis was that Jesus loves people in spite of their pasts, and it is His desire to redeem everyone.
That evening there was an interactive service called “I.C.U. in a New Light—Part 2.” It began with worship and led to many testifying of how God had been good to them in this youth camp and during the past year. The sermon was given by Tosin Olayisade, and she spoke on “Seeking for Treasure.” She illustrated by having volunteers look for “treasures,” and brought out how the diligence of these seekers was similar to how one should seek God. The congregation was encouraged to seek God with all their hearts. A time of earnest prayer followed, and many received spiritual experiences and other blessings.
On Monday morning, the devotional was titled “The Lukewarm Christian.” The discussion brought out that Christians should not wait until a problem or need arises to seek God, but should continually long for a closer walk with God and seek Him regularly.
The concluding session was titled “I.C.U. Gifts.” The twelve tribal groups had the opportunity to showcase whether they had really gotten to know the people in their tribe during this youth camp by answering questions on the gifts and talents, career goals, and other traits of the people in their tribe. Then Sister Lara gave a wrap-up acknowledging those who were instrumental in making the youth camp successful, and highlighting some of the key points given in the various activities and sermons. She also shared her personal testimony of how God made a real change in her life. The closing song, “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling,” led to a time of prayer.
As the campers headed home to their various destinations there were sad farewells, but also the anticipation of what God is going to do in the year to come as Jesus tarries.