This summer I was a progie at Silver Lake. If anyone doesn’t know what that is, we call them progies because they do some program and some counselling. I did two weeks of placements with some really awesome people, and at the end of the summer I went to youth camp. It was the best summer of my life. Youth camp was so real in a way I’d never seen before. The theme of the week was Go Farther, which was something I really needed in my life – especially because I’ve been trying to bridge the gap between camp and life. The truth is, that gap is big. When I went back home, I struggled big time with my faith. But the tools I learned and the people I met at camp have been so incredibly helpful. Going to youth group at Calvary with a bunch of people I know from camp has been really good to me as well. But even with all these amazing things going on, all the stress and worries and guilt from the past few months built up. I don’t really have anyone at my school who went to camp with me and gets what I’ve been through, so that’s pretty hard. It didn’t take long for things to build up. It’s like when you’ve been sitting at a destination for too long, and you don’t even realize your shoulders are hunched until you relax them. I didn’t even realize how much I had going on until I came here and gave myself a chance to just breathe. This youth camp reunion has been so good for so many people.
I asked God what He wanted me to talk about and I kept getting the word “redemption” over and over again. I didn’t really know what that would look like, so I googled the definition to get a better understanding of the word. [Redemption: the action of saving or being saved from sin, error or evil].
This weekend we talked about Paul. He is literally the ultimate example of redemption. If this terrible, twisted, murderous man can be saved and turn his life around, it means I can too. Literally anyone can. Redemption is such a powerful thing. In a way, I feel that Silver Lake embodies redemption. It’s got something for everyone, no matter where they come from or what they’ve done. At camp we sing this song with the kids that’s honestly one of my favourites called “My Redeemer Lives”. Jesus Christ is my redeemer. If I didn’t know or believe that, I don’t know where I’d be today. I am so incredibly grateful for every single person who impacted me this weekend. I have been so blessed through my friends, through the amazing worship this weekend, and through the people who prayed for me and who let me pray for them. Thanks to the many things I’ve learned at camp and here at Calvary, I am confident in saying that I am redeemed.