For the past couple of years I have had the privilege of speaking at Lake Ann Camp in Michigan. Lake Ann is an amazing, gospel advancing camp. My role has been to speak during their “Fresh Start” camp, which is for students who are between their 8th grade and 9th grade year. It is an amazing week of challenging the students to take their faith seriously and to walk in the fullness of who God created them to be.
This is how Lake Ann describes the camp:
Fresh Start provides campers with the confidence they need to stay strong in their faith through high school. Your campers will enjoy a fun-filled, wet adventure down the Mighty Pine River on their 3 day rafting trip! Back at camp they will head to the Challenge Course and conquer Jacob’s Ladder.
Check out this recap video from last year’s “Fresh Start” camp…
This photo was taken on the night that we returned from a 3-day rafting and tent-camping trip.
After speaking about Christ’s finished work on the cross, the students were given an opportunity to write down any sins they are personally struggling with. Then, as a physical act of showing that they were trusting in Jesus, they were challenged to fold that paper up and place it in a box for a “Viking Burial”. Once everyone had a chance to place their paper in the box, we walked the box down to the lake, set it on fire, and let it drift off into the sunset.
As the box slowly burned and drifted off further and further away, a nearby homeowner began to play Amazing Grace on his bagpipe.
It was a super powerful moment.
For those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, this is exactly what God has done for us. He has removed our sins. When He looks at us, He no longer sees our sins. He sees Jesus on the cross, paying the price for our sin… and paying it in full!
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.– Psalm 103:10–12, ESV