Reflecting on Focus Summer Camp 2013
On the 17th-24th August this year, Quinta Hall (in Oswestry) was visited by the Focus family as we delved into what it means to be a History Maker! This year our Daddy God yet again proved himself faithful in showing us what he’s like, winning over our hearts, and filling us up more and more with his crazy love and power. We had a great time together experiencing the fun, faithfulness and family that our Daddy God is famous for.
There was never a dull moment at Focus as we experienced the delights of drinking grape juice freshly squished by feet and squeezed through a dirty sock, spelling lessons with alphabetti spaghetti, home-made cookies the size of your face, Martin Rowe’s crazy and slightly disturbing chequered chef’s trousers, jumping through holes in walls, worship time on the staircase (Von Trapp styley), learning all about history makers - both big and small – and how they changed the world by dreaming with God, singing our hearts out to a rewritten One Direction song, hearing stories from a strange sounding welsh man, rope-walking our way through the deepest, darkest Owestrian jungle, and that’s not even the half of it!
We saw youngsters grasping for the first time what their Daddy God is actually like and making decisions, some for the first time, to follow him. We saw young and old being stirred inside with God’s spirit to step out and do things that they felt God showing them to do, even when it was really scary. We saw young and old praying together to encourage each other into our history-making destiny as children of God. We saw young and old experiencing the acceptance and love of the family of God and finding a place of belonging. We saw youngsters from around this nation building friendships with each other despite their differences, and we saw youngsters starting to dream about what God might be showing them to do now to start changing the world around them.
There was a lot of sweat, a lot of laughs, a lot of chanting and resulting croaky voices, a lot of dancing and jumping in celebration of who God is, and a whole lot of love.
The proof of the Focus pudding is really in the personal stories from each of the youngsters and their families about the difference God has made in their lives at, and through Focus. So if you get the chance, ask someone from your congregation that has been to tell you a little bit of what they experienced and see for yourselves that there’s something super special when we set aside time to celebrate God together.
As a leadership team it is such a privilege to take youngsters that God has entrusted to us and to show them both God’s love and his ways that will lead them through the biggest and baddest of life’s challenges. And each year it’s phenomenal to see how God shows us things, breathes life into our plans and goes far beyond us in touching hearts and sowing his seeds of eternity. He is such a faithful God.
As the Prophets said it would be:-
N:Vision began on Friday evening with a great time of fellowship over a wonderful Hog Roast, sharing our diverse stories of life.
Peter Topliss encouraged us through many of the Old Testament prophets on Saturday, to continue to see and understand the immense calling we have been birthed into. He continued, we are born to be a prophet people, like Elijah in the earth, a corporate man, transforming and breathing God all over the world. As we progressed through the day we considered what a restored community would look like in the here and now, taking time to pray and speak this into being. We prayed for walls of division to come down across our world, walls of hatred in the nations, walls of sectarianism, theological and relational walls in the church. Finally we prayed and spoke prophetically over a number of leaders working in our villages in the UK. Everyone left feeling encouraged, and stirred and with a great sense of family connection.
Two ladies from New Life Church were praying one morning and were unexpectantly joined by a friend and her sister who had popped in. We asked if either of them wanted prayer for anything and the sister timidly replied that she was desperate to have another baby, her first child having been conceived by IVF five years ago. She and her husband really wanted a sibling for their little boy but could find no way of raising the thousands of pounds they would need to undergo treatment again. Even then they were not guaranteed success. So we prayed.
Six weeks later my friend texted me with many exclamation marks to say that her sister was pregnant and after a scan it was revealed that the baby would be born in March. She called it a miracle and said that the baby was a gift from God.
God has set my feet on a better career pathway (or long and winding
road!). We prayed 2 years ago to remove me from a horrible situation
and open doors, give me opportunities and show me
the road ahead. God has, in abundance! Not only did God give me what I
asked for, he gave me a loving, nurturing and caring team of
colleagues who helped mend me and an equally loving church family who