Getting Out of the Boat


Last February I said "yes" to the position of Camp Director for the SoCal District Mid High Camp. The theme and scriptures that were ideated and prayed over was a theme of "Get Out of the Boat" focusing on the scripture of Jesus walking on water and calling Peter out of the boat to walk towards him. This was faith in action. Images of a ship on stage and hanging christmas lights in the pattern of a stormy sky flooded my mind. Instant excitement. 

4 months later....the day of camp arrived. To cut a long story short one of the rear tires on the bus blew out simultaneously as the starter on the bus also died on the 15 North near Temecula (pretty much the hottest place on Earth when you don't want to be there). Kids screamed. I screamed (and nearly pooped my pants....nearly.) We pulled over to the side of the road and I had Joel, one of our staff, take over entertainment duties for "joke time with Joel" while I investigated the tire along with our van driver, Rich. Over the course of the next several hours we shuttled 40 kids to a McDonalds in Temecula to get them off the side of the highway while I waited with Rich (van driver) and Wyatt (amazing PLNU rep and SDFC employee) to try and deal with the bus situation. As kids excitedly went to McDonalds saying "best detour ever!" I was confronted with my first step of faith for the week. Did I have enough trust in God to let go of control of the situation? Was I willing to get out of the boat and take a step of faith to believe that camp could start without me, that our kids were safe, that we would somehow find a way up the hill? Through ridiculous circumstances that were possible by the giving hearts of Rich, Scott (amazing parent and church member), Wyatt, and the entire staff at SDFC, I was able to drive up to camp in a Jeep to start camp (almost) on time, and our kids were all successfully transported up the mountain by late afternoon. I had gotten out of the boat. Camp wasn't possible in my hands and I was walking on water to trust in Jesus. 

The week was rich and full of a year's worth of blog posts if every story that deserved telling was told. 

One of the highlights for me was Thursday night during the campfire time. I instructed the camp to answer one of two questions. 1) How have you seen God at work this week/What would it look like for you to put your faith in action? 2) How have you seen God's love in others this week? As students shared favorite moments and highlights I was struck by one student that shared. These were his (paraphrased) words, "I've got a lot going on in my family right now, parent's fighting, divorce, and we might lose our house. Its felt like a really big storm in my life for a long time. But this week God has taught me that he's got me, that God is a lot bigger than my storm and I need to trust him and get out of the boat and walk toward Jesus."

Scripture: "Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed." Matthew 14:24-33

What are the storms of your life that you're afraid of? What would it look like for you to take a small step of faith out of the boat and place your trust in Jesus? Today? This week? This year?

To see camp videos for more highlights check out the awesome work of Nate Wells: click here

Jeremy SchultheissComment