Written by Jackson Thompson (Senior High Camper)
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Shema, O Israel: YHWH is our God, YHWH is one, and as for you, you shall Ahavah YHWH your God with all your Lev, with all your Nephesh, and with all your Meod.”
If you were to be casually strolling through the lodge during a morning session at Living Waters Bible Camp from July 8th to the 14th, you probably would have heard that exact prayer coming from the lips of the 90 or so campers that filled the fireside room. This prayer, commonly called “The Shema,” has been read by the Israelite people every morning and evening for thousands of years. At Senior High camp, we were given the opportunity to join the Israelites by learning and understanding what the prayer means, and what some of the words mean in their original language by watching videos made by the christian organization “The Bible Project.” I specifically enjoyed learning about two words: Shema and Meod.
Shema: meaning "to listen," however not just to listen, but also "to obey." What can we Shema about God in the new day, and how can we better "Shema" God’s commands?
Meod: meaning "strength." This kind of strength does not just involve the "six-pack abs" the Lord may have graciously gifted you, but takes all the things in which you have strengths. Think: “What has God given me much of?” To love God with all your Meod, then, means to use that skill, ability, or gift to give him glory.
During the evening sessions, there were different topics to cover. We started by learning, on Sunday night, that everybody hurts; a very obvious, but often overlooked point. It is reassuring to remember that we are not alone. We all have the same problems, even though society might tell us that they are meaningless, embarrassing, or that we should try to cover up our problems. At the end of that session each person got a slip of paper to write a short answer to finish this sentence: I/ My friend is _____. (watch the video) All the answers were then collected and put up on a large wall in the lodge. It was very impactful to see that this hurt, fear, and pain are things with which every single person deals. Originally, the plan was to do that just one night, but it was so good that we did it every night, answering a different question or finishing another sentence every time. It was awesome to be able to have all these different struggles, victories, understandings, and emotions poured out onto one wall. Ninety-three very different lives all documented in short, heartfelt notes. It was an impactful time for learning how to Renew your Strength by finding what God wants from our lives and how our problems can be overcome by His strength and used for His glory.
If you would like to watch the Senior High Camp 2018 video, which has part of the wall of notes documented, it is linked right here: Senior High Camp Video
Senior High camp had the most campers it has ever had. It was crazy having 93 campers
in the valley, and it was an amazing experience. This year was an awesome experience and I am excited to see everyone again at Winter Recharge.