Learning the word, while learning the ropes
By By Janet Little Cooper
The youth from Brooks Memorial Baptist Church pulled out of the church parking lot last week stepping out of their comfort zone en route for summer camp at Doe River Gorge in Tennessee.
They had no idea of the spiritual and physical challenges that lie before them.
Youth director, Mitch Hughes had been to the camp before and knew that it would be a life changing experience for the group of kids.
It would also be Hughes last official trip with the youth as their director. Hughes will continue his membership at the church, but felt it was time to step down due to not being able to commit the amount of time he felt the youth needed due to his full-time job at Escambia Academy.
The kids spent a week in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee at the camp designed to minister to students through extreme adventure in a unique atmosphere of acceptance and love based on the written work of God.
"DRG was definitely life-changing to me," camper Jordan Gates said. "It challenged me spiritually and physically. The physical challenge came through the hiking, rock climbing we did. But it especially challenged me spiritually by showing me that I have no right to not forgive someone, because Christ forgave and continues to forgive me for all my sins."
Each day was filled with adventure from Bible study and worship to mountain biking and horseback riding.
A challenge course proved to be just that, but also was a valuable lesson to the group.
"Through the challenges we were presented with in each activity, it really taught me to depend on God in every situation that comes to me," April Bethea said.
Doe River Ministries works to create an atmosphere of fun, adventure to help cultivate a desire to experience God in a deep, life-changing way resulting in a heart of worship, a desire for purity and a God-centered vision for student's lives.
"I learned that we have to forgive people just as God forgave us," Leslie Smith said. "I also learned that so many people know God, but their knowledge of how to get into heaven is wrong and you can do so many good works in his name, but if you don't know Him, praise Him, and live your life in worship for Him, all your good works mean nothings. And now that I know that, I think I will be able to understand God so much more."