The weekend of the 12th April saw both of the Victoria University groups go away on their annual camps. I spent Friday to Sunday with the Christian Union at Forest Lakes camp site. We spent the weekend looking at what is the gospel, how it applies to our lives and how to make use of opportunities that we have to talk to our fiends about Jesus.
It was both really encouraging and a real privilege to talk and pray with students as they wrestled with the issues. One particular highlight was a session on the Sunday where we all got into small groups and discussed ideas for reaching out with the gospel on campus for the year ahead. It was great to hear them learning from their experiences over the last year, and applying what they had learnt over the weekend.
On the Sunday afternoon we headed off to Te Poupatate Marae in Fielding to join with the International Christian Fellowship on their Marae camp. The camp provides an opportunity for International students to meet a whole new bunch of people, experience Maori culture, but most importantly an opportunity to learn a little more about Christianity. This was the first time that two groups have been able to combine for their camps and it was great to be able to have fellowship together and build relationships. The evening ended with a hangi (one of my favourite meals ever!) after which the CUers headed back to Wellington but I stayed on for the night with ICFers on the Marae til Monday.
I have to admit that with the passing of years I find the camps increasingly tiring. But they are hugely significant for the groups both in terms of teaching/training and building relationships. I came away from the long weekend really encouraged, thankful to God that I am able to partner with Him and the students as we seek to reach other students for Christ, excited for the year ahead and looking forward to sleeping in on Tuesday morning.