Summer Camp Nostalgia

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I can’t believe it has already been EIGHT months since “Raise 2015”. Actually, I can believe it,
because there is this deep seated longing instilled in my heart.

Recently, I have been missing
“Raise” more and more. The worship, the teachings, the fun, the friends that come to town and
most of all, the chance to get away. I know, I know, those of us at Elevate Student Ministries just
went to “Ignite” (a weekend ski trip), which was meant to be a sort of “hold­over” until the
summer arrives. Don’t get me wrong, Ignite was great, but nothing, I repeat, NOTHING
compares to the sensation of “Raise”.

I know many of you have been feeling the same, in fact, I believe every single one of us are
counting down the days (both figuratively AND literally for some of us) until “RAISE 2016”.
Last year’s camp, I have to say, was the best “Raise” we have ever had. It was phenomenal
from start to finish, with its only fault being that five days is far too short a time for such a
great part of our lives to last. I still have trouble picking out my favorite part from last year; Blaise
and Dave entertaining us (and grossing us out) from start to finish as the emcee’s? Michael
Liebler, Muller and the band leading us in worship? Cody, Paul, Sam and the rest who blessed
us with their wise insights into God’s Word? The sweet coffee house nights? I could go on and
on. Each and every part, and each and every person, helped make this one of the best times
myself and many others have ever had.

While I was sad to see camp end last year, and am missing it more and more every day this
year, I have come (once again) to the realization that while camp itself may end, what happens
at camp has the chance to last a lifetime. So many of you have made decisions for the Lord at
“Raise”, I myself was baptized there several summers ago, and that is something that WILL last
a lifetime, and all of eternity! Also, just because you may not see them for a year, the friendships
you make and the fellowship you take part in can last as well. I have met so many very
important people in my life because of “Raise”. My youth pastors, both old and new. Mentors,
leaders and teachers, even though some are perhaps half a continent away for 360 days out of
the year. And of course, several of my very best friends.

I would like to encourage you, and this is something that I am going to attempt myself, to reach
out to those friends, teachers, mentors, or just anyone you may have met at “Raise”, and check
up on them. Ask them how they’re doing, what experiences have they gone through since last
you talked, and just let them know you’re thinking of them and can’t wait to see them again!

You all are in my prayers, and the prayers of all of us here at Elevate Student Ministries (Speaking of prayer, the “Raise The Blaze Prayer Group” is phenomenal isn’t it?!). God bless you all, and remember, only THREE AND A HALF MONTHS UNTIL “RAISE 2016”!!!!

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