Northern Easter Camp 2019
I’ve had the joy and privilege of serving the Baptist family as the Northern Easter Camp Director for 11 years now. I serve alongside a brilliant team who give their best because they believe that this next generation will encounter Christ in profound ways, giving their lives to follow his call.
There are some things we will never get tired of seeing: young and old enthusiastically throwing themselves into the mud pit; the sports; the Intermission Paint Party; the seminars; thousands of young people abandoning themselves in praising their creator with song, dance and play, or responding to the power of the gospel and a life in Christ; leaders praying with their young people; seeing lives changed, bringing freedom, healing and salvation to this next generation; the work of the Holy Spirit; the justice message of the Kingdom of God; and the unity we experience as the people of God in Aotearoa.
‘Haere mai’ was our call to Northern Easter Camp 2019—to come as you are to this place and time; come and follow the King; all are welcome here.
This year we saw young leaders come of age and, as they served throughout camp in many incredible and varied ways, the old guards like myself smiled and cheered them on. We are excited about what God might do with this next generation in the future.
Story: Blue Bradley
Director, Northern Easter Camp
Central Easter Camp 2019
This was the first year that Central Easter Camp registrations broke 2000! The feedback we have received is that it was the best camp yet, in terms of response—on Friday, the first response night, around 60% put up their hands—and in the range of creative arts we used. From Friday through to Sunday we used drama, spoken word, multimedia and dance to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We had fantastic speakers too. It was extremely powerful.
This year we wanted to target as many different types of young people as we could. There was a wide variety of activities on offer—from karaoke, to MC competitions, skating, soft archery, arts and crafts, and more. We brought in a ‘prayer ambulance’ from Wellington Anglicans. It was stationed in the village the entire weekend. It is an actual ambulance but it is decked out and young people could go there to get prayer at any time. It always had people going through and teams of people ministering to them.
We’d like to give a ‘shout out’ to Chris Finlay, the interim regional mission leader. His and the Wellington Association’s support of Easter Camp has been phenomenal.
As a postscript, our Easter Camp 2019 reunion event held on 24th May had so many people register that we had to change from a 600-seat venue to a 1000-seat venue, with people coming from as far as Napier and Taranaki to Upper Hutt! Our dream is to see the whole of the lower North Island come to know Jesus.
Story: Johanna Vannathy
Director, Central Easter Camp
Southern Eastercamp 2019
The Easter weekend is the most significant in any church’s calendar. It’s also significant for thousands of teenagers across New Zealand as they embark on the Eastercamp journey. Southern Eastercamp sees over 80 different youth groups from around the South Island come together for five days of camping, community, crazy afternoon activities and the chance to engage with the Easter story.
We received many encouraging prophetic words from a handful of our local youth pastors and prayer team in the lead-up to camp this year, about expecting a fresh move of God’s spirit to break out at camp. Over the weekend we saw many make first-time decisions to follow Jesus, others set free from both physical and emotional scars, and an incredible hunger for more of his presence and things of the Spirit.
Our prayer team ran two prophecy evenings from their prayer tent and each night there was a race to get to the front of the line. We had kids waiting for up to two hours to be prayed for to receive a prophetic encouragement. It’s exciting to watch a generation so hungry for God!
Teenagers are often known for their high energy and excitement. While this was true of them at camp, there was also an ease and an openness from them to embark on the Easter journey. As they now take messages of hope, challenge and new life back home with them, it makes me incredibly excited for the future of our city and for the schools and communities with whom these thousands of young people connect.
Story: Laura Hughes
Director, Southern Eastercamp
eCamp 2019 was another wonderful weekend with God, fun, sun and fellowship!
The almost 750 campers were well served by their leaders, crew, cooks and the wonderful staff at Finlay Park who love nothing more than to see young people touched by our great God.
Highlights from eCamp are always the great activities, food, soccer tournament, talent quest and wonderful worship, this year provided by a team from Manukau City Baptist Church.
We always make an effort to have a speaker who will connect well to the intermediate age group. This year Ben MacGregor from Grace Vineyard church in Christchurch was just that right person to explain the gospel message to those both with and without a Christian background. He used Scripture and personal stories to help our young people understand what Jesus has done and what that means for us in our lives as followers. Young people connect with their leaders in small groups to discuss these messages each day and then on Sunday evening Ben gave an opportunity for those who wanted to respond publicly to what God was doing in their lives.
Seventy-five chose to give their lives to Jesus for the first time, 174 recommitted their life to him, and a further 75 asked for prayer—some for the Holy Spirit and some feeling a call to baptism.
Please pray for the leaders of these young people who now have the responsibility to disciple these youth in the way of the Lord.
Story: Raewyn Moodie
on behalf of the eCamp committee