by Meagan Bergem, Director of Ignite Jr. High Ministries 

    Summer Camp is a meaningful opportunity for students to grow in their faith. Sugar Pine Christian Camp, north of Oakhurst, is a great partner of Ignite Jr. High Ministry. It is always a joy to connect with their staff while we are there. A highlight during my visits to camp this year, was witnessing our very own Sophia Steele (class of 2017) embrace her call into ministry by serving on Sugar Pine's Staff. She was even our students' Cabin Leader for the week! God is so good in the ways he knits things together, allowing Sophia to invest where she was once poured into. Discipleship is a lifelong journey, and I am praising God for the fruit in Sophia's life that is flourishing on behalf of the next generation.

   Read below a few reflections of Ignite student's camp experiences. 

   Lauren Mozier, 7th Grade: "At Sugar Pine Camp, I learned that I love being in God's presence. I experienced His presence in a new way during chapel and worship time. In His presence, I was able to feel a lot of different emotions at the same time and fully worship God. For a long time, I've know that God is with me even when I don't feel His presence. But being able to feel His presence in this new way, encourages me to be fully devoted to Him. It also encourages me to be a part of the youth worship team so I can help others experience God's presence. What I also learned is God is so powerful, and that He listens to us whether we question His ways or trust Him (like Joshua). I want to keep calling out to Him." 

   Elijah Rooney, 8th Grade: "I learned that I am incapable to be successful without God, no matter where or what situation I am in. I learned that God will always be there.  Not only just "be there," he will also be protecting, loving, caring, and watching over and for us. I learned that in the Christian faith, we need accountability to God and to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christianity is like a plant, so if I plant the seed and put in the work, it's going to grow. In that way, I grow in my faith and help others to grow in their faith. God is incredible, but if people who know God's word to be true are lukewarm, he is not going to invest in us, but instead he will invest in people who are ready to be ignited for him."  

   Sophia Steele, (William Jessup University): "It was amazing being able to lead these girls. I had the privilege of witnessing the wisdom the young ladies have. Already, their stories can spread hope to those they've shared with. God reminded me of His faithful, relentless, and comforting presence through the hardest of times. He grows beautiful flowers from the very beginning of our relationship with Him in the harshest of soils. He truly is "God With Us". It was breathtaking seeing these lovely daughters making that discovery while at camp. I have no doubt in my mind that each and every one of these youth have the power to change the lives of those around them, especially with their stories of grace that God has already been weaving. They changed mine! Praise God." 

   "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." - 1 Tim 4:12