Miraculous physical healings, relationship barriers demolished, godly friendships birthed, and a renewed desire to hear the voice of the Lord were just a few of the highlights from Foursquare kids, youth and family camps this summer.
Nearly 15,000 children, youth and young adults from across the U.S. attended one of the 89 Foursquare camps offered this past June, July and August. A summary report indicated over 1,500 decisions for Christ, some 2,000 Holy Spirit baptisms, and around 1,200 calls to ministry. A number of campers were miraculously healed of physical ailments. In many cases, those healings were later confirmed by doctors.
David Wise, NextGen director for the Great Northern District, tells of an 8-year-old girl who had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. She received prayer while at camp, and her symptoms disappeared. Upon returning home, she told her parents, who had the healing confirmed by a doctor—she has been able to discontinue all medications.
Wise also shares the story of a girl who had broken a toe while at camp, and was in intense pain.
“We prayed for her, and right before our eyes, God healed that broken toe!” he said. “She was running around, completely fine, for the rest of the camp.”
Marcus Ellington, Southwest District NextGen director, shares the story of another miraculous healing.
“During junior high camp, a girl who had been deaf in her right ear since infancy was healed during worship,” Marcus tells Foursquare.org. “As she was worshiping, her right ear suddenly popped—and she was able to hear with it for the first time.” This healing also was confirmed by the girl’s parents and a physician.
Healings weren’t the only remarkable aspect of this summer’s camps. Several district NextGen directors reported how the Holy Spirit transformed relationships. Jake Cordell, from the Southeast District, describes one offsite camp activity called the Holy Spirit Bus, which culminated in three hours of intimate worship.
“Not only was it a great time in the presence of God,” Jake recalls, “but it brought unity within our group. The same churches that were mad at each other [before the bus experience] were the ones singing together on the bus and praying for each other. It was awesome!”
That same spirit was also apparent in the Mid-Atlantic District camps, according to Lesli Klingenmeier, district NextGen director.
“One of the affinity groups at senior high camp was ‘How to Make Friends,’ ” Lesli says. “We were amazed as we saw a true cross-section of the camp (from the ‘popular’ kids to kids who struggled to make friends) join this affinity group. By the end of the week, the greatest picture was this eclectic group of kids huddled together with arms around each others’ shoulders, praying for one another.”
Perhaps one of the most significant outcomes of the 2010 camping season was the eagerness with which young people sought the Lord. Even the youngest campers surpassed expectations with their response to the moving of the Spirit.
“This year, we decided to have a campfire each night after chapel,” explains Molly Crabbe, who directed one camp for 8- to 12-year-olds in the Northwest District. “Wow! We were surprised by how God used that time to really pull forth some things the kids were working on. They prophesied over each other, they prayed for each other, they worshiped, and they gave testimonies on how God was working in their lives. We had to close it out each night with lots of kids still wanting to share.”
From coast to coast, the same was true of teens, as well.
“The most significant thing I saw across all of our camps was a renewed desire to hear the voice of the Lord,” says Ben Weiss, Mid-South District NextGen director. “I gave some of the students the opportunity to share what the Lord was speaking—and after hearing the words they were giving, I am confident they know His voice and will be leading us in the very near future!”
By: Beth Mead, a Foursquare credentialed minister who serves in the National Church Office in Los Angeles