Following the week long Encounter for high schoolers in the summer, Encounter LE is a weekend in the fall for middle school and high school students that gives them a glimpse into what going to school at LCU is like. It shows them some of the wonderful experiences that they can have. Counselors for the camp focused a lot of time on making sure that the kids were enjoying the time they still had before college and helping them understand that the real world is a crazy place.
I volunteered during this weekend and enjoyed it immensely. The classes I attended and worship I experienced made me wish I had known about Encounter before college. A couple of the classes in particular spoke to me, one of which was about something I have often personally struggled with. Barrett Dickson, in his class, discussed masks and the way we give them power over our lives. Especially in school, there are always multiple labels that people seem to put on us, and we can choose to accept these labels by letting them define us and acting upon them, or we can choose act on the identity that God gives us through his son, Jesus. The activity before the class included wearing plastic masks with characters on them. Without knowing each others identity, with series of questions the students had to figure out their own identity based on what others told them. It was a good analogy for what he was about to explain. Through scripture and a short video, Dickson was able to hopefully give the Encounter LE campers a glimpse into the life that God has planned for them.
After that class, the group I led headed toward the Katie Rogers’ parlor for a class with Scott Hall on the stages of having a relationship with Christ. In order to become the masterpiece that God intends, to fulfill his purpose of being made in His image, there are steps to take to allow God into your life. Though starting with a comedic song and a recognizable show tune, Hall explained that there are things in your life that you need to give to God and allow Him, like a vase filled with garbage, to slowly take out of your life the garbage and to fill the empty space with Him. Allowing Him in is a choice.
This was also the theme that Patrick Mead had during his talk Friday night. Do not worship little kings. Because of human nature, we inherently want to follow something, and it needs to be the One True King, not the small idols that surround us every day.
Encounter LE was a success this year, with over 800 students attending. Many people are to thank, and many eyes were opened. It was a wonderful experience for someone like myself who had never been to an LCU summer camp before, and I’m so glad I fought through the exhaustion and volunteered. I cannot wait to see what God continues to do on our campus.