Report from the Field:
Area One Camp, Missouri
I walked into the "bunker" to meet with youth leaders, counselors and sponsors. It is called the bunker because it is below the balcony of the main venue meeting room. It has a gravel floor and carpet rolled over the uneven surface to make it presentable. Seventy chairs were arranged in a semi-circle.
The look of the basic room makes me think of the Fuhrerbunker used in Berlin during World War II. The atmosphere transported my mind to that command center and living quarters of Adolph Hitler hidden under ground. The earthy scent, discarded chairs and broken tables stored on the far side of the room veiled the discussions that were to come. We would be talking about the four Greek words for love.
From a spiritual perspective this location was the perfect place to engage the leaders of these young people. The battles that will rage in many hearts over the week will feel like a storm of fire and blood. One young person reflected that battle as he stood up and walked out of the meeting. He fell in a heap of tears and said, I need to be changed! He is talking about me!
I met with a group of youth leaders that carry the weight of many lives on their shoulders. One leader stood talking with me alone and his wife appeared at the door to the bunker. Tears raced down her face as she apologized to her husband. The intense activity of the week had made her feel guilty for not spending enough time with him. Their embrace and warm words melted their hearts together.
Youth camps and conferences have been the location of life-altering changes in the lives of young people for many decades. Pictured above is the crowd of young people gathered last week at Windermere Camp. Pictured below is a talent show from a youth conference in Orlando, Florida in 1974. That is me on the left singing with a group of students. The message of Christ has not changed.
It seems that nothing stirs my heart more than seeing young people come to know the Lord and walk in a deep relationship with Him. What a joy and privilege to share with them and their leaders during the week. Thank you for praying and providing the power to light up the darkness.
Next week Cathy and I will be leaving, embarking on a plane and visiting Africa again for the next three months. Three missionary retreats have been planned and organized during the winter months for the Dark Continent. We covet your prayers!
Cathy and Danny Sartin www.deeperstillmissions.com
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.