This week has been all about camp. Our team helped host a youth camp in Agua Viva called “Cancelados.” The idea was how to step up as young believers in a “cancel culture” that wants to live by the world instead of the Word. We boarded a bus to a farm for a long but exciting week full of God’s sovereignty and activeness in the lives of His people.

On Monday we had our one and only prep day. We were surprised by all of the guidelines we were required to follow and also by all of the responsibilities demanded of our various leadership positions. Some Fellows on our team were counselors for small groups of guys or girls, some ran games, others did logistics, and a few of us led worship. However, all of us were called to a really high standard for the campers, whether it was in the discussions that were held, the jokes we told, the ways we treated each other, how rules were enforced, and how we participated. It was remarkable to see my fellow Impact 360 teammates, as well as Lifeshapers from Brazil, rise to that standard. They could not have looked more like Jesus during camp. I (Noah) have seen them living actively for the kingdom in ways that the church in America can sometimes struggle with.

I think we as a culture can unintentionally cultivate habits of the church being solely a Sunday experience in seeing friends, having a bit of worship, and encountering the news that God loves us. Now, while all of these are good things, especially the immeasurable beauty of the gospel, we are called to not just sit and rest in that love, but to go and love others because He first loved us. The Great Commission is real and life-giving and needed in this world. I’ve seen my friends and classmates experience the realities and challenges of this, but they’ve also risen to it in amazing ways.

Sophie, who was helping with logistics and coordinating said, “God is teaching me to lean into Him this trip, not just physically but emotionally and mentally… God is teaching me to be humble and ask for help…I can’t do it by myself…I need God and my community’s help.” She is right. We need the Lord and we need life-giving, biblical community if we’re to take the gospel to the nations and live it out well. We’re excited to seek this out with another ministry partner and a new week full of God’s promises and His sovereignty. 

Noah Stehlik