I have a riddle for you:
What’s louder than an Oregon football game?
The sanctuary of Eugene Faith Center at 11:16 pm on Sunday August 7th.
Three hours ago, 175 middle schoolers from UFC, Eugene Faith Center, Church in the Alley, and New Hope showed up to the Faith Center parking lot to embark on a weeklong journey to JH Ranch in Northern California. Some came knowing what they were getting into, some bravely faced a week of uncertainty. One thing they all have in common: they are part of the Body of Christ in Eugene, Oregon.
Between games filled with ear-piercing screams, stealthy sprints and kids hiding in tiny cabinets, one of the pastors rallied all the kids and told them this (or something along these lines):
How cool is it that we’re all from different churches? You showed up knowing only the people you came with, but you’ll spend time with people from these other churches that you never knew before this week. You will leave with relationships that will last a long time. We have the opportunity to come together for a week and act as the body of Christ.
And he was right. Even within the first 3 of the 96 hours these 175 kids will spend together, relationships are already starting to form. I’ve had kids from other churches help me hide during games. I’ve seen leaders from other churches love on kids they don’t yet know. I’ve seen kids befriend strangers, acting like they’d known them for years. All this within the span of 3 short hours.
It is a sweet opportunity indeed to be headed into the unknown with 3 other churches. Sure, we will grow individually and sure, UFC will grow as a group. But this week is more than that: it’s growing as a body, linking arms with the local church, and taking part in what God is doing in the church worldwide. The church is bigger than UFC, and it’s bigger than Eugene. This week is a small glimpse of what God is doing in his Church: knitting members to one another for the sake of grafting new ones into the Body.
We are the church, and we are eager to see how God continues to move in the next 96 hours.
How you can pray for us:
-relationships formed: between leaders and kids, between UFC kids, between UFC kids and kids from other churches, between leaders.
-for our very own Connor Johnson who will be our camp speaker this weekend: rest, clarity, peace, boldness, protection.
-protection from illness/the enemy/other un-fun stuff
-safe travels to and from California
-kids who don’t know Jesus to have their eyes opened
-kids who do know Jesus to see how God wants to use them in opening their friends eyes, both at camp and at home
-energy for leaders (and kids, if middle schoolers need more energy…)