By Savanna Eichinger
Our youth ministry team at YWAM Chico held a 2-week YWAM SST discipleship and missions camp this summer and it was phenomenal!
The Lord moved in powerful ways. Not only were the students’ lives touched by the presence of God in a new way, but Christoph and I were greatly impacted also. Several months back we asked God for a theme or key verse for the summer and he gave us the scripture in Matthew 22, where Jesus commands us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It was clear to see that what the Lord was after were hearts that would be fully His! The phrase “All In” came to our minds with this verse and that is what we ran with.
The students truly lived this phrase. One night, during an application to a teaching on idols, many of them confessed and renounced the things in their lives that held them back from giving God their all. God did such a deep work in one student in particular who was really struggling with her identity. As the Holy Spirit ministered to her heart, she became completely convinced of God’s love for her. She had a revelation from God that she was His beloved and precious daughter, and the identity struggles were gone! The crazy thing about this is that no teachers or staff prompted that. It was all the Holy Spirit’s work. We worked hard to create an environment of safety where students could be honest about where they are at without condemnation, yet still creating space for God’s love and truth to impact their lives. It’s such a beautiful reminder that God is faithful to do what we can’t. Other students were able to forgive people who had hurt them and to declare their public trust in God. For many, this night was life changing!
At the same time, we saw that God was planting seeds in some students and softening their hearts. Sometimes from the outside it can seem discouraging when transformation doesn’t happen on our timetable, but God knows what He’s doing. In ministry we often look for quick results, and we tend to forget that Jesus is interested in a discipleship relationship for life. Two weeks is a short time, and His perusal of hearts far outlives any program. On the last day of our outreach, one student gave his life to the Lord. It was during a team time of worship, and a staff member felt impressed that some still were on the fence. God ended up giving me a prophetic song about not staying on the fence but jumping all in, and God just moved! Christoph also had similar words that tied together this theme. So we decided to do an altar call and the love of God began to overwhelm this student and others. He decided he wanted to be “all in”, and he publicly declared that! Many others also publicly confessed their need for Jesus and their answer to His call.
This all happened on the last day!
God can do anything. We don’t have to make things happen. Our job is to create a safe place, discerning what God is wanting to do and say, and then facilitating that. That’s it. God’s presence does the rest.
Christoph and I learned so much through this YWAM SST, and we will forever be changed as a married couple and as young leaders. And we’re excited for more! God is so very good and faithful.