This year we had such a blast at WAKE Camp! This time around we had 110 students and 25 leaders from all three of our congregations come together for a weekend of worship, fellowship, and fun at our Gateway campus. Things kicked off Friday night with outdoor games, dinner provided by Kelly Powell, then our first of 2 worship sessions. Gateway campus pastor, Adam Alexander, spoke from Romans 6 on Friday night, discussing the urgency of waking up to the sin in our lives and to the reality that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. As the worship team began to close out the session, students began to move around the room where leaders were spread out and made available to those who wanted to confess sins, pray, or talk. The Holy Spirit was working in the hearts of the students as our first night was coming to an end.
We had 12 families kindly open their homes for us to stay in, where devotions and small group times happened after the sessions. During these times, our small group leaders led the students through questions like "How have you been asleep to the reality of your sin?" and "What will look differently in your life as you are waking up to this reality?". Those conversations brought much of a WAKE-ing up to the need of God's forgiveness. Closing out the night, we took trips to Publix where some of the groups got a quick start on their scavenger hunt by getting team selfie's with Police officers and purchasing some of the items on the list for the weekend-long game.
Saturday, our final full day, began with breakfast and a video devotion for our small group time. Questions such as "are you awake to the reality that God is the creator and owner of all things?" and "what if you woke up tomorrow and only had the things you thanked God for today?" watered us and steered us towards thanksgiving and adoration for our loving God. Some groups spent the rest of the morning checking off more things on the scavenger hunt list with trips to Sanibel Island, Chuck E. Cheese, and the airport. We headed back to the Gateway campus for lunch and the beginning of our WAKE Games tournament. Students were divided up into teams that spread out across the campus and competed in several different events including knock-out basketball, corn-hole, face painting, cupcake decorating and laser tag! Within each team, pairs of 2 teammates went from event to event, racking up as many points as possible for their team. We saw God move incredibly through this time by keeping everyone safe, filling our afternoon with fun, and creating new friendships. Afterwards, it was time to head to our host homes for showers and free time.
Later on, the groups met back at the Gateway campus for dinner provided by Mission BBQ before our last worship session began. Adam recapped the teaching from the previous night and transitioned into Ephesians 2:4-10; delving into the radical love of God for us even when we were dead in our trespasses. Throughout the night I was reminded of the powerful display of repentance from sin and full trust in God at last year's WAKE camp as students went to the front of the stage and kneeled at the foot of the cross. As the session ended, students from different campuses said goodbye to their friends, new and old, and headed back to their host homes for small group time. The questions for the night were centered around waking up to God's grace, living as an ambassador of Christ, and spurring each other on in the good news of Jesus.
As WAKE 2019 came to an end, our groups packed their bags in the morning and headed to their congregations’ Sunday service. We praise God for His faithfulness and love for our students and the way He used this weekend to make disciples that represent the Gospel to every man, woman, and child.