Posted on: 25th May 2022
“What do pool noodles, the beach, glow sticks and the armour of God all have in common?”
These questions only hinted at the fun leaders had planned for youth attending CMS MELT Youth Camp over the ANZAC Day long weekend.
As 100 leaders and youth gathered at CYC Burleigh, they were challenged by Dr Samuel Petersen (Sam) from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, learning about being spiritually dead in sin but being made alive through faith in Christ.
Campers also got to hear first-hand from missionaries about serving in cross-cultural mission.
CMS QNNSW’s Mobilisation and Next Generations Coordinator, Paul Vandersee, said he believed camps like MELT were crucial in helping high schoolers develop their understanding of global mission.
“MELT exists to help youth-aged kids learn more about God and understand what global mission is, and more importantly what role God might have them play as they get older,” he said.
“It was encouraging to see families who value mission and growing a mission heart in their kids send them along for the three days. We see our role as assisting these families with giving their kids another avenue to develop this heart.”
While the weather threatened to put a damper on some of the ‘fun in the sun’, camp was still full of laughter as youth blew off steam at the beach each afternoon with activities like giant stand-up paddleboarding in Tallebudgera creek, and boogie boarding in the surf .”
Each day, youth and leaders listened to Sam’s Bible teaching, before moving into small groups with their leaders to discuss what they had learnt.
Learning about culture
Unfortunately the missionaries who were originally scheduled to come were unable to attend due to COVID. However God graciously provided Sam’s parents, Gavin and Janet (who have served as missionaries for 28 years in Brazil) to come and contribute. During the missionary spots Gavin and Janet ran a number of games with youth that helped them understand the challenges missionaries come across.
“One of the games Gavin and Janet ran split the youth into teams where they then had to compete together—but the rules and players at each table kept changing,” Paul explained.
“You could see each person’s face getting more and more confused as they hadn’t been told that the rules were changing—just like in many cross-cultural situations where we don’t know the unspoken rules. Some laughed it off, some got frustrated, and some got a little angry. It was a fantastic way for the youth to gain a small insight into what serving cross-culturally might be like when cultural rules and norms are misinterpreted or simply unknown. ”
Bryony Smith, who is a year 12 student from Brisbane, beamed as she spoke about her experience at MELT in 2022.
“I really enjoyed MELT, the leaders were so welcoming and loving and have made it really fun. It is such a great community,” she said.
“We looked at Ephesians chapters 2 and 3 and looked at how to be one with Christ. We also talked about being one big community as brothers and sisters in Christ.” Bryony continued.
“Mission is something really important about Christianity that you don’t quite learn in church, so it’s been really interesting to extend my knowledge of God and how he shows his love to other people. There’s been lovely people and so many good chats.”
Pray for MELT
While MELT is over for another year, CMS QNNSW is starting to plan for MELT 2023. Please continue to pray for the youth who attended MELT. Our hope is that any seeds planted during MELT would continue to grow for God. And if you know of youth who would benefit from next year’s camp, remember to invite them along!