Music Camp 2017
"The melody of praise is the atmosphere of heaven; and when heaven comes in touch with the earth there is music and song—“thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”
"Above the new-created earth, as it lay, fair and unblemished, under the smile of God, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” So human hearts, in sympathy with heaven, have responded to God's goodness in notes of praise."
Messages to Young People pg 291
Heaven came in touch with earth for a few days during Music Camp 2017. Over seventy young people, twenty parents and staff and countless angels decended on Camp Obadiah and filled the air with music and song. God blessed in so many ways that to recount all of them would take hours but I would like to share some of my favorite mercies.
For me personally, just the opportunity to be at Music Camp again was enough to make my heart sing. Last year, due to work commitments, I was unable to be present for the whole camp which was really dissapointing for me. This year, after quitting my job, I had the freedom to help out in a greater way and to be present to see the day to day progress and blessings.
I also had the opportunity to make friends with the youth who attended and hopefully make a small difference in their lives. Music Camp does not exist soley to make beautiful music. Our primary goal is to influence young people's lives for good and to encourage them in their personal walk with God - the music is just one tool that we use to accomplish this. My heart smiles when I see our Youth Leaders mentoring younger men and women and our participants looking up to their godly counsellors. Here in one corner, Ely is having a heart to heart with one of her campers and outside on the lawn two of God's mighty young men are engaged in deep conversation about some meaningful topic. During classes, worships, mealtimes and free time, the encouragement continues and our Youth Leaders are praising God in their example to the younger youth.
This year we were ablsolutely blessed to have Dr Don Roy and Mrs Melody Lister join our team. Their experience, knowledge and energy enabled us to reach the next level in quality for Music Camp's musical performance and production. Having them teaching choir classes and advising our music staff was such a joy and we all really appreciate their willingness to be a part of Music Camp.
Our filming this year was also exciting as we were finally able to use a drone in our shooting. This new perspective allowed us to get some epic pictures and utalise brand new locations that just wouldn't have been possible without the extra space of the drone. Three days were spent in intense filming work - the first day on a lovely beach at Diamond Head as well as on Bago Bluff where we were blessed to sing beside an amazing view of the valley below. Monday, Mr & Mrs Hayden allowed us to invade their beautiful home and film our "working song" on their front lawn. Afterwards we stood beside a shimmering lake and filmed in the afternoon sunshine on Katrina's amazing property. Tuesday, our final filming day, we worked at my favourite location. Kempsey's Punch Bowl, nestled at the base of majestic mountains, a hidden gem. The river so still that it hardly seems to be moving at all than woosh! it splashes it's way over a minature cliff causing a beautiful spectacle in the tiny gorge. Then, as quickly as the current appears, it's gone again and the waters are peaceful. As usual though, beauty comes with a sacrifice - it was cold down there! Our young people, though are "rough tough young desciples" and never complained about the real pains in the toes and fingers. Once our work was done though, we could all tumble back into the cars and let the warmth from the heaters seep through our cold bodies.
Music Camp 2017 was blessed with the opportunity to present two concerts to the public. One in Port Macquarie, NSW and one in Avondale Memorial Church, also in NSW. Hundreds of people graciously gave us their Sabbath evening to fill and from their comments, were extremely blessed by the experience. Concerts make me excited because you can reach people's lives who may not choose listen to a sermon but are willing to hear the message through uplifting music.
As some of you may know, I am writing this post from the cool mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Because of my experience gained at Music Camp, I have had the opportunity to spend a year here working with Fountainview Academy and hopefully gaining precious knowledge and experience that will help me further Music Camp. When I look back and see the way that God guided me slowly to this point, I am in awe of His amazingness! I want to encourage to you to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small, because you never know what God is trying to teach you and where He is leading you.