Yui Mizuno (2018 JxJ Leader)
Thank you for your warm support and prayers for JxJ camp.
This year, September 14-16, we held the JxJ Camp at Black Diamond Campground. These were a very special 3 days. This year, Mr. and Mrs. Mao and Setsu Shimizu came to speak at this camp. Thanks to their warm character and on-fire faith, even the chilly Seattle weather somehow felt warm.
Normally, JxJ Camp is held as a part of the JEMS Camp, but this year, it was held by itself for the first time. Because of this, there were a lot of challenges. As we were planning, many things didn’t go as planned, we struggled with many new things, and we were unsure, thinking “will people really come? Will there still be a camp?” However, there came a moment when we realized this camp was not for our personal gratification, but was rather simply given as a chance to serve God. That’s when we were able to entrust JxJ to God from our hearts. When we trusted Him and kept praying, God not only answered each and every prayer, but poured out more blessing and grace than we imagined.
We got campers and volunteers from completely unexpected places. Relations between staff members were strengthened through the camp. Through all this, we felt God’s presence. It was a great joy to see every camper (total of 25 campers, incl. day campers and 5 non-believers) deepen their relationships with each other with God at the center. Relationships were deepened through even meals, sports, and free time, not just through the sessions and small groups.
The main theme this year was “Who am I? What’s your identity? You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4.” We quoted Psalms 139:1-18 for the sub-theme and the camp program answered the questions of where our identity comes from and what an identity in Christ means.
Mr. and Mrs. Shimizu, through Bible verses and various testimonies, spoke about how every single person is unconditionally loved by God and has purpose in their life, and that our identities are formed and strengthened by knowing God and His love.
Every session had content that was easy for a non-christian to understand and many good discussions were had about life and values in the small groups. Also, four Christian campers, myself included, gave their testimonies, and through those testimonies, we were able to experience God’s great love.
I think even now, I will still have moments when I consider and worry about what my identity is. However, during that process, I will strive to walk my faith so that I can better respond to God’s unchanging love and get closer to Jesus, so that God would change me into who He wants me to be.
Also, I want to hold on tight to the relationships built during camp and the grace received from God. Please keep praying that God would use JxJ for His purposes.