Boreen Point – QLD Youth Camp

 

Our first great experience happened just before getting to camp, and from there it just got better. We had been driving down winding, forested roads for all of ten minutes when a 4-wheel drive with a large trailer came onto the road in front of our little blue car. I’m certain God knew we needed the extra headlights so we kept driving behind this car right to the entrance of the campground. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

On arriving, we joined the eager group of campers that had gathered for evening worship. With Bibles, miners lights and torches in hand, we were all prepared to hear the first worship, led by Jylan Wynne, which touched on a very important connection that we have with God – Prayer. ‘From end to end’, we need to keep our connection open, praying without ceasing, depending on God every step of the way. After greetings and final preparations were made, we were finally ready to go to sleep.

Friday began with an early, but not too early, morning worship, led out by Daniela Balarezo – ‘The Connection’. The previous night, I’d hardly been able to see the lake we were camping just alongside but during worship at the water’s edge it was a truly breathtaking view, and a blessing to talk about the permanent connection that Jesus wants us to maintain with him, an ‘abiding’ connection. Thus as camp continued, building line upon line, we came to realize that Christ really wants to be our best friend.

After worship, breakfast was next and it was quite normal to leisurely stroll by each tent and survey what was on each table, or box, or makeshift toolbox, bench, or trailer for the morning meal. Needless to say we enjoyed all our meals. Soon enough, a quick walk to another part of the beach led us to a nice shady spot for one of our two workshops entitled, ‘Interference’. We spoke about how Christ may be abiding in our hearts, but unless we practice our understanding and pray ‘without ceasing’ we become easy targets and vulnerable to temptation. During the workshop, four young people were chosen to “Stop at nothing and build a pyramid with four walls”. The instructions were puzzling at first, but the “stop at nothing” part became clearer when they saw that they were getting a lot of distraction from people around them. The finished project was a sand pyramid with four walls surrounding it, a gate, channel, and even decorated with sticks and leaves, although the sticks and leaves started disappearing when the objection was made that the decorations were not part of the instructions. Sometimes, it is the people who are closest to us who can unwittingly lead us away from Christ; because they are the ones we trust the most but remember; trust in God, not man. (Just a note for those who attended, please remember to pray for your assigned person J.)

After a break, Jonathan led us through the next workshop, entitled “From Disconnection to Reconnection”, or in simple terms ‘on and off’. What is your connection like? Is it a constant free flowing connection, or are you turning on and off?

Once lunch ended, the afternoon was free until Sabbath opened. As dusk fell across the tranquil lake, singing floated about the camp in praise to God for his goodness. Jordan Chapman led the evening meeting entitled ‘Duel Connection’ which drew our attention to our conversation with God; it has to be two ways. Looking at our Christian walk, it is Christ who guides us through it, but we have to decide to keep that connection flowing. Later on in the evening Br. Csongor Matyas, took our QLD Youth For Christ night and talked to the youth about ‘Incentive’ or ‘Motivation’. Many Christians follow this way of life, sadly, simply because there is a reward at the end, like ‘do good because you have to or you won’t go to heaven’. Those who love Christ are guided by an inner drive or ‘motivation’ as is the case with anything we are truly passionate about. Here is my question, however, if there were no heaven, would you still be a Christian?

Sabbath morning began with worship on the beach taken by Benjamin Fuenzalida and entitled “Transmitting”. Is our connection up and working? Are we transmitting to others? After a delicious breakfast we prepared for Sabbath School under the large tent area where at least 20 camping chairs were congregated for Sabbath School to begin. Our Sabbath School Lesson was about “Eli and his Sons” and we were arranged into groups according to the day of the week we were going to discuss and at the end to regroup and share. It worked really well and it was great to see everyone participating.

Csongor took our next study, “Are you Connected?” It was very nice to experience the sermon out of doors in nature and by then the weather was perfect. Small groups slowly formed after lunch and music floated from all sides, which was a good indication that we had some exciting items for our Young People’s Meeting later on. Sure enough, there were many wonderful items of praise and thanksgiving some of which included a very impressionable object lesson about making sure we don’t gloss over things that may have “only a little bit of bad” in it. The object lesson showed that if one part is not good for us, or if it’s half ok to do, then that should be an indication that the whole thing is not good. We also had some amazing testimonies and stories of faith and God’s leading which were kindly relayed to us by Lauren and Braden Vernon. It was amazing to know that even though we don’t see or realize it, God is always leading us to him, pulling us with his love. There were beautiful songs performed by the children, which always reminds how precious is the faith and simplicity of a little child. Some of the youth presented stories, like Lachlan Reyes, who gave us a very interesting recap of the lives of Bible heroes and we looked into the characteristics that made them brave or heroic. A lovely rendition of “Amazing Grace” was given by a large group of the youth and soon after the meeting, we all took a long walk on the beach, both enjoying the lovely scenery and each other’s company. Sabbath came to a close all to quickly and Jaime Squires directed our attention to the “Eternal Connection”. A combined barbecue followed soon after and before long we were all eagerly crowding around a fantastic spread of vegetarian sausages, gluten steaks, salads, sauces and more. After more socializing and fun we all went to bed in anticipation of a 4:30am wake up call.

 Sunday

Those of us brave souls who volunteered tiptoed out of camp, dark and early, to make the half-hour drive to Tinbeerwah Lookout where we would stay to watch the sunrise. The short hike to the lookout was intermingled with anticipation of what we would see at the top. Despite the cold and mosquitoes we all agreed that it was worth the trouble to see the golden streaks of light that slowly emerged from the horizon. Our very own camera crew was all set up at the edge of the cliff at the ready and we enjoyed sitting around chatting and singing until the sky was streaked with pink in the distance, and the shadows turned into warm sunshine. Once the sun was shining brightly, it was time for group photos, which we took right on the edge of the cliff (there were suggestions that the back row could make more room by taking a step back) and from the lookout. We returned to camp in time for morning worship taken by Jeremy Gordon entitled “Face to Face”. He told a very moving story of a blind man who had an operation to his eyes and resolved to remove his bandages on his wedding day so that his bride would be the first his eyes beheld. Happily he said that his bride “was more beautiful than he could ever imagine.” Such will be our happiness when we finally have our own earth binding bandages removed so that our Saviour is the first we see, standing right in front of us, “Face to Face”. After a hearty breakfast with pancakes all around it was time to pack up camp before the scheduled activities. As the day progressed, some of the youth experienced a physical transformation as they appeared from their swim in the lake covered in thick mud, which was used on unsuspecting swimmers of our group, all in good humor of course. The kayaking was also very enjoyable thus ending our camp on a high note. We were all very thankful that the rain predicted for the weekend never came, and we were blessed with beautiful balmy weather the entire time. I truly believe that this camp was a blessing to all as there were many lessons learnt from the meetings and nature that surrounded us. It was also really encouraging to see the young people lead out in each meeting and to watch them getting involved in the activities of the camp. I’m greatly looking forward to the next one!

By: Elisabeth and Daniela Balarezo

Coral Bay – WA Youth Camp

Time set aside enjoying God’s creation

In this day and age with people living such busy lives, we are thankful to God for giving us such wonderful counsels in the Spirit of Prophecy which we can all benefit from, in our practical lives. “Let families unite together and leave their occupations which have taxed them physically and mentally, and make an excursion out of the cities and villages a few miles into the country, by the side of a fine lake, or in a nice grove, where the scenery of nature is beautiful. They should provide themselves with plain, hygienic food, and spread their table under the shade of a tree, or under the canopy of heaven provided with the very best of fruits and grains. The ride, the exercise, and the scenery, will quicken the appetite, and they can come around a repast which kings might envy.” Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 par. 31

“Parents and children on such occasions should feel as free as air from care, labors or perplexities. Parents should become children with their children, making it as happy as possible for them. Let the whole day be given to recreation. Exercise of the muscles in the open air, for those whose employment has been within doors and sedentary, will be beneficial to health. All who can, should feel it a duty resting upon them to pursue this course. Nothing will be lost, but much gained. They can return to their occupations with new life, and new courage to engage in their labor with new zeal. And such have gained much, for they are better prepared to resist disease.” Review and Herald, October 8, 1867 par. 32

On the 14th of April, a number of families here in the West decided to take time out for some recreation and be refreshed, so we set out on our trip to Coral Bay. For those who are unsure, Coral Bay is 1200km north of Perth. It would have been about 9-9:30 Sunday morning by the time we prayed and set off on our journey; although a few families had departed earlier that morning, we all caught up at some point. The trip was great and we thank God for His protection. We saw many goats, sheep and cows by the roadside, wandering all over the outback of prickly shrubs and small sand tornados. Although the western countryside is very dry with sharp characteristics, God made it with its own beauty. Psalms 8:7-9 “All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”

By lunchtime we were all pulling into Carnarvon, the half-way point between home and North Hampton, where we planned to stay the night. We stopped to stretch our legs and eat some much anticipated food before embarking on the second half of our journey for the day.

Finally we arrived at the half-way point to Coral Bay in North Hampton and settled down for the night. It was a quaint Farm Stay, but very well kept and provided us all with much needed rest. The next day we continued our journey at 6:00am bound for Coral Bay, and for some strange reason this half of the journey seemed to pass by much faster. Along our route we crossed over the Tropic of Capricorn and saw many massive termite mounds dotted all over the countryside. It was amazing! Mound-building termites are found not just here in Australia, but also in Africa and South America. Some mounds can have a diameter of 30 metres. It brings to mind what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”.

‘Coral Bay’, the sign finally appeared; by the grace of God we had all made it. We were staying in a caravan park just opposite the ocean, so of course once we arrived we had to set up our tents; but we all got in, helped each other and completed the job in record time. One of the tents, however, had been set up in the wrong place, so to save the bother of pulling the whole thing down and resetting it, we just removed the pegs and picked up the tent to move it, a rather interesting experience.

That evening we all went down to the ocean for a swim as it was very warm up there. The water was very refreshing, but it was a bit murky. We figured it was due to the tide and concluded it would be much nicer the next morning. After worship, that evening, as you would suppose, we all went to bed quite early, but the rest was much needed.

The next morning each family had their own worship and then we all had a nice big breakfast and headed down to the ocean where we took a ride in a glass-bottom boat. Sure enough when we saw the water that morning, it was gorgeous! The ocean was a clear aqua colour and shimmered against the morning sun.

The glass-bottom boat was definitely an experience. We could see all kinds of coral, and some shimmered blue in the light. There were beautifully coloured fish of all shapes and sizes swimming everywhere, and we even saw a turtle! “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:21.

The rest of that day was spent on the beach in the sun.We all did lots of snorkelling, an amazing experience, as the fish were not scared of you; they allowed us to dive down and swim with them, and they completely accepted us. We can only imagine how wonderful it will be in the ‘earth made new’ when all the animals will not be afraid of us. We snorkelled out to “Aires Rock” a number of times, an absolutely massive yellow coral 250 metres off shore. We first saw it while on the glass-bottom boat that morning. This coral was amazing; it became flat on top and had lots of smaller coral growing on the head of it. There were also lots of schools of fish that loved to swim all around this large coral.

By the time evening came we were all very tired and hungry, so we cleaned up and had a big meal. The rest of the evening was spent socialising before we all had our individual family worships and retired for the night.

The following day, we all stopped off at the bakery for breakfast. The weather was perfect. As you can imagine, we decided to spend the whole day out in nature as we would be heading back down to Perth the next day. The weather was perfect. The whole time we were there the sun was shining, and we never had a dull day. Again a number of us young people decided to go snorkelling and headed out for “Aires Rock”. Once again it was amazing; there were fish everywhere that swam around us as we passed by them. Although we didn’t manage to see a turtle, we were blessed to see an ever abundant supply of fish, as well as a couple of stingrays.

Late afternoon, a few of us young people headed up to a high point to watch the sunset, a beautiful way to end the day in the midst of God’s wonderful creation. That night, we were all very tired again, and looked forward to an early night. But alas that was not to be. As we all headed back to the campsite where Jacques Payet had been busy cooking food that day, everyone followed their noses to the tent where we all huddled and had dinner.

We all rose early the next day to get a good head start for the long trip home. After packing the tents and clearing the area, a long trail of cars finally but reluctantly left the quiet little town of Coral Bay. After sitting in the small confined spaces of the cars, we all stopped for a much-needed stretch at Carnarvon, where we filled the cars up with fruit, and our stomachs with food. After our break, we all headed back to the cars to continue the long journey home again. We had decided that we were going to travel through the night this time instead of stopping at North Hampton. So those who weren’t driving at the time decided it was best if they caught up on some sleep before it was their turn to drive.

We all thank God for our safe trip through the night as there were no accidents and no one fell asleep at the wheel, although there were constant stops along the side of the road as people were swapping drivers to give others the chance to sleep. The promise found in Psalms 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them,” was truly appreciated by all as we continued on our journey home.

I can say on behalf of everyone, that at 2:30am the following morning we were all quite happy to be pulling into our driveways and crawling into our beds after a full day of being on the road.

We would all like to thank God for the wonderful experience of being able to participate in the trip up to Coral Bay. Just being able to spend time with family and friends enjoying God’s creation was a great blessing, and we hope to be able to have another trip like it in the near future. Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

By Amariah and Charmaine Payet

Bristol Point – Jervis Bay NSW Youth Camp

Bristol Point is one of the campgrounds by a beautiful coastal cove situated in Jervis Bay NSW, approximately three hours’ drive south of Sydney.  Catering especially for groups, Bristol Point is a very clean and well-kept camp, offering hot showers, BBQ areas and even an outdoor amphitheater which could be used for meetings.

For weeks many were preparing and looking forward to this event.  As we were driving on the motorway Friday afternoon, the rain was bucketing down to the point where we could hardly see the road.  Since a number of people were concerned about the weekend being a very wet one, I must admit that on the way down, I also started to worry a little; so I quietly I sent a prayer to God asking if He could help us, at least to hold back the rain until we put up our tents and tarps.  But God must have been smiling as my prayers went up because He had already worked everything out.  As we were getting closer to camp, the weather was clearing up more and more until we could even see some blue sky.  How grateful we were to God for His goodness and for answering our prayers.

As we were looking around for a place to setup camp, we were greeted by friendly, beautifully coloured parakeets and other birds, which put a smile on everyone’s face.  The boys had a number of them landing on their arms, heads and shoulders.

One by one the cars started pulling up, and tents were being erected, soon looking like a tent city!!!  A couple of large tarps were put up in the middle of camp to be used for meals etc. and they were the best investment the Youth Department made.  After setting up camp, some of us took a walk down by the seaside, and it was just gorgeous.  Such white sand, lovely aqua-green and blue water, sun glittering between the clouds, brown and cream rocks and later the evening glow with stripes of soft purple, pink, orange and blue made us feel immediately relaxed.  I couldn’t help think what a Master Designer our God is.  The boys were also very excited to spot a stingray which was captured by Harrison with his underwater camera.

We opened Sabbath together, and as we were quite hungry, dinner was extremely appetizing.  There were a couple of very special people who turned a year wiser within two days apart: Nathan from Melbourne on the second, and Denise from USA on the fourth, the day the camp started.  So we shared a cake together and wished them God’s blessings for the years to come.  At night, some youth went for a walk on the beach and witnessed the very interesting sparkles of the plankton as they kicked the water and sand.

After a good nights rest, the morning daylight got us out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy God’s day in nature.  Brother Joe and I went for a morning walk to Green Patch before breakfast and saw kangaroos quietly grazing on the lush green grass, so tame that they could be patted.  As we came around the corner at Bristol Point rocks, we met Kayli who was enjoying looking at sea anemones, gathering shells etc.  Self-catered breakfast was next.

Brother Matthias let us know that the Sabbath Bible Lesson study would be taking place down by the rocks.  A number of people carried their chairs, drinking water and books to where we met, a place not short of the beauty of God’s wonderful creation.  Many favourite hymns of praise went up to our Heavenly Father, and Sister Denise took us through the lesson for the day.  We felt so blessed, as again the weather was gorgeous even to the point that some got a little sunburnt.   Lunchtime came far too quickly for some, while others seem always hungry… and so together we shared a delightful combined lunch.  After lunch, most of us enjoyed a walk in the Botanical Gardens, which was only a short drive from camp.

Upon arriving back at camp, a special activity for the youth took place at the beach.  Brother Matthias asked them to divide themselves into groups of no more than four or five and they had to depict a Bible story on the sand.  The adults and those who remained were to guess what the story was.  They were quite creative.  The displays were well done as you can see by the pictures; some of scenes were very detailed.  It was lovely to see the youth participate in this activity.  The stories portrayed were:

  • Daniel in the lion’s den
  • Conversion and baptism of the Ethiopian
  • Jonah in the whale
  • Feeding of the multitude with five loaves and two fishes
  • The demoniac made whole and pigs running down the cliff
  • Three different portrayals of the walls of Jericho

While there, we sighted a large stingray swimming gracefully across the beach.  On a couple of different occasions, dolphins were also spotted by various people.

Just before sunset, we gathered together around the BBQ fire to sing some more favourite choruses and David led out for closing of Sabbath.  All brought something to add to the combined BBQ dinner; and so we enjoyed another delicious meal of burgers, sausages, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, super sweet corn on the cob, salad and bread rolls (and that’s just some of the yummy foods enjoyed).  After tea, a number of people went down to the beach again to see some more plankton.

Daylight saving finished on Sunday morning giving us an extra hour in bed, but unfortunately the rain started pelting down around two o’clock in the morning and didn’t give up until about an hour and a half before we had to leave.  God again held back the rain at the time we needed most, so we were able to pack the tents and the tarps without getting drenched.  Even though it was a wet Sunday morning, it never deterred some keen water lovers from taking a dip early in the morning finishing the camp on a high note.  The hot showers were very much appreciated after the cool experience.

Morning worship was led by Melissa, and all were in good spirits and thankful to God that we were able to spend time enjoying such beautiful nature and each other’s company.  We are looking forward to our next camp which will be held during the October long weekend. Submitted By Lidia Voncina

I would like to share some thoughts expressed by some of the youth:


Veronica & Kiara-Shaye Hake

“Breath-taking weekend. The white sandy beaches surrounding the campsite were just so beautiful. It was such a blessing to spend a weekend out in nature. From the ginormous stingrays and fluro plankton in the beach to the wallabies and birds surrounding the camp God’s name was written in everything. Thanks to everyone for making the weekend so memorable… and to the leaders who made it possible.”

Denise Gutierrez

“The best camp. The place was awesome; however, the people even better! Great people I have met here down under. The fourth was the best…lol! Thank you for remembering young Boje and my birthday.  Cake was great. Thanks Sister Lidia! It was great to enjoy Sabbath by the beach. Phenomenal! Would definitely do this again. God bless everyone!!!”

Alyssia Thiel

“On Friday, 4 April, a group of about 40 youth and young at heart gathered at the Jervis Bay Campgrounds for a weekend of camping. Despite the rain, everyone had a wonderful time. Some of the highlights of the camp were illustrating Bible stories in the sand, climbing the rocks on the beach, seeing how dry you can be after running between the tents and the covered tarp area, and seeing the little glowing plankton in the water on the beach at night. Everyone is looking forward to the next campout!”

Cameron Thiel

“I really enjoyed the camp, especially the bioluminescent plankton in the water.”

Matthew Boje

“The decision had been reached. We were going to be attending the youth campout at Jervis Bay. The dates were locked in, and as the days drew nearer, the weather forecast was not being very agreeable with a camping weekend.

“Still we decided to attend, and it was amazing.

The beautiful scenes in nature, having the Sabbath School lesson taken by the ocean, and enjoying each other’s company in such a serene location made the nine-hour drive, each way, seem trivial.

Praise God that 50 people attended, and even though the weather should have been miserable, it wasn’t until Sunday morning that the clouds released their payload, and the showers came pouring down. That made it a memorable challenge, and we still played ball on the beach, and went for a swim; after all, once you’re in the water, you cannot get any more wet. 

I’d like to thank the leaders for organizing this weekend, and everyone who attended by making it special. The way everyone got along; the fact that there were only two ‘official’ combined meals, yet I ate all my meals together with the group. Everyone was happy to share, help each other out, and spend quality time in nature. Till next time!”