(by Colin Burden, New Hope OPC, Frederick, MD)
The one word that I would use to describe the week I had at the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, New Jersey, is magical.
No other week has given me greater proof that God is active in His relationship with me. I came to the Chapel looking to be revitalized with a stronger passion for Christ, and the Spirit answered my prayers far beyond what I could have ever expected. Throughout the week, the youth groups at the chapel praised God with songs and skits. The staff at the chapel guided us, not only with their gifts, but also with their apparent fire and passion for serving the Lord. The staff’s enthusiasm and authenticity were infectious.
When we first arrived, very few were eager to perform on a stage for strangers, however, by the end of the week everyone missed the programs, and wanted to get up there and sing again. We also went out evangelizing on the boardwalk, and once again we were all tentative at first, yet under the guidance of the staff we grew to desire conversations with a zeal that can only be inspired by the Spirit. In one of the conversations I had with a group of young Jewish boys, one of them proclaimed that he had a new passion – God.
After such a successful experience, the feeling I felt was the closest I have come to euphoria in my life, a joy so complete that I knew it could come from no other source than God himself. Every night when we would come together in fellowship and share the conversations we had, the joy in the chapel was so real and undeniable that the high would carry me through the night and cause me to be excited to face the next day.
While all of these experiences were invaluable, I personally believe that the bonds built in the youth groups were the greatest thing to come from the week. We came as friends who laughed with each other sometimes, we left as brothers and sisters in Christ.
God is active in our lives, He loves us, and at the Boardwalk Chapel I felt His love in ways that have changed me to the core. A week was too short a time to be at such a magical place, and my hope and my prayer is that the fire that God blessed me with does not get washed out by the dullness of everyday life. I pray that the joy in that chapel becomes part of my everyday life.
PHOTO: Colin with other young people serving at the Chapel that week
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