Let Your Light Shine
Every artist has some point where they doubt their work. Every musician, every writer, every painter, has a moment when they wonder if their work is any good. If anyone will ever care. And if, at the end of all things, their work will not simply fade away, unremembered and useless. Compared to the things that have touched our hearts, our own work seems dull, feeble, and forgettable. It’s a struggle for anyone to climb out of the pit of self-doubt gaping wide to catch any distracted artist.
Yes, distracted artist—because doubt catches us when we lose sight of why we write, or sing, or draw. And we sometimes forget who we’re doing these things for. We indeed do them for ourselves, yes. But because we are a part of a broken, aching humanity, desperate to see real light and hope in the midst of a very real darkness and despair, instead of asking ourselves if our work is any good, we should ask ourselves why we do it to begin with.
Singer/songwriter and author Andrew Peterson has some thoughts on why the artist does his work, and who he does it for in his book Adorning the Dark.
He says: “Those of us who write, who sing, who paint, must remember that to a child a song may glow like a nightlight in a scary bedroom. It may be the only thing holding back the monsters. That story may be the only beautiful, true thing that makes it through all the ugliness of a little girl’s world to rest in her secret heart. May we take that seriously. It is our job, it is our ministry, it is the sword we swing in the kingdom, to remind children that the good guys win, that the stories are true, and that a fool’s hope may be the best kind.”
What you do matters. Perhaps, a year from now, or a hundred years, someone will read your story and it will be exactly what they need to hear at that moment. Someday someone will listen to your song on repeat, convincing themselves with every breath that there is beauty and hope in this life.
So sit down and write that story. Sing that song. Paint that picture. Make something that shines in the darkness, to bring hope. As an artist, you were made to create art. As a Christian, you were made to shine for the kingdom. As a Christian who is an artist, making things that spread a glimmer of hope in the darkness is your job.
You were made for this.
Maybe it’s easy to doubt your work. Maybe it’s hard to see what good it will do. But it can’t do anything if it remains unmade. Keep writing, keep making music, keep drawing, whatever it is you do. It is a gift you were given, so give back to the Giver, and let your light shine.
- Ava Case (2023 Camp Wakonda Staff), Dayton, Ohio
Wisconsin Youth Updates
Various Upcoming Events
We'll have the signup ready soon for WinterFestaPalooza, our annual ski retreat for youth and young adults at Camp Wakonda and Cascade Mountain, which is January 12-15. We're hoping to be revealing our speaker by next week.
You won't want to miss our Youth Rally at Wisconsin Academy, January 19-20. The theme is "Revive," and our speaker is Pastor Nikolai Greaves.
Pastor Zack will be releasing info and signups for Men's Retreat at Camp Wakonda soon. The event is January 26-28 and our speaker is James Hopkins IV. Men from all over, young and old, are invited to come and bond in Christian brotherhood.
Summer Camp recruiting season is coming up soon! Here's a tentative view of where and when Pastor Zack and the fam will be for recruiting
Wisconsin Academy, Jan 15-19
Andrews University, Jan 22-25
Southern Adventist University, Jan 29-Feb 2
Union College, Feb 5-8
Wisconsin Adventist Schools, March 11-15
Club Ministries Important Updates, per Lake Union Year End Meetings
International Camporee is using a new software for selling tickets. If you purchased tickets in the last two weeks, please check to make sure your tickets payments went through. Right now, 40,000 tickets have been sold. Please purchase your tickets before the New Year! They may be sold out early in 2024.
Regarding RVs at International Camporee, our official recommendation is: do not plan on bringing them. The Lake Union camping site is on a hill that is between 4% to 10% grade. Depending on where they put our clubs, we could be anywhere on that hill. There is no electricity or sewage hookup. We may be able to get away with a couple of RVs/trailers, if absolutely and medically needed, however I would recommend tent camping.
There are many low-to-the-ground cactuses across the camping area at International Camporee. The recommendation is: do not even bring open-toed shoes. And you will want to bring heavy tarps and/or camping blankets to lay down under your tent, and perhaps even a tamp or till tool, because the ground is bumpy and potentially has cacti.
See below calendar: the Union PBE date has changed! It will be at the Village Church in Berrien Springs on March 30 (not March 16) due to the standing conflict with Global Youth Day.
Feb 3: Area PBE
Feb 9-11: Pathfinder Winter Retreat
Feb 16-18: LUC Youth Congress
Mar 2: Conference PBE (Location TBD)
Mar 11: Gillette Tour
Mar 16: Global Youth Day
Mar 30: Union PBE (NOTE: This date changed from the 16th)
Apr 19-20: National PBE, Gillette, WY
Apr 22: Gillette Tour
Apr 27: Adventurer Fun Day
May 10-12: Pathfinder Fair
May 20: Gillette Tour
Contact our Coordinators:
Adventurers, Allison Payne: email@example.com
Pathfinders, Glen Morrow: firstname.lastname@example.org
Master Guide, Cristofe Guzman: email@example.com
*SIGN UP for BTP International Camporee newsletter: camporee.org.
Public Campus Ministries If you are interested in starting a public campus ministry (ACF chapter), or you would like more information about how to get involved with an existing campus ministry in your area, please contact our coordinator (see below) Our annual ACF retreat, "Revive," was a great success! The students who participated represented a presence on five different campuses, and that's not including the group from Milwaukee, who were unable to make it. Our presence is growing across Wisconsin's public campuses. We're excited to see how God will continue to grow this ministry in the future.
Contact our PCM Coordinator, Joshua Guerrero: firstname.lastname@example.org Summer Camp The official 2024 Youth Calendar has been published. That means we have dates for next year's Summer Camp! You can view the calendar with those dates HERE!
Lake Union News & Beyond
Feb 16-18, 2024: Lake Union Congress Youth Congress, Chicago, IL
Come learn best practices in youth evangelism and pitch your own ideas for local ministry you'd like to do in your area. There is $50,000 available to help young people like you see your visions become reality. More info HERE
Aug 5-11, 2024: Believe the Promise International Camporee, Gillette, WY
Camp Wakonda staff are planning to head to Wyoming after the 2024 Summer Camp season, to help set up and run the International Camporee. The official dates for this are July 29-August 14. More info HERE.
The Week in Pictures
This week, Pastor Zack, Ally, and the fam visited Andrews University for Lake Union Year End Meetings. And you know what an AU visit means, right? Lots of selfies! It was great to see Pastor Cid Leopoldino, who is finishing up his Mdiv at the Theological Seminary, Finn Blake (Green Bay TLT) and Ben Sajdak (2022 Camp Staff) who just started their undergraduate studies, and Seth Crownover (2023 Camp Staff) who just started work at Baguette de France--everyone's favorite sandwich shop. Make sure you say hi to these awesome folks, and many more young Wisconsin homies, if you're ever in the Andrews area!
Looking for ways to support Youth Evangelism in Wisconsin? Get involved! Contact Pastor Zack to find out how: email@example.com.
Even better, send him a text at 920-609-0483.
Thank you for reading this week’s #WakondaWednesday!
You are set apart! You are Wakonda! 1 Peter 2:9-10