Posted in SU QLD
When young people hear the good news of Jesus and start their own faith journeys, we love hearing the testimonies.
When Siobhan was 12 she went on Winter Mapleton Adventure Camp (Winter MAC). She grew up in a family that accepted Christianity – but didn’t prioritise it.
“My mum always told me Jesus was around me, but that was all I knew growing up,” Siobhan recalls.
“I never owned a bible or went to church unless it was Easter or Christmas, and even then it was only once every few years.”
Seeing active Christianity had a profound impact on her.
“It was so new and exciting and out of all the activities it was definitely my favorite part of camp.”
When she returned home Siobhan’s mother encouraged her to explore her new-found faith, but she found it difficult to connect into a church.
Years later Siobhan came back as a camp leader. When she arrived at camp she noticed they were sharing the campsite with another event – Training Week.
Training Week is a specialty camp for high-school-aged teenagers, teaching them leadership skills and giving them opportunities to connect with God. Siobhan was intrigued.
“Just being around the Training Week camp was amazing – it just seemed like all these teenagers were so like-minded and passionate for God,” Siobhan says.
“From the minute I got home I checked the SU QLD website every week until Training Week finally opened for registration.”
The following year Siobhan went to Training Week.
“There was stuff about reading the Bible, mental health and relationships — but the biggest thing I took away was the importance of getting involved in a church,” Siobhan says.
“Every day I struggled with people around me who mocked the idea of God, and sometimes it did rub off on me.
“Training Week showed me the need to have people around that shared my faith and could support me when I needed it.”
Since Training Week, Siobhan has plugged into a local church, has a good network of friends around her and comes back to Winter MAC as a leader each year.
“Being a leader is so rewarding, not only for the kids but you as well,” Siobhan says.
“You probably won’t know who your campers are, where they come from or what they’re going through, but you get to give them a week of unconditional love and attention — which can make such a difference.
“This year one girl in my group had never read a Bible before, so I got to teach her about verses and chapters — even though it’s so simple being able to do that was just so surreal.”
Thank you for giving Siobhan this chance to experience God’s life-changing love and to learn the importance of being connected into a Christian community.
To support SU QLD’s camping ministry, you can donate at www.suqld.org.au/donate