Finnish Youth Camp at Antaverkka - Ylojarvi, Finland - July 2010 - Raamattu Puhuu

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"I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you vowed a vow to Me. Now arise, get out from this land and return to your native land." Gen 31.13 (Ampl.)

Jacob was at a point in his life where he tired and was worn down by the manipulation of Laban his father-in-law. The relationship with Laban he had was a relationship that he would benefit from and would be able to twist to his meet his needs. But as it always does eventually; it changed. Instead of Jacob getting what he wanted from Laban, he was slowly deceived and taken advantage of - to where his wages were changed 10 times and he became a slave to that very situation he thought would benefit him.

This is the way it goes with youth. So often they make a deal with the world with the promise that they can freely take and enjoy without price. But slowly like Jacob with Laban - they are robbed and taken advantage of till there's nothing left.

Jacob decides to leave and Laban pursues him. The world will always go after someone who decides to leave and follow the promise of God that speaks to them from an anointed pillar from an earlier meeting with God. But thank God he intervenes and meets Laban on the way and warns him. Jacob meets Laban - they part with the very God of the Promise as their border.

It's interesting to note that all through Genesis 31 that Jacob refers to God as the God of his father and ancestors. For Jacob, God was not yet a personal intimate God to him - but rather the God of his parents that he respected and feared.

But as always, God engages Jacob - God is not satisfied with a relationship that is impersonal with us. He will engage youth with a crisis to lead them to a rich communion and promise. Esau's coming to Jacob caused fear and distress for Jacob and we see Jacob pray for the first time in chapter 32. Still he addresses God in the prayer as God of his fathers. But that changes as he begins to wrestle with Jesus Christ Himself resulting in a personal relationship with the God of Abraham. Jacob's name is changed to Israel because now Jacob knows the Person of God. He begins his adventure of faith as a young man that has power with God.

So it is I think with us. Some of us grew up in this church and we too made a deal with Laban, the world, yet had a respectful relationship with the God of our parents. But that changes as we see the true colors of the world and we hear the promise of the God of our parents,"get out of this land with Laban and I will deal well with thee."

Mat Laflamme and I visited the Finnish summer camp at Antaverkka - Ylojarvi, Finland. Many of them told us that they sensed the presence of God in the meetings, worship and games and some of them got baptized at the end of the camp. At the end of the baptism we had a spontaneous time of worship and singing as you can see in this video here::

The slideshow of the camp is below. Enjoy. (Link is here:)