by George Megerditchian
This year was my first Chanits camp, and the experience was different and more amazing than I could have ever hoped for. Youth from many different backgrounds, majors and careers, from the nurse to the banker to the farmer, all gathered to worship the Lord from August 24th to August 28th at Camp Kchag.
In total, 65 youth came to Kchag to hear God’s word. Fifteen youth came all the way from Kessab, which was extremely inspirational for me. Seeing youth travel from Syria in these terrible times to share their testimonies and stories was just incredible. The theme was ‘SERVANTS OF RIGHTOUSNESS', and was based on Romans 6:18. The passage says “And being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness”. What a meaningful verse to base the camp around, as 65 servants of righteousness gathered together to worship God and have fellowship.
Every morning, we started our day with devotional time and worship, both of which were very inspirational to me. Each devotion was a clear message from God that we should trust in him completely and cast all of our burdens onto him, all the while giving thanks for everything that we have.
After that, we would hear the main sermon of the day. Each day during this time, we discussed different aspects of life and its relation to us as Christians.
We discussed what a Christian's role is when it comes to topics such as human rights, the environment, politics and forgiveness. As Christians, what is our role in each of these fields and how should we contribute in each of them? Should we join a political party? Can we help less privileged people? Should we protect the environment? We discussed these questions and many more in our Bible study groups.
Besides the sermons, we also listened to many lectures and had little workshops based on the main sermon of the day. They offered us all fantastic opportunities to learn not only about spiritual issues and growth but also about social issues and what we could do about them.
This year at Kchag, there were two particularly special things we did outside of our normal routine. The first was hosting the Trad social work team. They came and spoke about their challenges in their work field, their mission, and the projects they do to help children to learn more about Jesus. It was wonderful to see an organization that is so focused on helping our youth grow into warriors for Christ.
The second special event we held, and my personal favorite, was planting five trees in Kchag with the help (and supervision) of our Kessabtsi friends. For me, it was so amazing to be able to plant trees while being around all of God’s beautiful creation in nature. I was helping in the cleaning of all the old dead grass, and I looked around me and saw the hard work that each and every person was doing in order to plant these trees; all at once, I just felt the wonder and might of nature and was so proud to see everyone so passionate about planting these trees and growing something fresh from the ground. There was something touching and symbolic about the fact that we were planting these trees to help them grow and to nurture them and care for them. It reminded me of our walk with Christ and how, just like the trees we were planting, to grow we need to be properly cared for and nurtured.
At the end of each day, we would separate into groups for prayer time. Each of us used to share his or her doubts, concerns and challenges in our Christian life and comfort and encourage one another. We would spend time praying for each other and giving thanks to the Lord for the blessings that He has given us.
I thank God for the wonderful experience that I had throughout this camp. The memories I made, the fellowship I had and the communion I shared with my brothers and sisters in Christ was unforgettable.
This was my first Chanits camp, but I certainly hope it won’t be my last.