- Summer Camp
- Leadership Camp
- Rodeo Programs
- Family Ministries
- Specialty Programs
- Outdoor Ed
- News & Blog
- About Us
by Mackenzie Shaver on December 9, 2015
After graduating from Grand Canyon University (go Lopes), I was not totally sure what I wanted to do next. After spending a little time in prayer, I decided to go to China for the summer. I did not have much of a plan for my time in China; I was simply trusting God to open doors, knowing He has never disappointed.
My first month in China, I spent in Shang Hai. I lived with a Chinese, underground house church pastor helping out with the church, which included setting up for services, watching and loving on the youth, and speaking at the Church. Working in a closed country required a lot of trust in the Lord, and it was in this time I began to learn about prayer. The pastor I lived with would take me to various locations to spend five to six hours in prayer and reading God’s word. At first I found these times very difficult because I had never even spent that much time studying in college. The more we did this, the more I learned to love and cherish these times. I saw sin decrease in my life and could see God working in the lives’ I was praying for. I grew to a point where I could not go a single day without spending time in prayer because I knew how much I needed and cherished spending time with Jesus.
During my travels I noticed that others countries put a higher value on the importance of prayer than in America. I met many believers this summer experiencing persecution and many missionaries that have given everything to serve the Lord in difficult countries. These people discovered that persecution and sacrifice can cause ones relationship with the Lord to strengthen because it pushes people to fully rely on Him. I now pray daily for a challenging life that I can only overcome by the power of the Lord.
After my time staying in Shang Hai, I spent time in Beijing. Here the Lord provided opportunities to share the Gospel with many non-believers- an answered prayer! In one conversation, a friend from Africa expressed his ideas of believing Christianity to be a weak religion (a common theme expressed by many throughout my travels). At first I took offense to this idea not understanding where he was coming from. After thought and prayer, I realized my African friend and others were observing what they believed to be true in all Christians in America—they say they believe one thing, but then live a completely contradictive life. Talk about convicting.
My final two weeks in China were spent working with China Young Life Camps. Here I was able to serve along side Chinese believers who loved the Lord with all their heart. The Chinese LOVE Americans, giving me an unique platform to love them like Jesus. After each week of camp, the students left in tears because for the first time these students had experienced love, true love that only comes from Christ. Students often don’t feel loved because all their parents care about is their academic performance. I saw so many students experience the power of God’s love and give their lives to Christ.
At these camps I saw two extreme examples of the power of prayer. The first happened when a girl severely injured her knee while playing. We began to pray as we took her to the hospital and throughout the doctor’s visit, and then miraculously, while in x-rays, the Lord healed her knee completely! The second example of the power of prayer came when I spent meal times in prayer instead of eating because the food made me sick. Incredibly, God gave me more energy and focus than I had before. These two stories were incredible endings and awesome confirmations about what God had been teaching me all summer regarding prayer.
It is incredible to me that we serve a God that desires to have a beautiful, intimate relationship with us. I am amazed, that despite all my sins, God still converses with me. I am thankful the Lord showed me the importance of prayer because I do not know where I would be without it. I pray this update encourages you all to tune into the power of prayer. A pastor once told me, “Little prayer equals little power, some prayer equals some power, and big prayer equals big power.” We all can be used by God to changes lives around us, we just need to surrender to God and spend time with Him in prayer.
What has the Lord taught me? I imagine most people ask one of these two questions when it concerns the fellowship. “What is the fellowship like?” or “What do you do in the fellowship?”. Well, I can tell you that …
Zip On “Take me down! Take me down! Take me down!” the fifth grader screamed at the top of the ziplines. He, and many others before him, were paralyzed with fear at the idea of jumping off the platform and zipping …