Splash! Yelps of glee erupted from the 4th+5th grade students hurtling down the water slide. On the opposite side of the lake, another student bounced into the water after sliding off an obstacle course. Chattering ensued from the woods, where students took turns carefully navigating the high ropes course. Welcome to 4th+5th Grade Summer Camp located at The Grove, just a stone’s throw away from Bellevue! Even with temperatures reaching 98 degrees, students were determined to have a good time. It’s full-throttle or no throttle with these kids! Everywhere the eye could see, students played hard, enjoyed fellowship, and sported brightly colored bandanas. However, recreation is not the only thing these kids experienced at camp. During the quiet moments of devotions, small groups, and worship services, Bellevue’s preteens learned the most important lesson: to be bold in their faith!
Students had plenty of opportunities to be bold at camp. Coasting down the water slide, flying through the trees on a rope, or making new friends takes guts. Students also learned about Daniel—a man who chose to be bold in his faith, just as they had to be bold at camp. This year’s teachings and devotions focused on the biblical story of Daniel as an example of bold faith in action. One camp attendee, Tara, learned how “Daniel was bold and trusted God throughout his life.” From this, she is learning to be “strong and brave and to trust God.”
What does it mean to be “strong and brave and to trust God?” The Bellevue family can also learn from Daniel’s story, just like the students at camp. Daniel was a servant in Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar, who issued a decree that all his subjects had to pray to him as a god, or they would be thrown into a den of lions. Daniel trusted the Lord in spite of the decree and continued to pray regardless of the consequences. He was eventually turned in by the king's officials and thrown into the lion’s den. However, God was faithful to Daniel. Because of his bold faith, God shut the mouths of the lions, and Daniel emerged from the lion’s den completely unscathed.
Beginning August 14, each student will promote to the next grade level in Life Groups.
Daniel's story inspired another camper, Elsie, in a practical way she could be bold. She explained, “If some kids from school are doing something that you know you aren’t supposed to, you can say ‘no’ and just walk away.” Daniel also inspired Elliot to be bold. Elliot, a 5th grader, has already had the experience of being bold even before camp. He shared that being brave can sometimes look like standing up for someone at school when they are being bullied. Elliot made a new friend after boldly defending a boy at school who was being bullied by other classmates.
The prayer of the camp staff and volunteers is that the biblical stories and lessons will stick with their students for a lifetime. Although camp is only one week each year, students can choose boldness every day because they have a Father who guides and protects them. God does not call us to be bold, only to leave us hanging out to dry. Instead, He calls us to be bold in response to His promises. Joshua 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” So, 4th+5th graders and the rest of the Bellevue family, are you going to be bold? Believe in His promises and take the leap of faith.
Learn more about how Bellevue is discipling the next generation in their faith at bellevue.org/nextgen.