While I was growing up I attended a Christian summer camp where we sang a silly, memorable song about the fruit of the Spirit – one that has helped me discern what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). I kept coming back to this silly song and the passage in Galatians 5 (where Paul compares the acts of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit) when I was trying to figure out what to make the theme of our Calvin House Summer Camp this year.
On a big fruit tree…
Our youth often get to a point in their faith journey where they believe in Christ and have begun a relationship with him but are not sure how that changes things in their everyday lives. Although I did not teach the “I’m a fruit” song to our youth this summer (it is just a little too cheesy for our teens) we did spend the summer studying the fruit of the Spirit and what it looks like to live life in the Spirit and not the flesh.
Well, it’s poppin’ up all over me…
We ended up having one of our best summers at Calvin House Camp. The students did an excellent job of engaging in our programs and activities, including our Bible studies and discussions on the fruit of the Spirit. Students studied a different “fruit” each week and also voted on one of their peers that demonstrated a true reflection of that fruit. As I reflect on all of the great things that happened this summer I see the nine fruits produced in our students: in Ed’neika, when she waited patiently with a smile to be one of the last to receive a lunch each day; in Du’sean, when he withstood the temptation to complain along with some of his peers; in Aaliyah, when she would greet me each day with a smile and encouraging word…and so on. I have no doubt that these fruits are a result of the Spirit working in the lives of our youth as they seek more of Christ and less of the world.
Just look at all this fruit hanging ‘round me…
We also had an incredible group of adult volunteers work with our students this summer. Each week I asked our adult volunteers to pray for our students, and several times throughout the summer volunteers would remind me that they were praying for the fruit of the Spirit to take root in our students. One volunteer even prayed diligently for each of our campers and leaders by name throughout the summer. I have no doubt that the fruit we saw in our students had much to do with the prayers of our volunteers and the fruit of the Spirit being displayed daily by our volunteers. We are truly blessed to have such dedicated volunteers at PTM that are a beautiful example of what it looks like to walk in the Spirit.
Peace in Christ,
PS – Next time you run into me I would be glad to teach you the “I’m a fruit” song – I’ll even include the motions!