Newsletter July 2019

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As a middle and high schooler, I went to summer camp every single year with my youth group.  Some of my best memories are from camps.  And some of the most influential decisions I made were at summer camp.  As a matter of fact, a decision I made at  summer camp led to me  eventually being the pastor of First Baptist Church in Robinson, Illinois!
 
Between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I attended summer camp in Tennessee.  My youth pastor had prayed for me and  encouraged me to look into ministry as a career.  I had my heart set on being a doctor at the time.  Or a professional golfer.  (I’m still holding out hope on the latter.)  While we were there, the Lord impressed on my heart to  surrender to youth ministry.
 
That one decision shaped so much of my future.  Because I was called into ministry, my college choice was effected.  I attended Boyce College in Louisville, KY and majored in youth ministry.  While I was there, I met another youth ministry major named Hannah Batcheller.  We fell in love and were married within a year of dating. We served God in youth ministry and eventually in pastoral ministry to various cities and states.  Her hometown of Robinson, IL was always a home away from home.  Little did we know, in October of 2014, God would call us to serve at First Baptist Church and make Robinson our permanent home. 
 
Now imagine if I hadn’t gone to camp.  I may never have surrendered to ministry.  I wouldn’t have gone to Boyce College.  Imagine if I hadn’t majored in youth ministry.  I may not have met Hannah.  Imagine if I had no previous connection to Robinson through Hannah.  I may never have known about First Baptist.
 
Decisions we make as youth can have life long impacts.  Pray for our students as they go to camp this month.  Pray that they would make God honoring decisions.  Pray that those who do not know Christ would make decisions to trust Christ—a decision that certainly will shape the rest of their lives.  Pray for our four leaders.  Pray for safety. Pray for bonding.  Pray for fun. But above all, pray that God would change hearts and lives.  

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