Camp Gideon 2010
A few years ago, some of us men were led into the wilderness. Jesus spoke to us there. We believe there is biblical precedence that God meets men in the wilderness, when he is away from his normal realm of influence. Think about Moses, Abraham, Elijah, the other prophets, and Jesus….
We also believe there is significance in men, gathering as men.
Our annual adventures began innocently enough. “Lets do a retreat and call it an ‘Advance’” (because men don’t retreat, cute huh?). We secured a camp named ‘Gideon’ which is owned by our denomination. It has an older structure with; a nice industrial kitchen, a large room with lots of tables for eating or whatever, a living area with a fireplace and questionably comfortable furniture, three or four bedrooms containing five or six double bunk beds each, bathrooms & showers. All this on 165 rolling acres with paths, beaver ponds, streams, mature forest and grassy fields. It’s located south of Canton near Carrolton and Mechanicsberg.
Some of us get there Friday about noon. We cook the food ourselves. We have a late dinner Friday, (about 7:30), because some guys get there later. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, and breakfast Sunday. There’s junk food and always coffee in the pot. We leave about noon Sunday after we clean the place up.
We hang around a lot. Usually there’s a ‘guy flick’ Friday night, you know, battles fought, beauties rescued, adventures lived. Guys are on their own there, some read, some work on stuff, some sleep, seems like there's always a conversation going on. (I think I want to play cards this year.)
We intentionally go without a plan. No guest speakers, no hard agenda, no workbooks, no expectations other than the hope that Jesus will join us there. If there is one thing we encourage men to do, its to go for a walk, alone, with Jesus, and ask Him to speak to you with the expectation that He will. Inevitably, men come back with a story, and inevitably it seems some get shared when we sit around Saturday night and wrestle with God and each other. Wrestling with God...., that’s always a highlight. Sometimes we argue with each other, but always, we love.
Some of us host it, but Jesus is the leader. If a pastor shows up, he’s just a guy. No man is higher than another. We believe Jesus is capable of meeting and providing for each individual man’s needs right where they are. We do share our story if we feel like it, but that occurs as the Spirit of God leads. We don’t expect that we can ‘fix’ each other, we don't try too. That’s not our job. If someone has some wisdom for you, you’ll know it.
Jesus always shows up. He has every year, sometimes in quiet, sometimes in conversation, once in a book, once in a movie, a couple times in the kitchen, sometimes in tears, always in the woods. We’ve seen and/or experienced mental, emotional and spiritual healings. We’ve seen friendships formed. We’ve seen release from oppression, delivering of commissioning, and rest received. We’ve seen the receipt of energy to return home to our garden. We’ve seen God in the lives of men who seek Him.
If you come, you’ll be on your own because you’re a man. Do what you want. Come, rest, wrestle, eat, whatever.
This year we’re going March 12, 13 and 14. The cost is $85.00 and you bring some small thing (bread, pop, chips). Scholarships are available. We’re collecting money and taking reservations now. Come by the church on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning or reply to this post with your information if you need to be contacted. Pastor Adrian can also put you in touch with us.