Over 550 junior high and high school students from across four states are attending the LIFT Student Ministries camp at LeTourneau University this week. LIFT stands for “Linking an International Fellowship of Teenagers for the purpose of LIFTing up Christ.”
The students are busy all week with games and sporting activities, including dodgeball, volleyball, swimming and paintball tournaments, but they also all come together for daily worship services at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Worship services this week at LETU will feature speaker Dave Edwards. The drama group known as One Time Blind will also perform. Music is provided by an Ohio-based band known as HeartSong. These services are open to the public, according to the LIFT camp’s Director of Operations Sara Robinson.
“We are an evangelistic camping organization and will minister to about 3,500 students this summer,” Robinson said. “We focus on salvation, sanctification and surrender.” LIFT started 17 years ago in Ohio and is run entirely by volunteers. The LIFT staff moves from place to place, with LIFT camps held in Virginia, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and then one in Cannuck Chase, England. About half of the camp counselors stay with the group all summer. They are all at least high school seniors or older, and they have a passion for ministry, according to Robinson.
On Thursday, the LIFT campers will partner with a local church in a “gas buy-down” at a local service station. The event will give motorists a few cents rebate per gallon of gas as a gift. The goal is to give the students an opportunity to minister about Christ to local members of the community. The camp theme at LETU this summer is “I know, I grow, I go.”
Robinson said the students enjoy their week of camp at LeTourneau University. “The food at LETU has been the top-ranked among the lift staff for the past two summers,” she said. While the university does not become involved in the group’s programming, it supports the mission of strengthening teenagers in their relationships with Christ. For more information about LIFT camp, visit www.liftstudentministries.org.