This was an incredible camp! The youth had an amazing time encountering the love of God. Each day the youth learned about the importance of God's name and how He calls each of them by name. It was a joy seeing the youth worshiping and adoring their heavenly father together.
We had an awesome time in Wilmington this year. One of the highlights of our trip is serving at First Fruit Ministries.
On Friday, August 12, leaders and interns of HEAR His Heart traveled to Valley Haven Camp and Retreat Center for a day of fun and team building. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful outdoors and facilities that Valley Haven Camp had to offer. After a day in the sun, everyone traveled back to Charlotte to enjoy a delicious meal together followed by a time of worship and teaching. Rock Schulz did an amazing job sharing from the Word. The evening was concluded with a time of prayer and ministry.
On June 21 - 24, a group of young people and adults came together to pursue the heart of the Father. We had a great time during the week having times of worship, eating together, playing games, ministering to people, and having incredible guest speakers come and teach us. We learned that joy is a fruit of the Spirit and isn't the same as happiness. Joy is a natural outcome of fellowship with and abiding in the Lord. The young people left with a tool belt full of tools to use in their journey. It was an amazing time developing new friendships and spending time in the Lord's presence together.
At both HEAR His Heart groups we learned about cultivation. Cultivate means: 1) to prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening; 2) try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill).
We read from Matthew 13:3-8 where the seed fell on various types of ground. Some of the seeds fell on ground that wasn't cultivated and nothing grew there. The seed that fell on the good ground and produced a crop was ground that someone took the time to cultivate and prepare for planting, then watered, weeded and fertilized the crop so it could grow. The cultivated ground produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
We talked about how cultivation takes time; it doesn't happen immediately. We have to think like a farmer. A farmer doesn't plant the seed, walk away and come back at harvest time expecting a crop. He knows it requires a lot of work (cultivation) to produce crops. But at harvest time, all his hard work pays off as he gets to feast on the fruit of his labor. He gets to invite all his friends to come and feast with him.
In the book "The Circle Maker," it say, "Because we are surrounded by technology that makes our lives faster and easier, we tend to think everything should be that way. But we see in scripture things described in longer and harder agricultural terms. We want things to happen at the speed of light, instead of the speed of a seed planted in the ground. We want our desires to become reality overnight, but the Lord wants us to think like farmers."
We talked about what we want to cultivate in our lives. We planted seeds and discussed how seeds take time to grow and require cultivation. We can't plant the seed and expect something to happen. We have to water it, make sure it gets sunlight, fertilize it, weed it...it requires work on our part.
If someone want to play an instrument, he can't just buy the instrument, bring it home and set it in his room and expect to become an expert musician. He has to practice (cultivate) the instrument in order to develop his craft.
In the same book it states, "The emerging picture is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert - in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, the number comes up again and again...No one has yet found a case in which world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."
We need to embrace the process and know that anything we want to do well requires cultivation and the mindset of a farmer.
On Friday, February 12, the youth of HEAR His Heart Ministries braved the cold and snow to hand out roses and love on the people they encountered at McMullen Creek Shopping Center. The hearts of many were touched as the young people gave encouraging words and prayed with them.
The youth from HEAR HIs Heart Ministries traveled to Wilmington, NC, on December 11 - 13. We were excited to merge the youth from our Pineville group with our Mint Hill group for this weekend ministry trip.
On Saturday morning, we had a great time serving alongside of First Fruit Ministries. This amazing organization is dedicated to feeding, sheltering and caring for those in need. Our young people were very excited about getting to participate with this ministry again this year. They cheerfully and diligently handed out food and Bibles, prayed with people waiting in line, moved heavy equipment, and did every task asked of them. The hearts of many people were touched by their prayers, encouraging words, smiles and acts of love.
After four hours of serving at First Fruit Ministries, we headed to the beach where we swam in the ocean, played volleyball and foursquare, fed seagulls and enjoyed laughing together.
Later that evening, we went to the mall and divided into groups for our "Treasure Hunt." Each group had a list of 10 things they had to do. We had fun finding people to bless and encourage.
At the end of the evening, all of the groups ended up in the food court of the mall singing Christmas carols. The people eating thoroughly enjoyed listening to our young people sing and applauded them and asked for an encore when they were done. The atmosphere in the mall was changed that evening through their love and joy.
On Sunday morning, we were able to minister at Morningstar Church in Wilmington. During the service, the pastor invited our youth to give encouraging words to people in the congregation and at the end of the service we spent time praying and ministering with everyone that wanted prayer.
It was a fun weekend watching the young people from the two different HEAR His Heart groups embrace each other and seeing new friendships form.
We had a blast being able to minister with some awesome organizations and to be able to share God's heart of love wherever we went.
The boys had a blast playing nerf archery tag at Abundant Hope Church on Saturday, October 31st. We were thrilled that Hudson, one of the young men from the HEAR His Heart Mint Hill group, was able to join the other guys from the Pineville group for this event. A special thanks goes out to Joel, Clint, Chris and Graham for helping to set up and play along with these amazing young men.
The girls of HEAR His Heart enjoyed a delicious breakfast together on October 31st. Sarai, Johnniegrace, and Savannah planned this event in such a way to make each girl feel unique and special, through setting each place at the table with a different plate and having each young lady write an encouraging word to the one seated next to her. It was fun meeting new friends as Emily and Caroline from the HEAR His Heart group in Mint Hill joined us. A special thanks goes to Natalie for coming to speak to the group about their value and worth as beautiful daughters of God.
For HEAR His Heart on Friday, October 23, we split into three groups to go out and minister at different locations in our community. One group planted sturdy plants and flowers to be vibrant all winter long at Abundant Hope Church. Another group, prepared a meal for a family whose son had recently fractured his hip during a football game. The third group lent a helping hand to a beautiful lady who needed a little extra help. It was amazing to see each one of these young people serving in such a beautiful way!