I’m writing this post about Getaway about 2 weeks after it happened – which is a good and bad thing. Good because by now all the details have boiled away into enduring memories. It was a great camp! It will be long remembered. Bad because I can’t remember all the interesting details and I’m slack. Sorry
Getaway is the commencement camp for FOCUS – the student ministry I am involved in. Students from the University of Canberra (UC), Australian National University (ANU) and Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA/RMC) all get together down on the south coast of NSW for the weekend. The idea is to spend some time getting to know each other better and get in a bit of good solid Bible. The camp is very relaxed, the majority of the day is free time, and the sessions are solid but not of the intensity of Focal Point – our mid-year conference.
This year we moved the Getaway to a new location – this was a major step. It has been held for the past 15 years at a camp site near Ulladulla. The site was nice but the facilities were woeful. The camp centre had bunkhouses that could sleep about 60 people (we’ve been averaging about 130 for the past couple of years) and a kitchen that is smaller than most home kitchens. The majority of people would have to sleep in tents provided by the ADFA people. They were smelly and generally uncomfortable. People still had fun but it was getting inconvenient to the point of being ridiculous. The new site is at Tuross Heads. It’s an old motel owned now by the Christian Brothers (the Catholic School people). The site had nearly enough beds for everyone, and there is a caravan park right next door. It has an industrial kitchen. And it’s in a gorgeous spot, on a hill looking over the beach.
Tuross Heads is a beautiful little town. I’d only been there once before but I’m in love with it. If I was the holiday house buying type, I’d buy there. I’ve put up some photos from the boatshed cafe where Em and I had dinner one night. Well worth the visit!
The highlight of the weekend for me were the baptisms at the beach. This is becoming a bit of a tradition – people invite their families. It is always stirring to hear people confess Jesus as Lord, even more so in a beautiful part of God’s creation, were his power is everywhere visible.
I got to the spot on the beach where the baptisms were happening a little late. I came down the hill and the scene made me think of the baptisms in the Jordan that were a feature of the early days of Jesus earthly ministry. There was this great crowd of people standing on the shore of a lagoon area where we were doing the dunking. In the middle were a group of people who were declaring God’s greatness. And all around were families and people who just happened to be on the beach that day and came over to see what was happening. It was a very public, very visual, very wet form of evangelism. It was immensely encouraging.
The talks were from John and are available for download from the FOCUS website.
I hope you get a chance to have a holiday in Tuross. Thanks for your prayers, it was a brilliant time away, and God’s was glorified in his people.
love, dan

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