… “When I was two years old, my mother told me she didn’t want me anymore. ‘I hate your father and I should have never had [a relationship] with him’, she said. ‘I made a mistake with him and now you’re here and I don’t want you.’” With tears in her eyes, standing in front of the campfire, 15 year old Tayvia*, one of our teen campers, continued “…even though my mom gave me away when I was a baby, causing me to be bounced around to several different foster care families, I’m deciding to let go of resenting my mom. I’m forgiving her right now.” Tayvia threw a stone into the fire to signify that she was letting go of the unforgivness and resentment in her heart and burning it up.
… “My mom never had time to play with me and my little sister because she was always high on drugs. She would always disappear for weeks at a time, leaving me and my sister with our uncle. ‘Where’s my mommy, Uncle James?’ … ‘She’s gone again,’ my uncle would say. ‘Where?’ … ‘I don’t know, but she will be back soon.’ … ‘When?’ … ‘Soon,’ he would say. My mom would eventually come home and when I was seven years old, she eventually confessed to me that she had been in jail again for using drugs. She promised me and my little sister that she would stop doing drugs and never again allow drugs to come before her children … I’m 11 now and my mom just got out of jail again and keeps using drugs.” With tears running down his and his little sister’s face, Jasen*, one of our Sozo Kidz, threw his rock in the campfire and said, “I’m forgiving my mom for choosing drugs over me.”
These are only two of many emotional stories shared by our campers while sitting around the campfire. Multiple students shared how they were hurt by a loved one or family member and decided to forgive them for the pain they caused. I don’t think there was a dry eye during these times at the campfires…I know I, for one, was overtaken with emotion.
Sozo is a Greek word that means Salvation, Healing and Deliverance, and God poured out His healing on our campers as they made decisions to forgive. I believe healing took place in their hearts … Father, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.
* Names of children have been changed for confidentiality.
IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
With their hands raised high, singing harmoniously together: “You are the light of the world, you are the light of my life, hope of the earth, my Jesus…”
The Sozo Kidz worshiped the Lord like I have never witnessed before at a Sozo camp. I believe I witnessed real revival at our Sozo Kidz summer camp … 14 kids received Jesus as Lord and Savior, and eight kids were baptized. I know Heaven is rejoicing – Hallelujah!!
In the same way, there is more joy in Heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! – Luke 15:7
COUNT IT ALL JOY
God really poured out His spirit at our Sozo Teens summer camp. We were faced with many trials and attacks at the beginning of the camp, but our leadership team didn’t give up the good fight. And boy was it challenging! We were tested but not defeated…we witnessed baptisms, salvations, healings, and deliverances – sozo – Praise the Lord 🙏🏾! Thank you all for your prayers while we were at camp…we needed them. We are all home safe and sound and to God be the glory, our Sozo summer camps were a HUGE SUCCESS!!
Trials will show that your faith is genuine. When we go through trials and tribulations, our faith is being tested like fire tests and refines gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. Thus, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. – 1 Peter 1:7 NLT
Thanks to all the awesome Sozo camp staff for being great servants - you guys ROCK! And thank you to everyone who made a donation towards this year’s summer camp experience and thank you to all who sponsored a student (or two) to attend camp this year – you are the very best! May God bless you and keep you.