Students and Leaders Reflect on this Year’s Epic

By Brian Adams, Epic Camp Director

Epic 2018, Xenos' summer camp for high-schoolers, was an incredible success. From all of us in the high school ministry--thank you for supporting us financially and in your prayers! We could not do this without your support. 28 students came to personally receive Christ into their hearts at Epic this year! God is clearly behind this camp.

[[{"fid":"3058","view_mode":"media_original","fields":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"style":"width: 45%; float: right; padding: 5px","class":"media-element file-media-original","data-delta":"1"}}]]The weather this year was hotter than ever. That being said, student morale was still high. Students loved getting time together. Milo Fox, a senior in Globo-Chem home church, spoke about his experience this year: “This year at Epic was amazing because our cell group was able to be vulnerable with one another. We went from friends just joking around every Sunday and Tuesday, to gaining a closeness that will last on into eternity. This week definitely strengthened my faith personally.”

As leaders in the high school ministry, we could not be more thankful for your support, which resulted in hundreds of testimonies like Milo’s. Nick Hetrick teaches one of the high school Central Teachings and says, “We had a student who recently prayed to receive Christ. He was on the fence about coming to Epic, and his friends back in Columbus were texting him throughout the week about how much fun they were having partying--how much he was missing out. Instead of regretting his choice to go to Epic, he told his friends at Epic, "Who cares? I'd way rather be here at camp having fun with you guys."

Xenos elder Bret McCallum also spoke in reflection of the camp: “Students were sharing their life stories the first night of camp around the fire. They were helping each other understand and apply the more complex parts of the teaching. Several students were talking about how God had put an individual in their family or friend circle on their heart and they were looking forward to sharing Christ with them once they got home. They were being vulnerable & sharing struggles in their faith but at the same time encouraging each other to move forward and having a fun time doing so, laughing & telling stories."

[[{"fid":"3059","view_mode":"media_original","fields":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"media_original","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"style":"width: 328.047px; float: left; padding: 5px;","class":"media-element file-media-original","data-delta":"2"}}]]

Bret says he also saw unusually deep relating. “I saw young guys opening up deeply about their lives for the first time in their life to trusted friends. Some young guys were choosing to forego more stimulating activities and games because they chose to invest in their friendships by hanging out & having more intentional conversations. This is highly unusual behavior for young guys of this age and generation. They were talking about how excited they were to read the Bible with each other or a leader each day. The spirituality of these students and the trip is truly incredible. After students from my home group got back from Epic I asked many of them what their favorite part of the trip was. Typically they would cite their favorite devotional reading in the morning or favorite teaching at night.”

One of the best parts about Epic is the amazing teachings from our staff. James Rochford came to teach this year, and spoke in reflection of what he saw while at the camp: “Each year, God continues to blow me away when I visit Epic: Over 600 students listening to teachings and taking notes with Bibles in hand; reading devotionals every morning; building friendships with each other; seeing students commit their lives to Christ…not to mention dozens coming to faith! It’s a remarkable event to witness. I’m so thankful for the dedicated leaders and workers who make this trip possible. Can’t wait for my own kids to be able to be a part of it someday.”

We are, again, so thankful for your continual support of Epic. I personally witnessed one of the best years our camp has had. I love coming home from Epic and seeing the marked difference in loving for one another. God is changing lives here, and it could not be more exciting.

Please join us in continuing to pray for the students who attended Epic, and for Epic 2019. Next year’s camp will be June 30-July 6, 2019. Mark your calendars! We can’t wait for it to be here.