So when the invitation was given, I dismissed it with a polite "Maybe next year" and carried on with my business. Then the inviter mentioned in passing that he had his own separate shower. I was like "Ahhh...sorry, but what did you say? Private....what?" And at that, I was in. I'm so glad that I did.
I've also never been one for camping. My idea of camping is a Cintsa cottage with a fridge and microwave. Tents, gas bottles, dust, sleeping bags...no thanks. But heck, I think I've discovered a new hobby. The idea of taking my wife and boys camping with a real tent, etc. is something I'm actually relishing now. Thanks Mark!!
The worship. Under the stars, below the mountain range, with 25,000 voices in unison is something special. It's the biggest worship service I've ever been apart of and my word, was it awesome! Friday night and Saturday morning was cool. But Saturday night was on a different level altogether. There was a 20 minute period, where we sang "We exalt thee", and I honestly can't remember when last I felt such a heavy presence of Heaven all around me. I was in awe. It was...like Heaven. Or how I'd imagine Heaven to be. Retief and Joe were very good too.
New friends. I camped with 12 other guys. I took a friend from work and met up with another guy that I know from PE who reserved a spot for us. And that was it. By the time I left on Sunday, I felt like I had made another 10 solid friends. And that was special. Meeting the boys, braaing together, sharing stories and laughs, was terrific. Sharing parts of my story with some of them and hearing theirs...always a good thing.
Hope. It's something our country really needs right now. And I got it back over the weekend. God filled me with hope again for South Africa. With all the negative propoganda, the terrible news we hear daily of what's wrong in our country, I find it easy to become cynical. And if I don't change that, I become a slave to it. And I had. But God showed me what He saw when He looks at our beautiful land. I saw a land of peace. I saw a people who got on together. I saw a people who cared about others rather than themselves. I saw a people who serve Jesus and serve each other. I saw a land abounding in job creation, creativity and bursting with entrepreneurship! I caught a glimpse and my hope in what JESUS can do in our country has been restored.
If you've never been to a MCC I encourage you to give it a go. Besides the spiritual aspect of the weekend, it's just really good fun. Oh, and the thing I didn't tell you...they have pancakes, hamburgers and curry & rice stalls. From 9am to 6pm. All the time. Lekker ne!! I klapped a few pancakes on Friday and Saturday, and jinne, they were good. But ja, it was a great weekend. I became a more experienced camper and made some good friends at the same time. If you keen to come, I'll be going next year, and you welcome to come camp with me.