After the auditorium filled with staff members, Vanessa Zielinski, the Ignite marketing exec. came on the stage. Using enthusiastic cheerleading vocals and the help of media team member Michael Martin, they pumped up the crowd with a short skit describing why camper count is important. After a drawn out drum roll, the weekly camper count flashed across the screen, and the staff burst into cheers as the number showed four people had already signed up for Ignite 2019.
On February 19, camper registration for Ignineteen officially opened, reminding staff that retreat is only a short time away. While many future campers may not even have knowledge of Ignite Texas yet, staff have been praying for campers since last summer and are excited to meet them.
Staff works all year to ensure camp is successful and campers leave Ignite with community and assurance that they will find a church home and ministry on campus. Throughout the year, the Lord equips our staff to lead incoming students and welcome them into the body of Christ at UT through community and support. After a lot of preparation, staff is always eager to meet the people they have been learning to care for all semester.
The fact that four people have already signed up for retreat less than 24 hours since applications opened up is an incredible joy. Learning four people already know about registration and are eager to learn about Jesus and find community in Austin makes all the work worth it, even if those four were the only campers who signed up for retreat. Luke 15:7 says, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” All of the work and preparation for retreat, would be completely worth it if it meant we would see four people sprint toward God and live a life running after Christ.
BUT IT GETS BETTER!!!
Because we serve a powerful and mighty God, we can confidently say He will provide far more abundantly than we could ever imagine because He loves us and cares for us all so so much! Our staff knows this and experienced the overwhelming joy and satisfaction that comes with following Christ. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
HE DIED FOR US!?! WHY THOUGH?
It is this feeling of incomprehensible love that overflows to the love for our campers and eagerness for them to experience the same kind of love.
Many of our staff have previously attended Ignite as a camper or worked at camp before and can testify how it changed their lives at college. Having a solid community of people to look to when first arriving on campus is really important. When students have people to lean on while adjusting to college life it makes students feel cared for and the first semester a lot more fun. Because of the people who intentionally poured into their hearts, many of our staff want campers to have the same experience.
Having a time where we can minister to incoming students, worship, learn and experience God’s presence is an amazing opportunity. The campers who sign up for Ignite bond our staff together. We all share a love for Jesus and want to share that love with incoming students. We cannot wait to watch the camper count grow each week and see God answer prayers as the number grows.
To our campers — we cannot wait to meet you. 🙂