Christian is a young man who lives in the City of Destruction initially unaware of his burden of sin. After visiting with a man named Evangelist and being told of the Celestial City and the King that reigns there, Christian sets off alone on an adventurous pilgrimage. Passing through the Wicket Gate, Christian soon finds other young pilgrims to join with on his brave journey. Through the Valley of Despair, Slough of Despondency, city of Vanity Fair, getting tripped up by men such as Obstinate, Pliable, and Worldly Wise Man, young Christian trucks along, keeps the faith, fights giants, and eventually makes it to the Cross where his burden is lifted. Salvation was attained at the cross. His load was lightened and he had renewed vigor to make it to the Celestial City, but his trials were far from over. Christian had many adventures awaiting him. Trials, despondency, tribulations, testings, all these made up the rest of the journey to the Kingdon. And then, after passing through the Dark River Christian is finally greeted at the gates of the Golden city by the King of the land.
All of the Bible studies during the Winter Camp season are based on situations that happened in the book, Pilgrims Progress. This book allows for a launching pad for rich discussion and insight rarely found in other books. In fact, this book is so popular that it is the second most widely read book of all time behind the Bible itself. Jesus saw the importance in speaking with rhetorical devices such as parables, similes, metaphors, etc. Of course the Word of God is the main course. Pilgrims Progress just sets the table.
Last weekend was our first run through with this program. It was a group of High School students who came. One of the highlights was a camper, Brett, who accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. He was having a one-on-one time with his counselor and asked his counselor to pray with him. There is no greater joy than to know that we will spend eternity with this precious young man. Brett, like Christian, recognized his burden of sin, traveled to the cross, and had his sin forgiven and his burden lifted. Along the way to the Celestial City, he will be tempted, tested, and tried. But Praise the Lord, he knows Jesus who has overcome the world! (These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33) We look forward to many more winter camps this season that bring about this kind of change for many more kids.