Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Summer Six Fitness Program for the Soul – Number 2

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Horizons at FHU

I’m telling you, when your kids experience this program once, they’re hooked for all of the teen years. Both of the Colley kids went all the way through the yearly program and, having finished it, transitioned from students to teachers. Fitness regimes they encountered through the years included evangelism training, taming the tongue, rejecting worldliness, applying truths from the parables, and, for the guys, training in worship leadership.

All of this comes in a package that’s extremely appealing to teens. They stay in dorms and have free rein of the campus (with some supervision, of course), which has pretty much been transformed into a spiritually focused college, of sorts, for 12-18 year olds. They experience big (and safe) campus wide parties and programs, cafeteria eating, dorm devos, huge worship assemblies, sports, drama, choral programs, awards and, best of all, some pretty great Bible classes. (About three hours of each day are spent in these classes.) It’s a college preparatory summer camp!

What excites me most about my week on campus this July is that Hannah and I get to teach about 125 twelve and thirteen-year-olds how to take the gospel to their friends. We’re going to put them through a crash course in evangelism that will make it practical–really do-able–for them. Why are we so excited about this? Because, unlike the adult women we usually speak to about evangelism, these girls have not yet been halted by all the societal barriers that make us so afraid of teaching our friends the gospel. They’re not fully convinced their friends will think they are weird if they want to talk about Jesus and many of them leave Horizons with a determination to talk about Jesus, even if they do. It’s exhilarating for me to look into the eyes of these kids and see them light up with confidence. It is extremely fun when some of them take the time later to write to me and tell me about study sessions they’ve had, once they’ve returned home. (Some of my favorite facebook friends are former Horizons students!)

The price for the camp hovers around $200.00, a bit pricier than some of your camps in the woods, but it does include lots of amenities, like air conditioned dorms and classrooms, fun t-shirts and book-bags, snow cones and movie nights, and shows with hypnotists or carnivals with rock climbing and ultimate bouncing paraphernalia or very cool scavenger hunts. Kids are placed in small dorm groups with competent counselors, whose entire job for the week is to make sure the experience is safe, fun and, most of all, spiritually strengthening for the kids. But your boys will also interact with amazing preachers of the gospel and your girls will learn from women who can mentor them to higher planes of faith. We want your kids to love it so much that they don’t want to miss it next year. We want them to love heaven so much that they don’t want to miss it either. We want them to love the church that Jesus bought!

Why would I write about Horizons as a part of MY personal fitness program? Because, when I plan classes about evangelism for your twelve-year-old, I once again come to appreciate the simplicity of the gospel story myself. I’m challenged to put my excuses behind me and share the power of the cross with my friends, too. The cross is the reason I include Horizons in my plans each summer. I hope some of you will check it out at:



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