Youth enjoying music preformed by fellow campers. Photo by Todd Haines
For more than 25 years, Calvary Chapel of Los Alamos has put on a youth event that is called “This Means War”.
It began as an overnight but has more recently become a camp that spans four days. The premise is simple; there is a spiritual battle around us and we prepare young people to recognize and respond to it.
With the use of, multimedia, and solid biblical teaching, we equip the camper to win the battle for the mind (biblical worldview), the battle for the heart, (loving the things of God rather than the things of the flesh), the battle for truth, for personal purity, and for the lost.
There are many things that are done physically; including rock climbing, a zip-line, and orienteering. Each of them are illustrations for a biblical truth that is then taught either by an adult or a young person who has participated before and is being trained in leadership.
We also believe that the church is some place that should be welcoming of those who have been hurt in life. We should make every effort to restore those whose hearts and minds have been wounded through choices they or others have made. The army has a M*A*S*H unit, which stands for Mobil Army Surgical Hospital. We know that the church should be a hospital so ours stands for Messiah’s Anointed Spiritual Hospital.
Unlike the lyrics from the M*A*S*H theme song, “For suicide is painless…” we offer the hope of the purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth found in Luke 4:18-19.
Our words to the MASH tune are, “The Lord’s Spirit is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, release to the captives, and recovered sight for the blind, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim the great year of the Lord.”
One of our greatest goals is to help people understand that those who do not believe in Jesus are not the enemy so we do not fight or hate them. We do believe that they are prisoners of the spiritual war, and so, much of our paraphernalia includes the POW/MIA design.
Our weapons are the Bible, prayer and God’s love because, as the Bible says (paraphrased) “The warfare is spiritual and so our weapons are spiritual and not of this world”.
Ultimately, TMW is about simple biblical principles that all Christians have as our foundation but in an event that is exciting, challenging and unforgettable.
Youth engage in rock climbing activities. Photo by Todd Haines
Youth at prayer. Photo by Todd Haines
Fun on the grass. Photo by Todd Haines