by Major Donna Leedom
Be on the lookout Central Territory! Central Bible Leadership Institute (CBLI) campers have returned home from a prayer-saturated, power-filled week of biblical teaching and leadership training. Ask them about the new friends they made with Dr. Captain Marion Platt, Captains Heather and Robert Dolby, Fulton Hawk and Michael Hulett. Each of these guests added to friendship the gifts of grace in teaching, preaching and encouraging God’s people to deeper relationship and faith in Christ.
The youngest campers were cared for with the loving supervision of Major Jo Langham and her team. Their support to parents and grandparents went beyond the classroom by helping parents and engaging with these precious ones around the campground. Major Jo also led two “Walk through the Bible” sessions which were popular with both children and adults.
Captain Norman Polusca introduced Jr. CBLI team members through their specific spiritual gifts. It was great way to begin as they led children in understanding they belong to the body of Christ and have a special set of gifts to share with God’s people. Make room for them. Encourage and celebrate who they are and what God wants to do through them.
Captains Peter and Catherine Mount and company found creative ways to encourage tweens to seek wisdom with a treasure hunt as well as letters from a mystery writer who shared clues to his identity and encouraged students to find him. Ava Shiels and Naomi Mowers summed up what they learned: “Our Bible verse for the week was Proverbs 3:5-6, and we learned about getting wise by trusting God and leaning on Him, not our own understanding. We can trust Him to avoid temptation because He knows what’s what.”
The Sharp Center was covered in prayer as the intentionality of Barb Higgins (who celebrated 50 years at CBLI!) and her ministry team demonstrated the week was about Jesus’ power and love. Teaching from the book of Acts inspired teens to both know the gospel and be able to share that wonderful gift with others.
Nelly Nuhigirwa and Will Lawson say they’ve gained better Bible study skills and are more open now to talking about God with others. Peace was the word for the young adults as they discovered how to live at peace by studying prohibitors and promoters such as entitlement versus gratitude, greed versus generosity, fear versus faith, anger versus forgiveness, and laziness versus discipline. Delegate Dylan LaCanne said he realized greed was keeping him from living at peace, and he’s taking home the truth of 1 John 3:17 to help him remember to depend more on God and His perfect provision.
Captain Marion Platt opened the Word of God from Isaiah each day to invite adults to dig deeply into the immutable, holy, sovereign, faithful, just, merciful and loving character of God that knows no limit in space or time. Moving from Isaiah to the Gospels, the captain spoke of the truth that the character of God the Father is the same found in Jesus and shared with each believer through the Holy Spirit when we depend fully on Him. Rebecca Lynn of Big Rapids, Mich., said she was struck by the teaching on faithfulness and will depend on God to allow that part of His character to grow in her.
Look for the changes in the delegates you may know and expect those changes to impact your corps and community as the Spirit of God moves through them to impact the world He loves.