Tom Franklin

Summer Mission: Foremarke 3

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Every year, approximately 60 14-18 year-olds descend upon Foremarke Hall in Repton, just outside of Derby. In 2010, I was one of those teenagers. Little did I know, however, that this decision would have a huge impact upon my faith and life in general.

The summer camp itself is Foremarke 3 (the last of three consecutive weeks, each with a different leadership team) and since my first time, I have returned nearly every year and now help to lead. The camp itself is a mixture of Bible-based teaching, worship and seminars/workshops combined with various outdoor off-site activities. This year, the teaching will cover a Bible overview with the particular talk I am giving covering Amos 5. One verse in particular sticks out as I prepare and write my talk:

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

In these turbulent and often troubled times, great comfort can be found in God’s universal justice. But also a warning to all of us, to love and serve the Lord with sincere hearts, for that justice will judge all people. Like the waters, it cannot be tamed or stopped.

I was fortunate to grow up in a supportive and Bible-believing family and wider church family. Particular emphasis was given to the youth group, with roughly 15 of us attending Foremarke 3 each year. As such, I had always believed the Bible to be true and known Jesus had died for me, however, I never fully understood it until I went to Foremarke 3. It was here during that first week, that my eyes were truly opened to God’s majesty and saving grace and I fully understood what it meant to call myself a Christian.

The aim as a leadership team, and especially for me personally, is to replicate this same understanding amongst all of the members. To ignite the same fire and passion for Jesus as I felt that very first time. In recent years, more non-Christians have attended, which is a real blessing for witnessing, but not without its challenges. Each year, a number of people profess faith in Christ for the very first time. Whilst a great joy in itself, it is fulfilling to see often years of persistent, patient, gospel-centred teaching at work and producing fruit.

I owe a great deal to Foremarke 3. Never did I realise the impact it would have upon my faith and life in general (the following year I met my future wife!). Our hope and prayer is always that those non-Christians who attend would ultimately come to know and trust in Christ, and for those that already do to gain a deeper understanding of God’s grace and love. Physically exhausting, I always leave feeling spiritually refreshed.

As with all mission, constant prayer is essential. Please do be praying for us: for physical strength during a very busy and exhausting week; for spiritual strength to continue to preach God’s word faithfully; for new fruit through this work, that more would come to put their ultimate faith and trust in Him who saves.