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Herbie's Camping Trip

It's wet out there!

Application:

We need to learn how to show love, concern and care for others.

Text:

John 13:34-35, "As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

 

Off to Camp:

The King's Kid's Club were going camping and all week they had been preparing their tents and their gear.  But, Herbie spent his time bragging to all who would listen, that he was going to catch rabbits and birds, and all sorts of wild animals!  He was being an impossible know-it-all, and everybody tried to avoid him whenever they could.

The weekend came at last and they packed their back-packs into the bus and clambered aboard.  The trip seemed endless but at last they arrived at the start of the trail leading to their campsite.  Their leader, Phillip, gathered all the kids and prayed that God would keep them safe.

"Now, stay together and don't wander off the track!" he warned, "Otherwise you may get lost or hurt.  Remember, this is a team-building camp.  Let's think about how you can show love to one another.  You've all given your lives to Jesus, so I now want you to learn how to care and appreciate each other."

Herbie Doesn't Listen:

The children all agreed to do their best, but not Herbie.  He hardly listened.  He was too busy planning what mischief he could get up to!  As soon as Phillip was finished he ran on ahead up the track.   "Hey, Herbie!" shouted Phillip, "Weren't you listening to what I just told you."

Herbie stamped his foot as all the children laughed at him.  He decided there and then that he was going to get them back - real good!  All that day Herbie rebelled and at every opportunity he would run ahead and tie the long grass into traps to trip the girls.  Then he would hide behind a tree and laugh when someone tripped over the knot!

He's Impossible!

Later he hid in the bush and threw stones to annoy the boys.  He smoked whenever he could and pushed poor Mary off the track, and she fell over a rock and got a huge lump on her forehead.  He just laughed and refused to say he was sorry!

Phillip got cross and grabbed Herbie and shook him as hard as he could, and shouted, "You'd better behave yourself!"  But, do you think Herbie listened?   Of course not!  He just carried on.  That night he sulked at the campfire because everybody was fed-up with him and refused to talk to him or even sit near him.

That Brat!

Next day the children were still cross with him and decided to ignore Herbie.  They hiked on but Herbie kept on wandering off into the bush and making Phillip scared that he would get lost.  Even when they stopped for lunch near a pool of water, Herbie had to show off by jumping into the pool from a dangerous rock.

When Phillip stopped this, he started ducking the smaller children until they came up half-drowned.  "I don't know why you came on this hike," exclaimed Phillip, "You really are a dreadful boy!"

The Sheepfold:

During the afternoon, they came across a sheepfold tucked in the side of the hill.  "Look," said Peter, "The shepherd is leading his sheep into his fold!"  The children watched as the shepherd led the sheep inside, and how they obediently followed him.

All that is except a black lamb who refused to go inside and kept running away.  The lamb was good at avoiding the shepherd and every time he nearly grabbed him, the lamb would slip through his legs and dart away!  The children laughed at his antics and were sorry when the shepherd eventually caught it and carried it triumphantly over his shoulder into the fold.

Lost and Hurt!

Herbie was bored, so he rushed on ahead.  Phillip called after him and warned him that he would get lost.  But, Herbie carried on regardless and rushed over the hill.  At some stage he missed the track and after a time realised that he was lost.  "Not to worry," he thought, "I'll just climb onto these rocks to see where the others are."

He scrambled up some steep rocks and was pleased to find himself as King of the Castle.  Just when he remembered why he had climbed up, his foot slipped and he let out a yell as he fell back into a crevice.  He lay there panting as pain shot up his leg.

Trapped!

Herbie tried to free his boot, but he couldn't move it.  It was trapped between two rocks!  He tried shouting, "Help! Help!" at the the top of his voice.  But, all he could hear were birds calling from some trees lower down.  He slumped back hoping the others would soon be along.  He thought he was close to the path, but in fact the rocks were well off the track and the campers passed by him not realising that he was lost and hurt.

His thirst grew as the afternoon sun beat down on the rocks and he wished that he hadn't thrown away his water bottle in a fit of rage.  He was still trapped as the sun went down and hunger gnawed at his tummy and he wondered what would happen to him.

They'll Miss Me!

He was convinced that that ninny Phillip would soon miss him and come charging up to scream and shout about his bad behaviour.  "Serves him right if he gets a fright that I am lost," he chuckled.

The campers didn't know that Herbie was missing.  They came to the campsite that evening and set up their tents.  Around supper time someone suddenly realised that Herbie was missing.  Phillip looked extremely worried and said that they would have to wait until morning as they would never find him in the dark.  And he couldn't take a chance that someone else might get lost.

I'm going to Die!

Meanwhile, Herbie started to sob as the pain grew worse in his leg.  As dark descended, he became frightened.  "If only I had listened and stayed with the rest, I wouldn't be in this mess," he thought.  He couldn't sleep as his leg throbbed and he shivered from the cold.  He heard rustling noises in the bush and jumped with fright when an owl hooted right over his head.

"I'm going to die," he thought, "I'm lost and nobody will ever find me as I'm down in this cleft in the rocks."  As he lay there he remembered about the shepherd and the black lamb that kept running away.

"I'm just like that lamb," he muttered to himself, and suddenly realised that he hadn't acted like a Christian at all during the past two days!  He thought about last Sunday where his Children's Church leader had spoken about Jesus being their Good Shepherd.

Herbie Prays:

He recalled the memory verse from John 10:14 where Jesus had said, "I know My sheep and My sheep know Me."  He remembered that this Shepherd was One who cared deeply for His sheep.  "Oh, Jesus," he prayed, "I don't seem to know You very well at all.  I think I am going to die here.   I'm sorry for all the bad things that I did to the other children.   Please forgive me and make me into a good sheep."

As he finished praying, he felt a peace come over him as he lay there.   A short while later he drifted off into sleep, and awoke to hear children shouting his name.  He tried to answer, but only a croak came out.  "Oh, dear," he thought, "They'll never hear me!" and he lost hope as the voices faded away into the distance.

Rescued!

As Herbie lay there thinking that he was going to die, he suddenly heard a scrabbling noise on the rocks behind him.  "Oh, no," he thought, "That sounds like a wild animal and it will get me."  He panicked and just as he thought that he was going to be eaten, the smiling face of his leader appeared.

"I just felt I had to check-out these rocks," he said, "I knew that you liked to climb anything that looks dangerous and steep, and here you are!"   He carefully loosened Herbie's foot from the rocks that trapped it and lifted him out of the crevice.  "Now, let's look at your leg.   H'm, it looks like a bad sprain so we will have to carry you back to camp."

Phillip blew his whistle and soon all the other children came scrambling up and crowded round Herbie.  "You're safe!" they cried, "We were so worried that you had been badly hurt."  Herbie frowned, "Worried?"  I thought that you would've been glad to see the end of me seeing I was so nasty to all of you!"

Showing Love and Concern:

They all laughed in relief and the boys gathered two long branches to make a stretcher.  "I need some jerseys to make a bed for Herbie to lie on," instructed Phillip.  They placed Herbie on the improvised stretcher and four boys carried him carefully back to camp.  They laid him down and Phillip bound up his ankle with a bandage.

"Here," said Mary, "I have found a stick that you can use as a crutch."   Herbie was amazed at their kindness and could not get over the concern they all showed him.  That night they all gathered around the campfire to have their final sing-song.

A Changed Herbie:

Herbie spoke up and thanked everybody for their help, and said that he was sorry for having been such a pig.  "You know," he said, "I thought that you would never find me and that I was going to die out there."   He then told them about the black lamb and how he had asked Jesus to make him into a good sheep.

Phillip went to sleep that night with joy in his heart.  "Thank You Lord," he prayed, "You have answered my prayer and I can see the change in all the children, especially in Herbie.  They have shown love and care for each other.  This has really been a successful hike and camp!"

Disobedient Sheep:

You can also think about that black lamb who wilfully refused to go into the fold.  It reminds us of how we disobeyed God and did things that were wrong.  But, God loves us and sent His Son to die for us, and now He wants to be your Good Shepherd.  Jesus wants to guide you back into His Kingdom.  You can become a good sheep by asking Jesus to come into your life right now.

You also need to allow Jesus to pour His love into your heart.  You will become a good and obedient sheep and be safe in God's fold.  And then God's love will flow out from you, as you learn to show love, concern and care for others around you.

God bless!
 

Copyright © Sharon Children's Ministries

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