Karen Barnes's picture

In June of this summer, Fire For the Nations hosted a summer camp in Vanleer, TN just outside of Nashville. It was an amazing week, with children from several states in attendance, and our very special guest, Jesus!

Most of these children already had personal relationships with the Lord, but were ready to take it a step further and wanted a deeper knowledge of Him. Several were just beginning to understand who God was and why they needed a Savior. It was a time of new beginnings for all of them, as their journey was about to go deeper in many different levels!

As I explained to them in our sessions about how it was important to slow down and take time to listen to Jesus rather than just “talk” to Him all the time, they began to get the picture, and their hunger grew! Anticipation ramped up as we looked forward to the time when they would hear Jesus’ voice speaking to them, and they would have that personal encounter.

We practiced short times of “soaking prayer” during the first full day, and on that first evening, Jesus showed up! We took the time to rest in Him and wait to hear what He would say. The presence of the Lord settled in almost immediately, and the children began receiving from Him in many different ways – some shaking, some weeping softly, some out like a light, some with smiles and some with light laughter, all with eyes closed and listening. We waited on the Lord for over 90 minutes, with the children never leaving or moving away from this time with the Lord.  

Afterwards, we processed with them what they heard and saw. Many children reported hearing His audible voice for the first time, several spoke of the visions of Jesus taking them places and playing and laughing with them, or just holding them, telling them how He loved them.

One young man was overcome by the Spirit within minutes of us beginning our session and shook for almost 90 minutes. Afterwards he told me that God wouldn’t let him get up, but he felt God told him how much He loved Him and wanted time with him, and this young man wanted to have God’s spirit touch him again!

Several young people received a word from Jesus regarding their destiny, and a call to missions was born! Each child felt or heard something that showed them that Jesus was real – that He was in the room and was making a difference in their lives. Even the adults there could sense His awesome presence and were pulling in His glory!

As the week went on, we had a corner of our white board entitled “What Stuck With YOU Today”. The kids were instructed to take small colored post-it notes of various sizes and write on them things that had made an impression on them during the week. It could have been something someone said or did, or what was said during a session.

By the end of the week, the board was filled with notes. The main topic of excitement? SOAKING TIME! These 8-13 year olds were far more affected and interested in spending time with Jesus than anything else during the week! That said volumes about how our week went and the effect it had on the children.

God so rocks, and so did camp! Check out our website and Facebook page for a few pictures and videos of the fun and lessons learned during that week!

Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.

She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, KIDS CAN is now available in both the CWG and Fire For the Nations bookstores. For more information on the book or to schedule dates, check out the website (, or email her at [email protected].