Hello again, friends. I guess this second visit on my self-imposed vacation makes it official: I’m addicted to
blogging you. I’ve done a lot of writing this week, and now I want to invite you to do some research watch television with me.
The Lord’s Boot Camp is on CBS this Saturday night, April 12, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Maybe we can talk about it over coffee next week? I’ll be comparing it to my own experiences as a tent evangelist’s daughter, but I’d also like to see it through your eyes. Can I get a witness?
From Attention Campers: Get Dirty for God, by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady:
Yep, we’re at it again. Not quite satiated from our Evangelical extravaganza that is Jesus Camp, we elected to spend yet another summer at a different kind of Christian enclave. The result is The Lord’s Boot Camp, a television collaboration with CBS 48 Hours that looks at another angle of the ever-fascinating American born-again experience.
Here’s how it goes: Over 700 kids from around the US say goodbye to their pals, give up their ipods and Pepsi, and head to Merritt Island, a mosquito-infested swampland in central Florida. Here they sleep two to a tent, are denied showers (swamp juice will do), pour concrete, cut sheet metal, pull weeds under an unforgiving sun and attend intense nightly revivals under a massive circus tent. And of course they pray. They pray a lot.
At the end of three grueling weeks at the boot camp these revved up teens spread out to over 50 countries including Mongolia, Zambia, Cameroon and Egypt to “save souls” for Jesus. On motorcycles, by foot, bike and on horseback, these kids fan out to remote and off-grid locations to dig wells, build houses, hand out shoes to orphans and most importantly, to spread the Gospel of Christ.
The genius behind the Lord’s Boot Camp is a robust yet elfish 70 year-old man named Bob Bland, a lifelong missionary who bought this massive plot of swampland in 1971 with the vision to train kids to learn the ways of the full time evangelist. To do this effectively, he must recreate the uncomfortable (prickly, sticky, itchy, stinky et al.) conditions faced by the majority of adult proselytizers.
Story continues here; bold emphases mine.