Why We Do What We Do
Read the stories below of some lives that have been changed, to understand better why we do what we do.
Sponsor a child to camp:
Samantha, on more than one occasion has been mistaken for a boy, but she quickly sets people straight. Her short hair, boyish clothing and tough mannerisms at first glance would certainly bring one to question, but a few minutes spent with this witty, feisty girl tells you there is something going on deep down. Samantha has been attending camp for a number of years and it is not uncommon to find her distracting the chapel singing by getting up to show her moves, or answering questions in a way that gets a chuckle.
There is another person that has been “attending” camp for the same years, her name is Sue. She is a Native American who loves the outdoors and the opportunity to be in the wilderness. Sue is a bit past the age for Jr. Camp so she comes as our camp speaker! And she longs to see her people brought to the Lord.
Something happened the first year they met. Sue and Samantha’s relationship grew as they were in the same small group for a few years. Samantha, who has invited Jesus into her heart under Sue’s discipleship, has grown. Sue who has committed to being there consistently, even in spite of suffering from a stroke, and has been given the privilege to speak into this young girl’s life, to hear the heartaches, to see the victories.
In many ways they are an unlikely pair, Sue in her pretty pink hat and Samantha in her tough disguise but God has bonded them in a way that only He can do. There is talk of Samantha being moved to another home with little chance of returning to camp. A home where there will be many other siblings and no finances for summer camp. Sue prays that they will see each other again at camp. And we join her, praying that the precious seed that was planted will grow to producing the leader that Samantha was born to be.
This past summer could have been a usual mundane summer at camp, but instead, I saw God work in powerful and mighty ways where I least expected it.
One specific night stands out to me. At Teen Camp, on the first night of campfire, we really saw God move. As one person after another stood up to share their testimony, there was just a real sense of God’s presence there. He was working and moving in and on our hearts that evening, compelling youth to share the story of what God had done in their life. As I left that campfire, I felt restless, like there was something more to be completed. As I walked and prayed that evening, I remember surrendering to God that night, giving it back to Him. I also said, “God, if there is anything more that You want to do, I am willing to do it.” As I headed back to the lodge, I saw two girls sitting out on the playground. I went over to them, to see why they were still outside this late in the evening. They were both in tears, just crying uncontrollably. As we talked, I felt God impressing on me the need to pray for them and to ask them to pray with me. As we prayed, the one girl led out in a prayer of repentance to God, asking His forgiveness of her sins. I was shocked and completely not ready for that. I thought she was a believer already and that those things had been dealt with. But come to find out, she hadn’t actually taken this step, and during this evening had been convicted of her own sin and now confessed Jesus Christ as Lord of her life. When given the opportunity, she knew that she must take it. We finished praying, then with a new light in her, she headed off to bed.
When we ask for God to move, why do we not expect it? I specifically asked God that night to work, and He did. Yet, I was still shocked that He did. Why do we do that? Jesus told His disciples in John 14, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Jesus said that we are going to do great works through Him…so let’s get ourselves out of the way and EXPECT Him to work! – Camp leader, Mary
I Dare You
There was excitement as the kids began to arrive at camp and as always, some concern. Who was God going to bring to us? What was going on in their life and how would we connect with them? One young girl arrived with her case worker and the look on her face said it all; she looked like stone, daring us to try and reach her.
As the week progressed, the staff started to share their own personal stories and stories of God’s love. We started to see cracks in that little girl’s hard exterior. At campfire each night, one of the members of our team would share their story. At the Friday night campfire I asked if anyone wanted to share their story. I expected one of the volunteers to speak up, but God had a different plan. This young girl that at first we were concerned that we would have trouble reaching, spoke up. Everything went quite as she began to speak; God stopped everything and bent down to listen to one of His children. He granted me the opportunity to see His face in the face of this child. As she spoke, telling her story, I saw that God’s plan had been in place from the beginning of time for me to be at the camp that week.
At the staff gathering the next morning we heard from her small group leader that this precious child of God had said that she was going to return to her foster home and share all the wonderful things that she had learned about God during her week at camp. She said she was going to go through her neighbourhood and ask people if they had read God’s Word.
The power of His Word was working through our team as we shared His Word and the effect it had on our lives; I felt so privileged to serve. – Camp leader, Kevin
Never Too Old
My wife and I had been to camp to “project a grandmother and grandfather image”, as we were 78 and 81 years old. By God’s grace, we were instrumental in having seven children express the desire to have Jesus in the lives. We also washed dishes for 32 people for the three meals during our week there.
When July came around this year, we considered going again but at our age we wondered what to do. We prayed about it and asked the Lord to guide us. In our family devotions we “just happened to stumble on” Psalms 92:14 “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.” This verse, along with our pastor’s urging, we decided to go. Again we washed dishes. My wife presented the Gospel to the three girls she had in her small group. The cabin counselor told her that the three had invited Jesus in their lives. When I presented the “Wordless Book” to my three boys, they all asked Jesus in their lives. – Camp leader, Sam