Last summer, I had the privilege of serving our summer camp by helping out with the occasional transportation of campers. There was one family in particular that caught my attention. It seemed as the summer went on, the number of kids streaming out of their house to load in my vehicle was growing exponentially. I came to find out that well over 15 people, consisting of multiple generations, were living in their small two bedroom home. While most of the kids were the grandchildren of the family matriarch, there was also a child that was dropped off at their home by a woman months beforehand and she had yet to return.
I was deeply humbled and convicted of the sacrificial generosity that was surely inconveniencing and putting extra strain on a situation that was already over taxed. I was reminded of the widows mite as told in Mark 12:41-43:
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
The generosity of our campers’ Maw-Maw has been a tool God has used to spur me on time and time again. I am so foolish to think that the hoarding of my resources will produce great joy and security. As the author of Hebrews writes, “look(ing) to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” Our savior himself modeled for us that the ultimate joy is found in giving ourselves away for the benefit of others.”
It gave me great joy to know that these kids were able to be a part of a great summer camp experience at our church. I was thankful for our summer interns, many who have come from very similar backgrounds as these campers. I knew that they had the needed compassion and empathy to help love on and nurture these campers all summer long and to point them to their Heavenly father who loves them infinitely more than we could.
Our camp is a 6-week experience for children 5 to 14 years old. Camp includes an academic component, the arts, athletics, field trips and plain old fun. Being a distinctively Christian camp, campers are taught and memorize God’s Word in fun and creative ways. Over the last five summers of camp we have served over 200 youth from our neighborhood.
Summer camp also serves as a great tool to raise up the next generation of leadership as our camp is run by young adults from our neighborhood. Throughout the summer they gain invaluable leadership and life skills that will help them be successful in life. The spiritual formation of these leaders is a key part of their summers as interns.
To pull off a great summer camp, we need to raise $15,000. Would you prayerfully consider making a special gift to help kids in our neighborhood have a fun-filled, gospel centered summer?
Diaconal Ministries Director