We had an incredible (and exhausting) time last week at camp. We returned Friday evening, and I think I’m recovered enough to post a few pictures and tell a few stories.
First off, thanks to all of you who prayed for us last week and those of you who gave so that we could bring 13 kids to camp. They were each impacted in different ways, and all had a great time.
Above are the six girls we brought. Amanda, the third girl from the left, came as a guest of Kylan, who’s been part of our ministry forever. Amanda accepted Christ Thursday night, so that was really awesome. Obviously, camp was a life-changing experience for her. Other girls shared with me that they learned some things about themselves and they way that God viewed them that they had never known before.
We went to camp with the Messiah’s House Youth Group, which we do every year. Most of the kids I bring also go to church with me there on Wednesday nights. But they’ve never really been “a part” of the youth group. It’s just a cultural thing really, I guess. But it’s been a little frustrating, especially since my kids don’t even really try to befriend new kids from a different culture and different part of town. Last week, for the first time, my kids not only started to get to really know other kids in the group, but they actually took on a leadership role. Shaq, Dalvin, and Nick (above) just really turned a corner in terms of maturity and leadership last week that amazed me. I couldn’t be more proud of them. And the four of us had a blast together. Now that they’re older (Shaq and Dalvin will be juniors, Nick a senior), we’re becoming more friends than just mentor/student or whatever it is we are.
Lakeview Camp and Conference Center, where the camp was held, was huge with all kinds of stuff today – a lake, water slides, indoor gym, swimming pool, etc. As a result, I don’t have pictures of everybody or all the activities we did. One of the kids who for some reason we didn’t get a picture of is Dustin. He and his brother Mitchell have been a part of Mission 2540 for 3 years or so now. Their family moved from the North Grand Villas early this year, but we’ve stayed in touch and they went to camp with us. Dustin, who just finished his freshman year, has really grown in his faith over the last year or two. This week, he told me he’s been feeling called to ministry for the last month or so, and really felt like he needed to surrender to that call this week. So that’s exciting. I’m usually pretty cautious about that sort of thing because of the emotion of it and feeling all “fired up” at camp. But I’m convinced Dustin really means this. So that’s pretty exciting.
So that’s a quick summary of some of the good stuff that happened. I’ve got more pictures I may share later, or you may just have to wait for the newsletter next month. Thanks again for your prayers!