Mission 2540 was able to send 8 kids to camp last week with Messiah’s House. We went to Sky Ranch in Van, TX and had a great time! Thanks to those of you who gave so the kids could go. I wish we could have sent more, but due to track practices, work, and family trips, several of our kids had to opt out of going this year. But that’s ok, because the kids who went had an amazing week! It’s always great to get our kids out of the chaos and trouble of their regular lives and into a safe place filled with fun, new things, 3 meals a day, and more importantly, the opportunity to get into the presence of the Lord.
On Monday night, I got to sit down with Benjamin, a 7th grader whose family we’ve ministered to for 3 or 4 years now. We had an amazing conversation about grace, forgiveness, salvation, and all that Jesus’ work on the cross did for us. Several years ago, Ben had been baptized after repeating the words to a prayer. But he had no idea what he was saying or doing. So we sat down together to talk about what it really means to make Jesus “Lord” and all the costs that go with that decision. He said he was really ready to do that and understood what it meant. I told him I wasn’t going to have him repeat after me and pray a magic prayer. He had to do all that himself. And he did. It was pretty awesome. As tears flowed down his cheeks, he asked Jesus to forgive him of his sin and to become Lord of his life. Ben told me he has always had a hard time really trusting God, that God would really forgive him and really take care of him and his family. His own dad never does what he says he’s going to do, and that makes it hard to trust anybody. But he says, “Now I know I can trust him.” Pretty awesome. That made the week completely worth it!
We were able to have all kinds of fun last week as well – basketball and paintball and ziplines and lake fun and water slides and a game called gaga and staying up late being wild and telling jokes (or, rather, that applies the 5 boys in my room who kept me up late while I tried to sleep in between yelling at them to go to sleep). Following are some pictures of the fun.
Here’s a portion of my paintball team, from left – Ben, me, Tazz, Samson, and my son Luke. Ty and Chris were also on my team. We were slaughtered in both of our action-packed battles. But we had a blast.
It was pretty chilly in the lake on Wednesday (and only 70 degrees or so outside), but that didn’t stop of us from having fun. Here’s Ty on his way down into the lake after being blobbed. Not pictured is Ty’s buddy Chris, who is to the right after jumping from 10 feet up onto the inflated blob, thus sending Ty into the air. (I give this description in case you have never seen a blob in action before. If you haven’t, you’re missing out!) In addition to blobbing, we played on a big floating thing out in the water, slid on a huge slide into the lake, and shivered quite a bit.
We also canoed. It was hilarious watching this crew try to paddle their way around the lake. Thankfully they made their way back to shore.
We also all zipped down this line. I don’t have pictures of the 2540 kids doing this (my official photographer – my wife Sunny – was waiting in line for her chance to zip when they went). But all of them did it. I wish I had a picture of my girls Tori and Quinn going on this one. They were scared to death and screamed quite loudly the whole way down. I was very proud of them for being troppers and trying something crazy like this.
Ben leaping for the trapeze bar. He missed, but at least he climbed all the way up that pole and tried.
Those are the pictures I have at this point. Hopefully they give you an idea of the fun, new things the kids were able to experience. It was a very special week. Again, thanks to those of you who made this week possible, and thank you for all your prayers!
Soon I’ll post some pictures of Agape Camp, which several of our elementary kids were able to go to the last few days of Spring Break.