Category Archives: Kingdom Events

Camp Hope 2014

DSC03986Last week I volunteered for the second annual Camp Hope for Kids,  July 23-26, 2014, at Shoal Creek Camp near Subiaco, AR. The camp for at risk kids is a ministry of City Christian Fellowship, Fort Smith, AR, with help from Jubilee Christian Center in Van Buren, AR and other area churches providing volunteer staff and assistance. This year 60 children, ages 5-13, attended, more than twice as many as last year, along with about 40 adult staff. DSC03057Camp Hope provides kids a safe place to enjoy the outdoors, camp activities, fellowship with other kids their age, and an opportunity to hear the message of Christ through the teaching of Bible stories and worship.

Enjoy the photos by clicking here.

This on-going ministry meeting the first three Sundays of each month is welcoming volunteer help transporting Hope Kids in the afternoon and early evening to and from the church, or help in other ways. If you’d like to help or serve kids, the next generation, contact me from the contact page and let’s discuss it.DSCN1799

There were amazing activities and instruction provided for the kids by a giving, loving volunteer staff. May the seeds planted grow in these young lives, and may the Lord bless and keep them all, as they continue to grow in some pretty tough places

And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,Until I declare Your strength to this generation,Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)

IMG_3465DSC03876 DSC03441 DSC03064IMG_3365

Nicaragua… Who Knew?

Nicaragua Day3 - 183Last week I was in Nicaragua with some friends, old and new, on a mission trip and an adventure!

I went with a group from Grace Community Church, Fort Smith, AR, on a mission to La Flor Village, Nicaragua, July 14-21, under the leadership of Ken Duncan, and in cooperation with El Porvenir, an NGO with a 20+ year history of helping the poor villages of Nicaragua with clean water and health related issues. Our task was finishing the job of installing efficient wood cooking stoves with chimneys in 17 village homes, as well as sharing love, hugs, our faith, and our lives with the children and people of the village. It was a great week, and a joy to get to know all who served the people of La Flor Village and the King.Nicaragua Day 5 - 208

Click here for some photos of our mission.

While there is no way to see the whole world or volunteer for every opportunity that comes along, I do pray you are asking the Lord to guide you in ways you can be involved in people’s lives, discipling and serving others. He will lead you if it’s your heart’s desire and you ask. You’ll find yourself enjoying the relationships that follow and storing up treasure in heaven, real treasure for a real eternity. The Bible teaches us, and Jesus taught us by rising from the dead that people are eternal, and not the stuff we spend much time and energy accumulating.

Nicaragua Day3 - 286 Nicaragua Day 5 - 229This was the group’s second time in the village. And there’s a chance we might be returning next year. A pastor of a thirty member congregation asked us to come back and help them build a church building on land they own. They are presently meeting in his home and others that are scarcely large enough to hold that many folks. Let me know if you’re interested in helping and going next year!

Nicaragua Day 4 - 067I learned Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, and also the poorest due to nearly two centuries of dictatorships, civil wars and natural calamities. The average income per person is $1,028 (2% of USA). They are about 6 million people with 60% living in urban communities making it the most sparsely populated country in Central America. 75% of the population is less than 30 years old, and 35% is less than 15 years old, making it a very youth filled nation. They have a  Pacific and Atlantic coast with mountains in the middle, the highest being 7300′, and there are  eight active volcanoes! It’s very U.S. friendly these days with businesses and tourists beginning to pour in. And if you haven’t heard, the Chinese are about to start building a canal across the country much larger than the current Panama Canal. That will be a game changer hopefully of benefit for them, and certainly the world economy. The most important thing I came away saying about the country is that the people are warm and friendly, engaging and precious.

Nicaragua Day 4 - 156Spiritually speaking, possibly due to the poverty and suffering, many have and are turning to Christ. Operation World reports, “Evangelical growth is high and sustained amid the upheaval. Evangelicals grew from 2.2% in 1960 to 29.8% in 2010. This is more than a 40-fold numeric increase in 50 years, with no sign of such growth abating.” Who knew? I don’t think I saw that on CNN, did you?

Nicaragua Day 4 - 282Indeed, while people talk politics, war, corruption, and how to humanly solve the world’s problems, it seemed to our little troop that the Lord is quietly, consistently sending people to help the poor and needy, the downcast and afflicted, to help lift people up. That’s always been His Way and His Heart. The experience was a joy for us!

 

 

 

While It Is Day

Sharing Thai Experiences on the Patio with Friends

Sharing Thai Experiences on the Patio with Friends

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”― John Wesley

“We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)  Jesus

The quote and verse came to me as I was considering the work of two special friends and their young family who spent the last two years in Thailand, from where they have just returned for some needed rest, refreshment and recharging. They are soon headed back!IMG_7674

Alex, Brook, and their three children visited our church last Sunday to share with our community what they experienced in Thailand and what they sense the Lord is doing there. It was a great time as they shared openly from their hearts, something any listener appreciates.

IMG_7585They returned to our city and our patio three days later to share more of their experiences with 25 friends invited for that purpose. Challenging, courageous, inspiring, thought provoking, and beautiful is how I would summarize their story.

IMG_7594IMG_7555There isn’t time or space to recreate it here, and I couldn’t anyway, but it serves as a reminder to be about the King’s business, in your realm, wherever He’s planted you.

And it’s a chance for me to introduce you to friends Alex and Brook. If you’re looking for a place to sow into the kingdom of God some prayers, money, friendship, communication?  Their lives are good soil. They’re heading back to Thailand for the next chapter of adventure to make disciples of Jesus, and to serve His people there soon. Here’s a link to their webpage if you wish can learn more or contribute.

IMG_7559 IMG_7566 IMG_7562 IMG_7573 IMG_7576Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)

“… give to charity; make yourselves … an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)

 

Celebrate Freedom Where You Find It!

Alma HS ROTC Presents the Colors

Alma HS ROTC Presents the Colors at Oaks Manor Celebration of Freedom

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

There are forces at play in our world, our country, and our lives that seek our harm. They seek to enslave us and take away the God-given gift which is to live free; free from tyranny, free from fear, free from self. That freedom is found spiritually and historically in Christ, and the Cross.

SONY DSCChrist and the Cross is the well-docmented foundation of these United States of America, and Christ living in our fore fathers that made our nation great and the envy of the modern world, bringing God’s blessings which in turn have been extended to the world.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)

SONY DSCBut of these blessings, wealth and possessions are not the greatest. Consider “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!” Especially today consider “liberty.”

Consider with me also personal liberty. Freedom from self and freedom from sin (an ancient archery term which means “missing the mark”). That’s the real issue since the beginning of time. That’s why Christ came, to make a way through forgiveness, and by giving us the power to live a life from above while journeying here.

LTC Tom Smith brings some challenging and heart stirring words.

LTC Tom Smith brings some challenging and heart stirring words.

So the major price for our liberty has been paid for us, and given as a costly gift from above and from our forefathers. But still, as in all times and all places we have our part to play. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Oaks Manor Conference and Retreat Center has been assisting Christ followers in that quest for 10 years now, and has a bright future for doing so for many years to come. Last Sunday evening they invited the public to a gathering to celebrate the freedom of and in our country.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

They exist to provide a peaceful, beautiful place for Christians to come aside and rest for awhile, to get out of the rush of our culture to read, study, mediate, relax, rest — refresh themselves spiritually and physically. It’s a great service and greatly needed. I encourage you to give them a look and take advantages of their services as often as you can and “come aside.” We all need this kind of retreat. Even our Lord did. And His disciples.

SONY DSCBlessings in Christ! Celebrate!!

Photos of the Oaks Manor Celebration!

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” (Mark 6:31)

Hope Kids at Jim’s Cabin

SONY DSCGod’s heart is certainly for the children. He showed us that in His Word, and Jesus was clear about it as He walked the earth. “ Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)  “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)   “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,Is God in His holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)

SONY DSCLet me tell you about Hope Kids. I can only hope and pray God is doing things like this all around the country. Pray and ask Him to allow you to be a part! “This came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”” (Mark 12:11)

I’ll give you the short version here. You’ll be seeing and hearing more about it in the days to come. A few dedicated people from two area churches have been ministering to at risk kids in local apartment complexes. They have gotten to know the kids, their families, and their homes by visiting them where they live, gaining their trust. They also carry them in vans weekly to one of the churches where they worship, play, and are taught Bible stories.

SONY DSCLast year a summer camp was organized for these children based on the Matthew Eighteen Camp model where many of us have served in years past. Due perhaps to the ongoing relationships established, this camp has a different flavor and has been wildly successful exceeding our expectations.

Several children came to know the Lord and were baptized. Remarkably since camp last  year twenty children have come to know the Lord and asked to be baptized. 🙂

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCNow we come to last weekend and Jim’s cabin, where the kids were invited for a meal, fishing, canoeing, and fun; but for the primary purpose of baptizing those who had made decisions for Christ, been counseled, and asked to be baptized. It was a joyous event for all involved as the photos depict.

The weather was perfect, partly overcast and cool, with some exciting thunder and lightning in the distance as nineteen kids and one adult were baptized in the lake in front of Jim’s cabin. Oh by the way, Jim is the name of the black lab who is a Hope Kid’s favorite at every event.

SONY DSCThe second annual Hope Kids Camp is coming up July 23 through July 26 this year. If you are interested in volunteering or helping in anyway, email me and I’ll get you in touch with the camp organizers. You’ll be blessed and a blessing.

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Camp Hope 2013 Story

Jim’s Cabin Baptism Photos 2014          Baptism Video!

Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons, and their sons the next generation.” (Joel 1:3)

Who is the Greatest?

Generations...Sowing into Eternity

Generations…Sowing into Eternity

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1–3)

I donated three and a half days last week, along with 25 adults and some of their children from 4 different churches to host a week-long summer camp for 25 foster kids. It was a rewarding and beautiful event on several accounts.

First the kids! Matthew 25:40 says, “If you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” The kids are the main thing, and will always be the main thing, about this camp, which just completed it’s 10th year under the vision and leadership of friends Curtis & Paula Michlitsch and their ministry “Matthew Eighteen.”

Canoeing is a Big Hit

Canoeing is a Big Hit

Second, it’s a clear directive from the King to His disciples to declare His faithfulness to the next generation.   “… He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God…” (Psalm 78:5–7)  “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)

Beautiful And Delicious

Beautiful And Delicious

Third, it’s wonderful when different churches and denominations work together in kingdom events and activities. We are each a part of the body of Christ. I met a guy named Brad who I didn’t know. He was ordinary but powerful with the kids, and delivered one of the best teachings before lunch one day that I’ve ever heard in any camp, anywhere; the kids hanging on his every word. Come to find out, we’re going on the same mission trip to Nicaragua in July!? I look forward to getting to know him even better.

Fourth, volunteerism. The camp shows how a non-professional staff of average adults can come together because they are willing and make a huge difference in the lives of these little ones, who get many hugs, smiles, pats on the head, and much affirmation for a whole week of

Hours of Swinging

Hours of Swinging

romping about outdoors in a safe, healthy environment, punctuated with worship services designed for them, teaching times, serving one another, and some excellent food! Thanks, chef Michael Brown and the kitchen staff, for your care and excellence in serving these little ones, who are children of the King.

You know I started out this article thinking, “If you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me.” You will recognize those as Jesus words when telling the telling story about the sheep and the goats. The emphasis of that story is on us, and our service to others, and to the King. And, do we really know Him? Or does He know us?

While that’s not wrong, the message of Matthew Eighteen is a little different but the same.

 

Dads and Big Brothers Needed and Appreciated

Dads and Big Brothers Needed and Appreciated

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.” (Matthew 18:5)  As we study these little ones and become like them, they will lead us to be spiritually like God wants us to be and to approach Him. “He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1–3)

A picture is worth a thousand words!! Enjoy!!!

Blessings in His Name

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Camp Director!

Camp Director!

See you next year! Father's Day!

See you next year! Father’s Day!

Delightful Young Ladies

Delightful Young Ladies

AFR Radio Interview

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

A month ago I was contacted by American Family Radio and asked to do a live interview about my book, “A Friend of the King,” on Thursday, June 5th, from 10:15 to 10:30 CDT. I’m very excited about this opportunity that seemingly came out of nowhere to talk about the book and make it better known. May the Lord that inspired it be lifted up. Thanks for praying for me, the book, and listen in if you can.

For AFR local stations click here.

The interview will be hosted by Tim Wildmon & Ray Pritchard of AFR. Should be interesting, and hopefully fun for all involved.

2014 Canoe Trip with Three of the Next Generation

2014 Canoe Trip with Three of the Next Generation

Those of you who know me know that I am largely detached from the media, preferring reading, meditative and spiritual pursuits. After being a media and news addict for the first three decades of my life, my wife and I didn’t have a TV for eighteen years, our two children being raised without one. We have several funny family stories about these times.

That said, I’ve been listening to AFR while blogging today in preparation for this interview. I’ve been impressed by the speakers, the music, and the truth being shared in a positive manner. Also many of the ministries associated with this organization I’ve appreciated and supported for years, as they are firmly supporting family and historic American values.

This is about the Next Generation to a large extent! That is a major motive behind the book.

   “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,Until I declare Your strength to this generation,Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)

As I prepare for the interview, my thoughts turn to Luke and some other young men I’ve met lately, since I’ve published the book. I know it’s God’s heart for older men to share their faith and mentor younger men, as I said clearly in the book. Two things stick out in my mind about my time and friendship with Luke. [1] After reading the book, he purchased ten of them, and held a six week Bible study at his home with friends, other young college men. It encouraged me, and he reported that it was a good and worthwhile pursuit for them. [2] In one of our frequent discussions about the book, he brought up homosexuality saying, “I thought when I first read that part of your book, you were being a bit hard on the issue because how it is today is all I’ve known all my life.” “But I see now you have a Biblical perspective on the issue.” What he shared was a bit shocking to me for a couple reasons, but that is a story for another time.

My Friend Brock (Right) in Cuba

My Friend Brock (Right) in Cuba

My thoughts also turn to a young University of Georgia man I met on a recent trip to Cuba. There were 15 UofG students among our group of 40. There were several couples there in their seventies, and several ages in between. As is almost always the case with the family of God, we bonded in close and amazing ways. Brock said one day to a small group of men, ages 40-60, standing and sharing with him, “Where have you guys been!?” “You’ve deserted our generation!”

It was good food for thought, and for frank discussion! But I want to take away from it here that there are many young men (and women) who would love to have the attention, counsel, and friendship (mentoring) of the older generation! And there are plenty of the older generation that would profit beyond measure by having one of these young men or women in their lives. Don’t quit! Don’t give up. You’re still here, so it’s part of your mission to declare God’s faithfulness and ways to the succeeding generations. Be open to it. Seize the opportunities. Do it!

Laura  & Ann in Cuba

Laura & Ann in Cuba

  “That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,That they may arise and tell them to their children,That they should put their confidence in GodAnd not forget the works of God,But keep His commandments,” (Psalm 78:6–7)

Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons,And their sons the next generation.” (Joel 1:3)

 

We Have Seen … God Speaks with Man

Friends sharing life and what they know of God

Friends share life and what they know of God…

“We have heard His voice …We have seen today that God speaks with man.Deuteronomy 5:24

What is God saying in this hour? To you personally? To His bride, the Church? Can you know? Can anyone know? Does He speak? Do we hear?

Some of you reading these questions would be  able to respond right away with what you’ve heard recently, or what you believe is on God’s heart from what you’ve read, or heard from the mouths of His followers.

Some of you would say, “You’re kidding, right?” “No one can hear the voice of God, or know what’s on His heart or mind.”

I’m going to leave those two positions with you to ponder or decide, and blow right past them to what I’ve heard lately and believe to be on God’s heart and mind.

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

My Good Friend Luke Now In Seminary

In so doing I’m going to point you to some recent books that have made their way into my life through friends, as well as some that have come recently onto the national scene. I’ll also  launch a new web page I’ll probably entitle “Kingdom Resources,” or something creative like that. 🙂

These books speak loudly on their own, and easily stand alone. But I’ve learned when books come to me like this in the same season of time, and I hear other believers talking about them, sharing common insights, and I read the same Bible stories and passages stressing the same points from my daily reading  scheduled a year in advance; I get it. This is what God is saying. This is what’s on His heart. At least for me and my friends, where we live, and love , and serve.

When I sense He’s speaking in such a fashion. I get more and more quiet in my spirit. I try to listen more intently, to see if He will say more? Or impress me with some activity or action in concert with what I’ve heard? To be obedient to His leading; to be a part of what He’s saying or doing;  nothing brings me more joy!

So what are the books? 🙂

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken

Risk Is Right, Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It by John Piper

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller

They Share What They Hear God Saying and See God Doing

They Share What They Hear God Saying and See God Doing

I encourage you to read these books, now, in this season. Perhaps in this order! Don’t let the size of the first one dissuade you! He’s a great story teller, and you won’t be able to put it down. The second two are very short, easy to read, and weighty; the way men like them. All three are books men would like, because of the message.

What is God saying through these books and His other methods of speaking? Things about sacrifice, courage, serving, discipleship, the next generation, freedom, persecution, faithfulness, knowing God, joy, and more. Read and listen. Enjoy what God by His Spirit will make known to you. His words are truth and they are life. Amen.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  John 14:6

Cuba for Christ…Who Knew?

Taxis in Havana

Taxis in Havana

I just returned from a week long mission trip to Cuba sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with Rick Bonfim Ministries in support of the Methodist Church of Cuba. We were forty people of all walks and ages – pastors, airline pilots, business people, working and retired, and a special group of 15 University of Georgia students who are part of the UGA Wesley Fellowship Foundation. We conducted seminars at a conference of 840 Cuban missionaries, and split into smaller teams visiting 19 churches around and between Santa Clara and Havana, worshipping and praying for the church members. Cuba is an 1100 km island with 11 million people. God is alive and well in Cuba, where we met missionaries from all over the island; happy, joyful, expectant people thrilled to receive us. We came to be a blessing, but we were the ones blessed, hopefully carrying the fire back to the US.  [As reported by Art Druckenmiller]

My Friend Art

My Friend Art

 

I quoted Art, and new and dear friend made on this trip, because I can’t say it better than he did. I’m grateful for his summary, and to know him. In fact I’d have to say I met 39 new and dear friends on this trip. It would seem that we each were invited personally by the Holy Spirit. There was no strife, only camaraderie and fellowship in service to the King. It started out that way, and only got better till we left the island for home.

 

Mission Cuba 2014 - 0188The Methodist Bishop of Cuba addressed our group one morning and excitedly told us they have 400 churches, but 1000 new church plants! This fact was underscored by our mission that Art described above. 840 missionaries (We might call them church planters.) had traveled from all over the island, some for 11 hours or more and were camping at a large church campground with a big auditorium. There our teachers taught  them the Word in four or five groups each morning, with translators, followed by ministry times where we prayed for them without translators as they hurriedly lined up expectantly for the prayer.

 

Missionaries at Camp Canaan

Missionaries at Camp Canaan

By the tens and hundreds they came forward. Prayer times were sometimes as long as the teaching times it seemed. It was humbling to minister to people who were more familiar perhaps and intimate with the Holy Spirit than many of us were. But everyone of us did minister, in obedience and faith, faith that God would hear and act on our prayers. There were many signs He did, indeed. 🙂

 

Group Ministry Time

Group Ministry Time

During the first four days, I’d say we went to bed at midnight and were up at six, eating breakfast at a hotel in Santa Clara where we stayed, and spending the rest of the day at the camp, except for a 2-3 hour much needed, after-noon break at the hotel, followed by getting back on the vans and heading to 19 different local churches in the evenings.

 

Toward the end of our time we returned to Havana, and ministered one night in churches there. In Havana the pace slowed as we had Bible studies, and worship times ourselves, for personal spiritual renewal and times with the Lord.

 

On Walking Tour Havana

On Walking Tour Havana

We spent one afternoon as tourists taking a walking tour of Havana, and ended up going to a beach about twenty minutes away for relaxation and enjoying the island.

 

The Cuban people were warm and friendly. We fell in love with their warmth, humility, and charm. The family of God is the family of God wherever you find them. They were a treasure to us, and hopefully we were a refreshment to them.

 

A Little Cuban Beach Time

A Little Cuban Beach Time

I feel blessed of the Lord to have made the trip and to know them, along with our team;   both of which I will treasure for eternity.

 

My look was limited to the Methodist Church on the island, but this move of God is being poured out in many of the churches, as reported in “Operation World,” 7th Edition 2010, showing about 15% of the population “Evangelicals” or “Charismatics,” with a growth rate of 4% annually.

 

Colorful Adventure!

Colorful Adventure!

The Cuban Church’s motto I’m told is, “Cuba for Christ in Ten Years!” May it be so. Pray for the church in Cuba and go if you get the chance! Following the Lord is a continual adventure!

[Photos!]

Camp Hope 2013

Much planning, much work, much preparation, much prayer and it all came together. Camp Hope 2013, the first Camp Hope is now history, leaving big smiles on faces and in hearts, along with a sense of awe at what God has done.SONY DSC

Who? Forty-one kids, and about thirty volunteer camp staff.

What? A summer camp for underprivileged, at risk kids.

When? July 24-July 27, 2013

Where? Shoal Creek Church Camp, New Blaine, Arkansas

Those are the facts, but what happened there is hard to describe. I should be able to describe it. I was there 3 of the 4 days before honoring another previously scheduled commitment. My main assigned job was camp photographer, so I roamed everywhere taking photos, and observing all the action as different cabins or groups of boys and girls went from activity to activity, enjoying, learning, interacting with each other and the staff. I also baited some hooks, toted some stuff to and around camp, helped with canoeing activities, told some Bible stories, and picked up small amounts of liter here and there. I ate with the campers, slept in a cabin, and worshiped with them at various times. I gave and received many smiles and hugs throughout each action filled but strangely peaceful day, as did the other staff and leaders. I feel like my contribution and part was small compared to the main leaders and volunteers, but important. I’m starting to see that everyone’s gift is important, as is every act of service or act of kindness, especially if it’s freely given from the heart.

SONY DSCBut the fact is I find it hard, if not impossible, to describe what happened here. And that’s what I’m trying to do! I don’t know how to wrap my mind or arms around it? I think the other volunteers would say the same thing? A grin comes to my lips and my heart when I think about it, but not words?

There was plenty of hard work, planning, and action by the three main leaders, Steve, Wendy, and Sue, along with a gifted and giving group of helpers–worship leaders, cooks, counselors, medics, art and music teachers, activity leaders, etc.; but we all have a sense of awe about the whole experience and how it turned out. It’s a sense that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

SONY DSCWe all know, I suppose, that the awe factor was the presence of God at the camp. He’s very good, very big, and moving in all areas of our human experience. When He comes it’s beautiful, peaceful, loving, and joyful to experience, but hard to describe.

Thank you Father, for loving these kids, and adults, and for your Presence at Camp Hope 2013. Amen. אמן A faithful Father and a faithful King you are. In ways seen and unseen, You changed us for good.SONY DSC

 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:16)

“And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” (Exodus 33:19)

 

 

Camp Hope 2013 from Dwayne Bell on Vimeo.