Today I’m making preparations to attend and assist at a summer camp for children. For the last year and a half or more, three volunteer adult leaders and several volunteer helpers have been working with adults and youth from an apartment complex in our city. They’ve made relationships, gaining the trust and respect of the people there, young and old alike. The happy result is that our church with volunteers from other churches is hosting a summer camp for kids, many of whom might never have a summer camp experience — it’s a place to get away from their surroundings in a safe, loving place and just be kids! And yes, the love of Christ will be shared through lives, service, messages, and music.
The model for this camp is Matthew 18, a camp for foster kids which just completed it’s 9th year, beginning on Father’s Day each year and running for the following week, staffed by some of these same leaders and volunteers. Look here for their website, or here for photos of the 2013 camp completed a few weeks ago.
I will also add, that this is a completely different group of kids and camp, mostly from one apartment complex, and mostly elementary age. The leaders were hoping for maybe twenty children, and ended up with more than forty signed up!
Perhaps this is due to the work of the leaders, or the prayers of people with vision, or the First Sunday event held a couple weeks ago? An event organized to feed them, let them fish, swim, and have a good time, loving on them. Look here for photos of that happy event.
I know from the Bible that God’s heart is for children, especially the fatherless, or those having a tough time. These two camps testify to that. God is at work through these leaders and servants.
Truly in our day the “fields are white unto harvest.” Jesus said that. He also said the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. You would think the next thing from His mouth might be, “get busy and get to work out there.” But it isn’t, He says instead, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest.” “That He would send workers into the harvest.” So that instruction from the Master would be the first and most important step. Please Pray.
But then if we catch a glimpse of the Lord in prayer, or of His heart, we might like Isaiah say, “Here am I LORD, send me.”
Let’s start looking for small ways to plug in, and serve.
Shalom in Him,
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10, NIV)
“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14, NIV)
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27, NIV)
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:2–5, NIV)