If you have been tuning in for the latest on the camp life of this summer, you may have caught wind of the the fact that there are a few needs here around the camp grounds. Well, in talking with other camp directors in March of this year at the Camp Directors Conference, we found that each camp has issues of it’s own. Some similar.
The needs are great–the focus of the lens of our heart view needs adjusting.
Since it’s been such a long time since I actually “worked” in camp during camp–many things have changed. I wanted to talk to you about all the tremendous needs here–new or renovated kitchen, updated landscaping, nature walk/hiking trail, field activities sprucing up, new swimming pool, maybe even a “running/walking track” with a water feature in the center with a few benches placed strategically to tie a loose shoe string along the way,…. BUT I feel more inclined to share something else.
The kids that run and play, sweat, sing and pray on these grounds NEED attention. They need prayer. They need their names called by someone when they leave here…that’s what these counselors do. They learn quickly to love these little kids and their hearts are prompted to call their names in prayer- long after they have parted ways. These kids need prayer warriors. Helping them to become tomorrow’s prayer warriors.
When I look at these kids as they come through the food line, I can’t help but wonder where they come from. What will they return to?
Will it be to loving arms that will hug and kiss them and ask them to share ALL about their camp experience?
Will it be to knees that will bend in prayer for them each night helping to instill the prayer practices they have learned while at camp?
Or will it be to long days of loneliness and “leave me alone, I’m too tired to listen” snatches of conversation?
I read a book last weekend, “Heaven is For REAL” by Todd Burpo, and in the pages of that little book, I was reminded JUST how much Jesus loves children. Of all ages.
In Matthew 18:1-6 Jesus tells us clearly just how IMPORTANT–and how much HE values the children.
Let me ask you this: Are you investing in to the lives of children in your church? In your community? What about those in your very own home? Do you listen when they talk?
Let me share something I learned…they are going to talk…and if you won’t listen to them, I promise you the enemy of their souls is already lining up someone to “listen” and pretend to care about them. I believe with all my heart we will be held accountable as parents for what we instill in our children and how we “care” for their heart needs as well as their body/health needs. AND for the seeds we sow or don’t sow.
What’s it all for? Why have summer camp year after year? Why put forth all the effort?
To make a difference in the lives of children. So they can know Christ–so they can be set free from sin–yes, even at the early age of 7 they already know right from wrong. They know the truth from a lie. They are a field ready for the planting of seeds of faith–so that in turn a great harvest will grow! They need to know now how much God loves them–HE loved them enough to send His only Son to die a cruel death to pay the penalty for their sins. So that we could walk in freedom.
Kids learn disappointment at an early age. They learn that just because someone says they will do something–doesn’t mean they will actually do it. They need to learn that when God says something–it is TRUTH. They will need EVERY bit of God’s word that can be poured into them for the coming days/weeks/months and years until Christ Jesus comes again. They need to learn how to pray–how to do battle NOW. Not wait until they are 18 years old and in the fight of their lives! They need it now!
After spending time with our own grandsons, and hearing some disappointments that they have felt about certain issues in their lives, I realize more than ever before–kids are facing battles we NEVER faced–and at an alarmingly early age!
Friend, I ask a simple request. Pray for these kids. Pray for their souls, their parents, their home lives, their safety and wisdom to make the right decisions. It’s not about us…or the long hours the counselors spend…or the heat of the kitchen, or lack of space—it’s about the true heart of the matter–it’s about what JESUS taught…it’s about the kids. The Children.
THEY are the future of the church. Are we satisfied with the investments that we’ve made into their lives?
Remember–what we sow today–we will reap tomorrow. Sow BIG today. God will send the rain as it is needed—plant now for a big harvest in their lives tomorrow!
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