Today was a great day. There’s really no other way to put it. But it was also a day full of emotions. It was our last day of camp, but a different day of camp. We started our final camp by taking a journey up to Chapel Hill at Ruby Ranch. Chapel Hill has a special place in my heart as one of our previous teams initially cleared the land on that hill. We started to see the vision that day, but really had no idea what the hill would become. It is now an open air chapel with a giant cross and bench seating.
We walked up together and talked about camp, but more importantly I had an opportunity to share the Gospel. There is no greater joy in my life (and with our team) than being able to present the Gospel to the kids that participated in our camp. We finished our time with prayer – giving the kids the opportunity to respond to the Gospel message and trust Christ as their Savior. We also prayed over their lives and futures.
Then we travelled back down the hill to participate in our competitions. From the egg relay, to the crazy bat relay to other competitions, our teams had a great time playing against each other. But then it was time for the waterslide, which is a camp favorite for the kids (and our team as well).
The afternoon was a special time for us that we started last year. We invited the community out for a community event at Ruby Ranch. All the kids invited their families and we invited both of the local pastors out to join us. It was an awesome sight to see families walking in to the Ranch to get to see with their eyes the joy on their kids faces as they enjoyed their last day of camp. It was also so cool to see and catch up with kids that have “grown up” but previously participated in our camps through the last few years. We asked a local cook to prepare a meal and we fed our “five-thousand”. God provided more than enough to go around.
Our campers then picked up all their arts and craft projects and the backpacks that we brought down – loaded with school supplies. And thanks to all the flip flops we collected from the Craft Hope Ministry, we were able to provide everyone with a pair of flip flops to take home. Pastor David shared a word with everyone and it is our hope that he will be able to capitalize on our camp and the outreach event to see kids and their families get connected to the local church.
We are continually seeing God at work all around us. Our team is starting to notice the smaller things where He is at work orchestrating and working all things for His glory. We have been invited to participate in this process and we are grateful. To see, speak and share the Gospel is why we came. And knowing that greater purpose exists and prevails allowed us to fully give our hearts and invest relationally with the kids at camp. It was tough to say “see you later”, but we are grateful that we never have to say “goodbye”!