Saturday, March 12, 2011

Christian Camping Rocks


Tim’s parents were going through a divorce.  A bitter one, The kind that forced Tim out of the house. Living with his aunt and uncle was a hard adjustment for this eleven-year-old lad. When Auntie suggested he spend a week at the Sky Lodge Junior Camp, he grew sullen. “Yet another stupid ploy to get the kid no one wanted out of the house,” he thought silently.  He didn’t know anyone.  He didn’t like camping.  Well, actually he had never been camping so he just thought he wouldn’t like it. 

Not long after his Free Methodist aunt drug him to the place of banishment (Sky Lodge Camp) he discovered carpet ball, and few other kids who didn’t seem to be “with” anyone.  They became friends quickly and enjoyed some of the informal games around the camp.  Horse back riding, swimming, archery, capture the flag – camp – Tim discovered, was actually kind of fun.  And friends were made fairly easily.

Frank, the camp counselor assigned to him, didn’t know what Tim was going through, but he could tell there were problems. Frank made intentional efforts to draw Tim into the evening Bible studies and prayer time. One of the lessons, loosely based on forest birds, shared around a campfire, spoke of God’s love for even the sparrow.  Tim started bawling.  He felt God’s love pour into his heart, a lost little sparrow, and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his savior – and his friend. 

It is impossible to count the number of young lives (and old!) that have been given new life at Sky Lodge and Heartland Christian Camps.  The NCC does not support Christian Camping just to have acreage in the woods and fun place to shoot arrows or ski.  Christian camping provides a unique opportunity to change lives in one of the rare points of time that facilitates total attention around the holistic good news of the gospel. 

Many of the kids your church will sponsor to go to camp may, like Tim, have a preconceived notion that camping is dull, and that they will not know anyone.  But these same kids will discover, along with Tim, that the experience is rich, fun, friendly, and life changing.

How are you supporting Christian Camping?  Some churches place Sky Lodge or Heartland Camp on their regular prayer list and in their annual budgets.  Many churches take advantage of the life changing opportunity to bring friends, family and even chance encounters to places where they WILL have fun and where the best relationship that takes flight is between a heart and God who loves that heart!  Many people personally partner together financially with Sky Lodge and Heartland to support these ministries

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