June 2, 2012
I was driving kids home when I asked them what they were looking forward to this summer. Silence ensued. I asked “Are you ready to be done with school?” A resounding “Yes!” erupted from the group. “So what are you going to do this summer?” Some said play in the yard, some said go to the park, and others said summer school, nothing especially imaginative or fun.
Summer can be a time of wasted opportunity for many youth here. Their greatest excitement is over the absence of school, but many attend summer school for six weeks anyway. There are many opportunities through the park and rec system and other agencies for children to be positively and constructively engaged during the summer, but these programs fill up fast and require an attentive adult to enroll them. And any camping opportunity costs money which families just don’t have. Many of our kids and families miss out.
Our kids need camp, but it can be very hard to get them there. Some families just need a little extra help. I remember one of our moms; when she was ten, I had to go to her house the morning of camp, wake her up, get her packed and bring her to the bus, so she could attend the most special event of her summer. She became a Christian at one of these camps. Today, when we have a camp one of her children is attending she has them ready and prepared to go!
Our prayer for our kids this summer is that they can have fun, be safe, and grow spiritually, emotionally and socially. We want them to have fun doing something besides staying in the yard and playing all day because the neighborhood in which they live is too dangerous for them to wander. We want them to experience something besides the ennui of playing video games in a darkened room for hours on end. We want them to be able, when school begins in the fall, to say something besides “Nothing”, when asked what they did this summer.
We engage our youth and work with their parents to get them involved in sports like basketball and track, participate in service projects like helping a neighbor work in their yard or package meals at Feed My Starving Children, go swimming, go to the movies, or have a barbecue with friends. We have three different camping experiences that we offer kids and families in which they leave their stressed and often violent neighborhoods and spend some time in a new place, doing new things, out in the country, playing and having fun and learning more about Jesus.
Summer is a critical part of this ministry. Our goal is to keep our youth positively engaged and provide opportunities for evangelism and discipleship… but we need help. All the experiences we offer are at no cost to our families but they do cost money. We offer them in Jesus’s name out of the resources God provides… and we know He will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4.20). We invite you to participate in this ministry this summer by providing a gift which will help a child have a summer they will remember. $300 will pay for one of our young people to go to camp, but any amount is helpful. Thanks ya’ll!
Check out our new website at christschildrenministries.org! It has a link to our new Facebook page and it also has on option for making tax deductible contributions online.