Thursday, 27 August 2015

About Family

     Heading out to Green Bay I thought I new some stuff about camp ministry. For almost 10 years now my summers have been filled with campfires, chapels, wide games and skills. I thought I had it down. I was completely unprepared for the whole other aspect to camp I was about to experience.

       I always secretly had a hard time with closing days of camp. In my mind it was test time; time to be graded on how well you did with someone kids during the week, even though the parents weren't there to see any of it. Participating in five weeks of family camp changed this for me and I am so so thankful for it. It is amazing to watch kids grow during the week and the Lord uses kids camps in incredible ways, but there is something truly amazing about watching a family experience camp together. I didn't get it until I was in it, watching a dad carry his daughter as she screams with joy during a game, seeing a family do crazy actions to a ridiculous campfire song together, and seeing some parents rest for the first time all year as they watch others invest in their kids. One parent said to me "this must be what heaven looks like" as she spoke of how we were all serving and taking care of one another. It was blessings all around as the families would invest in our staff as well. It was so good, especially for our younger staff to see the impact they could make in the life of a family and to be invited into and loved by multiple families during the past two months. 

       Our challenge to our staff was to make "normal" life look like this. You can impact lives, even at 15, by serving families wherever you are. This summer challenged me to believe I had something to offer families. I was challenged to move through fear and serve, knowing that there is so much potential for community on the other side. 

Saturday, 30 May 2015


I received extremely similar reactions from people when I told them I was going to be working in Kelowna for the summer. "It is so beautiful there!" "It's God's country!' and so on. The most beautiful thing I have experienced here, however, is not the mountains or the weather, but an incredible community that has blessed me beyond words. There are six of us on the leadership team at Green Bay, and from my first day I knew the group was special. Many of you know Sid and Jenn Koop and have experienced first hand their hospitality, but watching God move through them here has not only been a blessing but an inspiration and culture creator for our summer. Last night multiple families from around the city were invited to come together for a game of kick the can at the camp. The rain soon turned those plans into an impromptu game of dodge ball in the gym and I was almost in tears watching families play together. As we sat around the fire and as I returned to the Koop house the next day to find a dozen kids still hanging out in their home, my heart leaped. I realized, this is community and this was going to be my entire summer. Green Bay is different in the way that they provide 6 different family camps, and it wasn't until last night that I fully understood why. Games build relationships, and relationships build stronger families. Creating an environment for families to play together is something that is so needed in our busy culture. The motivation to put down the i-whatever and build lifelong memories. Us staff have all come with different camp backgrounds and ideas, but with one purpose; to see God change lives. I truly believe He is going to do that this summer through this camp. Please pray for us and all those running various camps this summer. I know I would not be the same person without the experiences I had there.