Go to Summer Camps & Mission Trips!
“Impress God’s great love, guidance, and commandments on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk (drive) along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut.6:7
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20
I encourage all you parents to send your school age and above children to overnight faith and value-filled Christian summer camps. I recommend starting young (often less complaining at first!), but it is never too late. Their experiences at camp can instill in them such faith and love and values that they will remember and grow from it the rest of their lives (many of our friends in our Life Group with church recall their camp experiences as the closest they have ever felt God).
I just dropped Annika off at camp today, and she is filled with such excitement! She has gone to a week-long overnight camp since age 9, and most of the time not knowing anyone until she gets there. She has found great continuing friends at camp, really grown in her faith and confidence, and has had great fun! At camp 2 years ago she was so encouraged by the missionary at camp, that she came home knowing she could make a difference for Jesus going even at her age on a mission trip. That led to us six months later going on our first mission trip to Haiti, and she wants to go every year now – such a forever eye opening, heart and faith growing experience fostered at summer camp!
Two very good Christian camps near Indy that my children (Annika starting at age 9, and Brendan starting at age 15) have enjoyed and really learned from are Camp Allendale (Trafalgar, IN) and Rainbow Christian Camp (Converse, IN).
I also encourage all of you AND your children to step out in your faith and following Jesus to go on a mission trip as soon as you can. Encouraged by Annika and the Radical Challenge (from the book by Platt, “Radical”), last year Annika, Bruce, and I went to Haiti February 2011 with a mission group from our church, Traders Point Christian Church. We also sent my college aged Christina and Nathan with our college aged ministry Ignite mission group trip to Nicaragua in May 2011. We all were forever changed for tremendous good by our trips (and Nathan decided last August to get re-baptized by submersion). We were all so empowered to be Jesus’ hands and feet – spreading His awesome love, hope, and joy…
We all want to give our time and passion to help and follow Jesus by going back each year. And my Christina and Nathan just returned from their second mission trip to Nicaragua, which they arranged and paid for themselves.
Please look for and decide upon mission opportunities in your church, or other churches like ours. It is great to go abroad sometime if you can, but there are many mission opportunities right here in our city on a continuing basis. We must keep working to let His Spirit inside us do mission work and help others in our daily lives…
Hugs and love and prayers, and praise to Him for His awesome love and teaching,