The week pass in a slow motion of time, their houses are empty, deafening silence exist.
A different timeline in the manor is happening. It is a week full-packed of activities – crafts, group works, bible studies, dance, swimming, picnic and bonfire and talent night. A week of fellowship and worship. And, this is for kids. It is our kids camp!
They came with excitement, their smile is bigger than their faces, glad to join old friends and meet new ones. See the bond exist and increase as the days go by. They held onto each other and onto their youth leaders who are like big brothers and big sisters, who guide them through all the activities in the camp.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV
This is a journey to meet and know God, who loves the little ones. He delights with every child who listens to bible stories told, every praise song sang and every prayer uttered. Each passing day is a growing relationship with the Father.
In their homesickness dwells the holy presence of the most high God, who satisfies the child’s longings for a father and mother. Their blessed tears flow like a river to wash away fears and refresh even the youngest soul in worship.
In that distant place is a familiar, gentle face of a Father who listens to their prayers and speaks through his powerful Word read out aloud or memorized in silence. Each spoken word is a gentle blessing which reveals an unwavering promise of the Faithful to the little hearts who believe that it is not magic that makes things happen but faith.
When David struck Goliath with a sling and with a stone, he did it by faith and killed the giant Philistine. 1 Samuel 17
When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, he was not harmed because he had faith in God. Daniel ch 6.
In their youth, David and Daniel became champions for God. Our children, too, are little champions of God.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ESV
This is the mission to equip kids to live a healthy, happy, spirit-filled life ready to walk in the direction where God leads them to. There is value, so rich in training no parent can ignore. Reward awaits the faithful.
In the kitchen, our morning prayers remind us of the abundance of grace that fill our camp place. It seeks to bless every one that serves – the hands that prepare and serve at every meal or teach every dance, the tongues that give instruction and encouragement, the ears that listen to every child’s needs and requests and eyes that see that every child is happy and content. Of this, the heart of our kitchen lies, the calm before the storm at mealtimes, where dining is the only refuge for hungry little tums.
The chatting is endless, everyone is making friends, a connection for this moment or til life’s end. Their chores divided, little hands learn and show responsible sense. Thus, a visit by Irish boxer Katie Taylor who gently hung a gold medal around their neck is their surprise reward.
The field downhill came alive with roaring laughter, messy games of creamy suds and cheese curls on their faces, slippery soccer and catch-a-water balloon, it was so much fun! She lost her eyeglasses there. Her vision impaired, didn’t mind the blur and haze, still saw the light created by the bonfire bright. Inspiring messages are heard as told by the senior campers, their best memories recounted.
It’s the end at last! The camp is over. Everyone is excited to see their moms and dads. Their rooms are tidied for one last time. All bags are packed- ready to go, waiting outside the manor door.
In the sanctuary, one more last church service is heard. They broke bread and gave thanks to our God, the Father, our camp master and overseer, for the fellowship and start of a growing relationship with him as we all hope, for the seeds are now planted. The torch lit up, passed onto one another, symbolize a glowing faith to our God, who graced their hearts with the love of an eternal father standing in the midst of their fellowship and worship.
One by one, they came out, familiar faces waiting with blessed smiles and warm embrace soothe the wistfulness like a balm. One last look at the manor conveys a message that they will be back again next year. There will be new campers and new leaders. And they will make another experience they will never forget.