One of the highlights of my summer was getting to help out at Camp Come Alive at Eureka Gardens. As I talked about in a previous entry Eureka Gardens is one of the high crime, at risk neighborhoods here in Jacksonville. Camp Come Alive had around twenty five awesome campers ranging from five year olds to early teenagers.
One of the things that stuck out to me was something one of the boys said to me on the first week. I would come for an hour or two in the mornings during Bible time and then leave to go into work. Well, one of the boys asked me where I had left to go the day before. I told him that I had to go to my job.
His response was, “No, this is your job!” I kind of chuckled at him, but his words reminded me of something Jesus once said. In Luke 2, when Mary and Joseph couldn’t find Jesus, and they finally found Him in the temple, Jesus’ response was don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business? This caught Mary by suprise, and probably others around too! After all Joseph was a carpenter, not a theologian! But of course Jesus knew that Joseph was just his step father, and Jesus had been sent by God the Father for a specific job. Later Jesus said that He had come to seek and to save that which is lost.
The words of Jesus seemed to ring from this little guy’s question. It reminded me that while I have many responsibilities it is my job to be sharing Jesus with others. I am thankful for the chance to hang out with the kids from Eureka this summer, and thankful for all the other people who spent time this summer sharing Jesus with them.
The campers were all listening intently as Miss Rachel was going over the guidelines for a fun time at camp. Right in the middle of it all one little girl raised her hand, and asked Miss Rachel this off topic question, “How Do Flowers Grow?” I am still not really sure why she asked this question, perhaps it was from looking at the apple seeds from the apple core in her napkin left over from breakfast. Maybe it was just another random question from the innocent mind of a child. However, I believe that this summer, we are going to see how flowers grow!
The camp that I am at is a day camp at Eureka Gardens. Eureka Gardens is a Jacksonville neighborhood best known for its drugs and violence. On Sunday, the day before the camp began, there was another murder in this neighborhood. While many people see this place as a complete disgrace, God is doing a great work there. This work began long before the start of camp though.
A couple of years ago, a handful of people from Trinity including Miss Rachel got a burden for these children here at Eureka Gardens. Knowing that these kids needed some Godly guidance they began a mentoring program. Many of the people at the church spend each weekend mentoring these children and help them to know the love of the Heavenly Father.
Last summer, Eureka Gardens gave Trinity a chance to run a day camp in their community center. The name of the camp is Camp Come Alive. The goal is to see these kids grow in the abundant life that only Christ can offer.
I have been given the opportunity to help teach some of the morning Bible lessons at the camp. In addition to teaching, I am looking forward to spending time with these children and seeing how God is gonna grow them in His love and grace.
Please join me in praying for this camp and for these kids, that they might see the true love of the Heavenly Father. To learn more about Camp Come Alive visit their website at CampComeAlive.com.