2012 has been a fruitful year for Camp Sonshine. At the beginning of the year, we were praying for increase in different areas of our ministry. We desire for more of God’s power to manifest in us and through us, more children will get to experience the real love of God, more moms( and dads) will be set free from the lies of the enemy and more young people will be on fire for Jesus. We also prayed for financial breakthrough for the Center as our needs also increased. We also challenged ourselves to come up higher in our devotion and walk with the Lord because we know that the battle we face every day is not against flesh and blood but against the forces of evil as we see the families that we serve being lied on by the enemy. The only way we know how to fight this is through prayer and seeking God. And that’s what we did.
We saw the hand of God move in the lives of the families that we serve. Most of our young people especially the ones that we train for leadership are stepping up to the plate and are now leading in the kids’ ministry with very minimal supervision from the staff. We also have moms leading the devotional in the kitchen and consistently attending church. We were able to conduct water baptism for some of our moms and youth who were ready to make a life changing decision in following Christ. Our kids attendance have also increased by about 25% from 2011(we now have an average of 200 kids in attendance during Kidz Club). We started bringing in children from our relocation site in San Isidro to the Center twice a month to attend Kidz club and you can see a big change in their character and how they relate to God. We didn’t lack anything in our finances and we survived the year with some savings left in our bank account!
We all find joy in serving an awesome God. We believe that He’s going to do more through us and we are excited to step into 2013 knowing that our God is able to do anything more than what we can imagine.
Sonshine Center Staff
As you hear the music of the handbells you can’t help but think that Christmas is almost here. Camp Sonshine Center was so honored to be chosen as the beneficiary of a musical concert by the CPU Handbell Choir (Central Philippine University Handbell Choir) which is considered as the first in the Philippines. The Handbell Choir is the only 5-octave handbell choir in the country. The group was organized by an American Baptist missionary named Elizabeth Taylor way back in the 1970’s. The new director, Dr. Mai Lyn Bermejo-Jacar wanted to do a benefit concert for Sonshine Center as part of their annual ministry outreach in which all proceeds will be donated to the programs of the Center. This is the 2nd year that they have done such concert for Camp Sonshine and we are truly blessed not just by their wonderful music but also by the financial aid brought about by the concert. The families that we are reaching were also present during the concert and it was so nice to hear them sing along to some of the familiar music performed by the choir.
God has been opening doors for us so we can raise more funds locally. We are thankful for this kind of partnership so we can continue with what we do here at Camp Sonshine and further His kingdom.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to one and all!
We are now accepting donations for our December events. You can donate reusable clothes, toys, shoes and other household items for our shopping bazaar. Or you can also donate cash that will go towards Christmas parties for our children, youth and parents as well as grocery bags and other door prizes. For every $10 you give, you can feed a child for 1 week or sponsor a family dinner on Christmas day. This has been the most awaited event of the year and you can become a part of it by sending your donation to Go to Nations, PO Box 10305, Jacksonville FL 32247. Make your check payable to Go To Nations, Memo: 907SON. Your gift will make our Christmas extra special this year.
We have always mentioned her in our testimony of how God changes lives but I have never really done a story about her. So I decided to interview her and get the real story of her life. “Loida” as she is fondly called, started relating her story when she became involved in one of the biggest problems of the city, prostitution. She became a widow at 27 and was left with 2 children. With no known skill, her only way of survival to feed her children was dancing in the night clubs. She got hooked on drugs and alcohol and later got involved in prostitution. She had 4 children after that and aborted 3 others. As she got older, she transitioned from being a prostitute to a pimp. She was doing this when she first came to Camp Sonshine. One of her children was a beneficiary of our scholarship program. As a parent of a scholar, part of their commitment was to attend the Moms club and church night. I used to remember her sitting in the back room, with arms crossed and unmoved by the preaching of the gospel. Her countenance seemed dark maybe because of the burden she was carrying. Her life started to change when she was asked to witness a crime. Fearing that the criminals would go after her or her children, she stopped in her job and found herself coming to the Center more often. The word of God started to take root in her life. She has found hope in Jesus and received His love and forgiveness. Her desire for drugs and alcohol stopped. Loida made a complete turnaround of her life and her children get to experience the “new mom” as she takes care of them daily, giving them love which they have never experienced from her before. She further testified that her life is now at peace; God performs miracles as He provides for their daily needs and her prayers are being answered. The old Loida is gone; she is now a new creation in God. Loida is thankful that God has captured her heart.
Loida with her daughter Nene
The first camp for this summer is done and we have 8 more to go! Camp Sonshine just finished 2 ½ days of camp in the town of Sara, about 60 miles north of Iloilo City. It was the first time that we have been invited to conduct a children’s camp in this place and we were assured that it’s not going to be the last but just a start of our partnership in reaching the children of Western Visayas. We saw about 131 kids, most of them are already involved in children’s church. But the children were fascinated by the skits, especially the characters of Captain Jack and Suzy, really enjoyed every Bible lessons and participated in all games. Even the local counselors and church pastors were all amazed by their experience and they can’t wait to apply what they learned about children’s ministry in their church. Despite of the heat (temperature is above 90 F most of the time), we are glad to be a part of God’s mission in bringing the love of Jesus into the hearts of these children and we are all excited to go to our next camp. Please pray for our health, safety in our travels and God’s wisdom and anointing as we minister to His children
One of the things we wanted to see happening at the Center is a livelihood project that will increase our finances and at the same time empower the parents to earn extra income. Our prayers have been recently answered by faithful partners from Indiana. Every 2 years, a team from Kokomo Indiana comes to minister to Sonshine Center and other churches in Iloilo. A team of seven people headed by Ed and Nilda Penaflor came last January to bless our parents with grocery bags and our children with a Happy Meal. They also donated three brand new trisikad (a bicycle with side car) to rent out to our faithful members. Trisikad is a form of transportation; it can sit 2 passengers and the driver pedals the bicycle to take people to places. The member can rent from the Center each trisikad for less than a dollar a day and if he works hard, he can take home as much as $5 which is enough to feed the family for a day.
Another team from Indiana headed by Bob and Kathy Muller also came last month to build a kitchen in the Hope Center at Calajunan (dump site). The team also taught some of our moms to create products out of plastic bags. They provided us with materials and taught the moms how to make bags, hats, mats etc. out of these recycled plastic bags. We see a great potential in this project because it is easy to make and is cost efficient plus the moms are interested in doing it.
As we empower these parents to earn and provide for their family, it will help improve their life and the future of their children.
“…If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10
It felt like Christmas to 167 kids of Sonshine Center when they got adopted by a private school in the city, Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo, as the beneficiary of their gift giving during their Kids Alive activity. The school wanted to instill in their students the message of sharing and giving especially to the less fortunate. The children of Solomon and Sonshine corresponded through letters prior to the gift giving, and you can feel their excitement as they write and receive letters. The day of the event, our kids were transported to Solomon School where a program was prepared for them. What was more special was that Sonshine Center kids got to present a special number during the program. The children met their Solomonian “sponsor” personally during the gift giving. They could hardly contain their joy as each of them go through their gift bag filled with toys, clothes and food items. Some parents of the Solomonians could not keep themselves from shedding tears as our children displayed their excitement and appreciation for the gifts received.
It was a memorable night for our children and an unforgettable experience for the Solomonians.
Camp Sonshine has been given a platform to minister to children in private schools. We conducted a mini day camp in three schools bringing them the love of Jesus. Even though most of these children are well provided financially, they are hungry for attention and love, being that most parents work and hardly have time for them; Or one parent is working abroad to support the family. Camp Sonshine was able to communicate to these children the love of Jesus and how Jesus can really make a difference in their life. In one particular school, some of the children ask for prayers for peace at home because the parents are always fighting, others desire for a genuine encounter with Jesus while others just want to be held and hugged.
Our experience in ministering to these children only shows that Jesus is the only one that can satisfy us. He is our all in all!
She was just released from the hospital a few days ago because of Pneumonia. She’s petite but she looked even more skinny and fragile the moment I saw her. Other than Pneumonia, she has been suffering from a benign lymphoma for 28 years now. She has a big tumor hanging on her neck (as big as a medium size grapefruit). She seldom comes to the Center to join the Mom’s Club because going up and down the stairs leaves her out of breath. But that Friday night she wanted to come and personally thank Sonshine Center for the small amount of money we extended her during her hospitalization, despite of her feeling so tired and sick.
The message that night was about the power of Jesus name, that there is healing if we call on the name of Jesus. “Ask and you shall receive…” (Luke 11:9) was what she had in mind when the Pastor asked if someone needs prayer for healing. She stood up from her seat and went up front to be prayed for. She didn’t feel someone touching her but she knew she was being prayed for, when she felt a sudden rush of electricity flowing from her head down to her feet. Instantly she felt strong in her legs, the pain and feeling of fatigue left her and she felt so alive in her spirit. She knew that God really touched and healed her that moment. She gave her testimony before the Friday Night church dismissed because she wanted to give glory to God.
She believed that the miracle she has experienced during the church night is just the beginning of God’s healing in her life. She believes that the tumor on her neck will be completely gone. And we say Amen to that because there is nothing that our mighty God can’t do.
This is the story of Jesusa (she is named after Jesus), born on December 25, 1955.
You can hear the children laughing in the hallway, the smell of yummy food is in the air, and Moms are sitting by the playground chatting while waiting for their kids to finish in class. These are signs that summer vacation is over, school has began. Sonshine Learning Center has opened its doors to 9 new scholars this school year. Most of these scholars have only one parent working, either as a manual laborer or driving a trisikad (bicycle with side car transporting people).
One mom in particular is a single parent with 2 young children. She doesn’t have a job and depends on her family for support. And this is not an isolated case. A lot of single parent here in the Philippines are dependent on their parents for food and shelter.
The scholarship program of the Center is a great blessing to these new scholars. Most parents said that the acceptance of their children to the program is a great benefit to them. Aside from their minimal financial counterpart, the scholars also get free school supplies, uniforms and school shoes.
Some of these moms of the new scholars have been attending our Friday night church even before their children got accepted into the scholarship program. One mom testified that since she has been attending the church night, she felt that her burdens have been lifted, she felt lighter in her spirit and she experienced physical healing as well.
These parents have dreams for their children to finish college and become successful in their chosen field, the very thing that most of them weren’t able to do. Now, these dreams are possible with your partnership and your prayer.
I had the opportunity to meet “Inday” and “Chona” when we held camp in San Isidro, an outreach site of Camp Sonshine. They really caught my attention because aside from their shabby clothes, they were not wearing any footwear. They looked so shy and timid as they watch the other kids joining the camp fro m the sideline. I found out that they belong to one of the poorest family in the community. Their mom left them to their dad, together with their 7 other siblings (yes there’s 9 of them children). Their dad is not earning enough to support them that sometimes; they are not able to eat 3 meals a day.
My spirit was crushed after hearing their story. So I was excited when they were able to join camp. I saw how their spirits were lifted up as they sing songs, enjoy the games and watched the skits. My heart was touched when Chona and Inday responded to the call for salvation. With tears streaming down my eyes, I hugged them to let them know that they did the right thing of accepting Jesus in their hearts. I realized how important is our obedience in doing God’s will, and see Him touched the lives of these children. I do believe that the opportunity for us to plant eternal seeds, will give them a hope and a future in Christ.
By: Valerie Adorada
Nomil and Valerie Adorada together with their daughter Nianne are part of our Go to Nations missionaries. They are back to work here at Camp Sonshine as ministers to the children and youth after spending a year at CFNI.
Up, down, up, down, went the flying top. The one that stays the longest at the ceiling wins the game. They do this several times. His toothless grin shows every time he’s winning. Nobody is giving up. Not until the top broke that the game stops.A lot of times we give up on ourselves, on other people, or on children.But God does not.
Pursuing and chasing kids for the kingdom of God, Camp Sonshine finished its 12th year of summer camp with this year’s theme Kingdom Quest. Indeed God’s hand was upon this endeavor as 1,200 kids from all walks of life joined the camp coming from nine locations.
Every time a child registers his or her name for the camp, it’s like registering that child’s name in the Book of Life.
The two and a half days camp was filled with fun memories. There was eagerness and anticipation from the campers as they watch the skit unraveled day after day. Persistence, teamwork and unity were displayed during the games. Creativity and ingenuity was discovered with the stroke of a crayon during craft time. Sincerity, gratefulness, faith sprang forth during praise and worship. Values such as service to God, forgiveness and value as a person were imparted to through object lessons. Never been a verse rang so true as this one: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it”. (Prov. 22:6)
Just as a treasure hunter sets his pursuit to find a treasure of great worth, so does God
persistently reaches out to children to come to Him and that He loves them more than they could ever imagine. Many of these kids are hurt, broken, indifferent and neglected. But as the Holy Spirit touches and moves the heart of these children there was unexplainable joy, unequaled cries and outpouring of tears.
Another 12 years from now, no one knows what will happen to the lives of these children. But one thing they have learned is that God has a wonderful plan in their lives.
As the verse from Jer.29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. All we can do is trust the Lord that He will lead their paths in the right direction.
By: Feb Janay (she volunteered as full time counselor for the summer)
Last March 25, 2011, the SLC had their 6th Moving Up and Recognition Ceremony . They had 9 graduates, 7 of those are scholars. They also have 13 students moving up to Kinder 1 and 2.
It seemed like it was only yesterday when the kids came for the first time to SLC, crying because they didn’t want to separate from their moms. But now they are ready to conquer the world through God’s help, one step at a time. Let us continue to lift them up in prayer as they continue to pursue God’s destiny in their lives.
Congratulations to two of our Sonshine Learning Center students for making it to the National IFL Competition! Isabella Patricio placed 2nd in the Reading Comprehension category and Jemaicah Tanedo made it to top 9 for Declamation category. We are so proud of you and to God be the glory!
At Sonshine Center, we have decided that since we can’t fit every child we want to reach out to at the Center or in our jeepney, we undertook the exciting adventure of starting Sonshine Kid’s Club (Children’s Church) in two satellite locations, San Isidro and Calajunan. San Isidro is a relocation site that some of our missionaries are working with for community development. There are over 1000 kids estimated to be living there. We are going there once a month to start with to do Sonshine Kids Club. We have opened our outreach in San Isidro last January with a dental clinic and about 50 kids came to be checked by our volunteer dentist. Last February 26, we did our regular program for Sonshine Kids Club and about 80 kids showed up! We can’t wait to see how God will transform these kid’s lives as they get to know Jesus.
Nate and Abegail Shuck are our missionaries who has a heart for Calajunan, the city’s trash dump site. The Shucks are working along side the local church to develop a Sonshine Kids Club as well as they will be launching a community development project to equip and train the families to grow FAITH GARDENS(Food available in the house- gardens). The area around the church building will be set up as an organic urban farm, growing organic fruits and vegetables which will be used up for the feeding program. The rest of the produce can be sold in the market for profit which will then help the church become self sufficient and self sustaining thus enabling the church to continually reach the lost children and families of Iloilo City.
These two locations are a product of a dream and we thank God that He enables us to fulfill our dreams.
The warm breeze brought by the promising season of summer is finally here! And for this, the staffs are passionately working again for another unforgettable summer camp adventure with this year’s theme “Kingdom Quest”. Kids will learn that they have a destiny as they face trials, stay faithful, trust in God, and forgive others. In Discovery Time children will discover who they really are—children of the King of Kings! Princes and Princesses don’t just happen in fairy tales. They are our children’s identity in God’s Kingdom!
Please help a “prince or princess” discover his or her true identity in God’s kingdom by sending him/her to camp this summer. For a donation of $10 per camper, the child will get to attend a three day camp full of fun, Bible stories, games and surprises! If you are sending your donation to Go to Nations (info at the back) please specify that you want it designated for camps.
He is one of the original “street kids” that Camp Sonshine was reaching out to when it first started in 2003. He started coming to Camp Sonshine at the age of 6 but he confessed that he only went for the snacks; all the teachings never entered his mind. He thought then that life was a game so he involved himself with the wrong company, sniffing rugby (an adhesive solvent that makes one high) with the “rugby boys”, smoking cigarette and stealing. He also earned his first pay by doing traffic in the grocery parking lot and assisting customers carry bags to their car. But now, at age 14, he is far from the boy he used to be. He plays guitar during worship at the Center, plays the drum in his church, and he is one of the youth leaders undergoing our discipleship program. Zacarias or “Car-Car”, as he is fondly called has come a long way for being a part of Sonshine Center. He knew that his old life was not pleasing to God and wants to be a role model to the younger ones. He attends the Bible study regularly and wants to minister to his fellow youth.
Car-Car now regards his life with more meaning having realized that Jesus died for him and loves him so much. He is happy to have Jesus in his life and wants to share that happiness with others by sharing with them the truth about the gospel. He will be graduating in Elementary this April. We are so proud of what he has accomplished and we know that God will fulfill Jeremiah 29:11(“For I know that plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”) in Car-Car’s life.
After graduating from high school I decided to take a year off and not go straight to college due to some financial difficulties my family was going through. Before graduating high school I lived with the Landis family. During the summer season I helped as a counselor at Camp Sonshine throughout our region of the Philippines. After camp Jesse Landis the director & founder of Camp Sonshine Philippines, talked to me if I want to help with the after school program and if I was interested in being an intern at Camp Sonshine for the next year. I had no idea that saying yes would drastically change the rest of my life. God changed me as I walked with Him and changed my perspective in life.
Working with different kinds of children, tested my patience and through that God showed me how much He loves the children even if they were difficult. In that span of a year, God changed my plans and what degree I would pursue in college. I really wanted to be a nurse, since my oldest brother was a nurse in London. I thought he could assist me in some of the medical studies. But God had a better plan for me. I graduated last March 28, 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. God is so faithful and true. Currently I am a kinder-1 teacher at the Sonshine Learning Center. I thank God for Camp Sonshine Center Foundation, Inc. and Sonshine Learning Center for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to serve and teach the children in school. Through them I was able to reach the next step of God’s purpose in my life.
Nate, & Abegail Shuck teamed up with a local church who has a heart to reach nearly 500 families with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Families that call the Iloilo City trash dump home. With an average of 8 people in the home most families struggle to make $2 a day. Which isn’t even enough to feed their hungry family one meal a day. By meal, I mean a bowl of rice and a small piece of fish. Sometimes they are lucky to find leftovers in the fresh trash from local fast food joints that can still be eaten.
The Shuck’s will be working along side the church helping to develop a Sonshine Kidz Club (Children’s Church), as well they will be launching a community development project to equip and train the families to grow FAITH GARDENS. (Food Available in the House – Gardens). As well the church will be set up as a organic urban farm site in which we will grow an acres worth of food in a quarter acre lot. The market value in Iloilo is for organic fruits and vegetables is high and the church will be able to grow food for the feeding program and sell the rest in the market for profit which then helps the church become sell sufficient and self sustaining thus helping the church to continue to reach out to the lost children and families of Iloilo City.
If you would like to help the Shuck’s reach the children and Families you can send checks to: Go To Nations, P.O. Box 10305, Jacksonville FL, 32247 In the memo write: #907ILCCD
In the Book of Isaiah we read, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV).
There is no doubt that in 2010 God has been dramatically faithful to us in every area of our life and ministry. We have seen how He provided all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Our faith were stretched, enriched and grew as we witnessed the spiritually blind receive sight, grace abounded over sins, promises of the Bible brought hope, love, light and life!
As we move forward in 2011, I am in greater expectation to see and experience the things that God is already doing in our midst far greater than what He has done in the past.
I enjoin you loving partners and friends to, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again”. (Eccl 11:1) Let’s continue to move in faith, casting our bread upon the waters, not withholding it, so we can be used by God in what He has promised in His word – He is doing a new thing!
When you come to the Center, you might see her scrubbing floors or perched high up a chair stacking books. Or sometimes you may hear her singing songs and playing with the children. She never fails to give you a big smile or a warm hug.
This is Jane, one of the kids we met at the trash dump nine years ago and this is her testimony.
“I joined Camp Sonshine nine years ago and that is where I came to know the Lord and accepted Jesus as my Savior.
I come from a very poor family. My dad is a garbage collector/fisherman and my mom is a plain housewife. There are 7 of us children and life was becoming really tough.
So I decided at the tender age of 15 to help out my parents and left home to work in other peoples’ house as a maid. I experienced a lot of pain and anguish during those years especially being away from my family. Despite of that I kept going because I knew that my Father in heaven was watching over me.
I really wanted to go to school to be a teacher and I was hoping that I could do that through the help of the people I was working for. But God had a better idea.
I went back home with the dream of going to school still unfulfilled. I started serving God through the Center instead. I was falling in love with Jesus everyday. I felt so much joy being with the children. I learned a lot of things too: being a good leader and a better child for my parents.
God never forgot about my dream. I am currently serving as an assistant teacher at Sonshine Learning Center. I am also enrolled as an official student at a state University taking up Diploma in Early Childhood Education! It’s amazing how God makes all thing work together for the good of those who love Him. I am so thankful that God is never late, His timing is always the best!”
We ended our 2010 at the Center with a week of fun, surprises and miracles of God’s provisions. We started out planning for the week’s activities with no budget in our hands and we ended up the week with memories of a child doing a dance showdown with Jollibee, a mom pushing a stroller with lots of clothes sitting on it, a youth standing proudly next to a Christmas tree and the grateful smile of a stranger as he received a bag of food. To understand all these, please read on.
To kick off the events, we had the judging night for our Christmas Tree Making Contest entitled “Christmas Trees of Hope”. The Moms and the Youth were able to showcase their artistic prowess by making a Christmas tree using recyclable materials. Each group came out as winners as each received cash prizes.
It has been our tradition for the past 5 years to create a shopping bazaar for our moms and youth wherein they were given the opportunity to shop to their hearts content not only for themselves but also for their families. There were baby strollers, bikes, shoes, clothes and household items at stake. What a joy to see them loaded with stuff they wanted without costing them anything!
The kids, youth and moms had their own respective Christmas parties loaded with food, fun and surprises. Once again, Jollibee the mascot graced us with his presence and that always excites our kids. But the highlight of the week was when we were able to bless the city and give food and slippers to the homeless. Seeing their smiles upon hearing that Jesus loves them will be forever engraved in our memory.
It is inspiring to see a group of elder women (between ages 65 to 87) being added to our Moms Club. They come to the Center every Friday to attend church night. They have been coming for the past 3 months, rain or shine. Some of them have really testified of God’s healing touch and faithfulness in their lives.
One Lola (grandmother in our language) is so thankful to God for healing her from pneumonia. She now stands as a witness to her friends about Jesus’ love for her. God is not a respecter of age; He loves us no matter how young or how old we are. What a joy to know that these Lola will pass on from this world with victory and be with Jesus for eternity.
People come and go from the Center and they take a lot of fun memories with them. Some of them really build good relationship with the children and the staff that they always want to come back. If not, they always have a way of showing their love. Last week, we have received another box of blessing full of toys and goodies for our children. You surely know how to warm our hearts. Our biggest thanks to you!
We are growing in numbers in Children Ministry . From 150 kids we are now accommodating 200 plus children every week. As part of this progress we decided to make an ID system for all children.
We want our children to feel that they belong to said program . You can see the anticipation and excitement when we told them that they will be getting their own ID that they could wear during their time with us. Some of them keep asking when they can wear it. Last Saturday was a special day for they were able to wear their new ID. Their faces were filled with smiles and delight as they proudly wear their new ID.
About 2 months ago, our moms had training from the Department of Agriculture on how to grow a vegetable garden as part of our effort in equipping them on ways of earning extra income. What they have learned is now becoming a reality as we see vegetables growing out in our little garden at the back of the Center.
Even though the garden is still in its experimental stage, our goal is to grow fresh and healthy vegetables that we can sell to raise funds for the Center and at the same time supply the needs of our feeding program.
This is an avenue for the moms to learn more about vegetable gardening as they take turns tending it so they can eventually raise their own at home. It is also a good way to build relationship as they work together in taking care of the garden. We believe that as they work, they can be a blessing to the Center and to their families.
“You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me”. Acts 20:34
He couldn’t stay in one place; you could see him roaming around while other kids are all eyes and ears to the skit. Every time you direct him to his group, he becomes unruly and disrespectful. At one time, he threw a fit, kicking and pushing any counselor who tried to calm him down. One of the counselors held him to pacify him and he started punching and biting the counselor. He was a real challenge on the first day of camp.
One of the counselors started talking to him and spending time with him, giving him patience and love. He started opening up. His dad does not have a job, physically and verbally abuses him and his Mom neglects him. So he feels so unloved, alone and he is full of anger in his heart. But during camp, we gave him the attention that he longed for, shared to him the love of Jesus and just showed him that he is worthy of the love and attention. He softened up in the last two days of camp; he started joining the games and listened to his counselor. His countenance changed at the end of our camp.
Cody with Peter, one of our summer camp volunteers.
This is the story of Cody, one of the children we met during our summer camp. Cody is not alone, we met a lot of children who shares the same sentiments, some are regarded as good for nothing by their family, and others like Cody are verbally, emotionally and physically abused, while others are simply neglected by their family. You can feel the pain through their words as they share their stories. It is because of these children why we are doing camps. We want to bring the love of Jesus into their hearts. We want them to know that there is Someone who loves them unconditionally, Someone who regards them as the apple of His eyes.
We have reached a total of 1156 children in 9 locations partnering with local churches. More than the fun memories these children experienced, it is our prayer that they have recognized God’s love for them, received affirmation of His calling in their lives and got hold of His plan for their future. And we know that their lives will change if not transformed.
You will not enjoy the water games if you don’t get wet.
It was a successful camp season and we can’t wait to see them again next year.