I’ve been at Lifeline for almost a year now and Kids Camp is my absolute favorite! While I am so grateful for the “church” at Asbury (they are awesome and we will talk more about them in a sec), I must admit I was a little disappointed when I found out the camp was going to be in Huntsville this summer. Since I work in the Birmingham office I was doubtful that I would be able to participate. But, God, in all of His goodness, made a way as He always does (“Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4). When Marcy, Kids Camp Coordinator Extraordinaire, emailed me about going for a day, I was thrilled!
We have some pretty amazing people at Lifeline that God uses in some remarkable ways to do some incredible things in His name and for His glory and Gospel. As the Accounting Manager at Lifeline, I am usually blessed to have a front row seat. But, when its Kids Camp time, I actually get to participate first hand in God’s great work and experience His story firsthand. This Camp we have 8 beautiful girls, six 12 year olds and two 3 year olds, all made in the image of the Creator and loved by Him perfectly. All able to capture your heart in their own way in a single moment.
As mentioned previously, Asbury United Methodist Church in Huntsville is hosting these eight girls for the next two weeks. When I spoke with Rhonda, the Missions Pastor, she explained how thrilled they are to be hosting the camp and how much they have been looking forward to serving and loving these girls. She said this opportunity is a blessing to them.
This is a wonderful example of how we, as the body of Christ, should see serving others as a blessing to ourselves. It is a gift from the LORD to share His love with others, to shine His light in dark places. Rhonda also told me how 120 members of the church worked together to prepare the home for the girls, their caregivers and volunteers. She loved “seeing how the LORD was uniting the church and bringing people together for a common purpose”. I met several members of Asbury during my day at camp and they were so hospitable, thoughtful and caring. The church at Asbury is making themselves available to the LORD and He is utilizing and equipping them in a mighty way. Thank you Asbury for hosting!
I hadn’t been at camp long when little Leila captured my attention.
She is 3 years old and has Downs Syndrome. She was perfectly content playing with three little Lincoln logs. I, however, was not content to let her! I wanted to hold her and play with her. Finally, someone holding Leila came near to me and I smiled and waived at her. She immediately threw open her arms and reached for me. That’s all it took….I was a puddle.
I grabbed her and hugged her and held her and did not want to let her go. She slept on me for hours and we were both perfectly satisfied. It was so very good for my soul. There was peace, contentment, joy and love. “Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD” Psalm 127:3. I experienced the goodness of God holding that little one as she slept.
You may wonder, what is the purpose of Camp? Is it to bring kids to a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood? Is it to give them a good education? Will a family solve all of their problems?
Of course, these are all wonderful things. But, these are not THE reason. I was able to see THE reason on display Monday at Camp. You see, there is Landry, who is one of the 12 year olds visiting from China. Landry was having a bit of a hard time being away from the familiar (completely understandable).
There is also a 13 year old girl named Esther volunteering at camp on Monday. Esther was adopted recently from China by a family who answered the call to adopt. Esther can still speak Chinese. In the short time Esther has been HOME, her adoptive family has shared with her the gospel of Jesus, His great love and His great sacrifice. God has given Esther a passion to see others in China come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Tears flowed down Esther’s face as a member of Asbury comforted and encouraged her. Then, Esther sat down next to Landry and began talking to her….in Chinese.
Our mission at Lifeline is “To equip the body of Christ to manifest the Gospel to vulnerable children”. Thank you Father for allowing me to see Your mission for Lifeline fulfilled in this moment.