Floods. Fires. Fuming folks. Finances. Freezes. Fiascoes…these are some of the many challenges faced by people in church camp ministries. We like to advertise the “Friends, Fun, Food, Families & Fellowship” at camp, but truly there is much more to this ministry than meets the eyes of the public. Many times we worry about the Future of this ministry. But as I look back on our years in camping, I know that Jesus is Faithful Forever.
Welcome to My TEA CUPP Prayers for Church Camps. In the coming days, we will witness God’s Faithfulness as He has seen us through the trials and joys of church camp. Every day I pray My TEA CUPP Prayers and pray for our camping ministry. And every day I can find a blessing, even in the midst of troubles.
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you... Psalm 20:1 (NKJV)
How did we end up in this ministry? For our family it all started at a church dear to my heart, tucked in the village of Blanchester, Ohio just east of Cincinnati. Back in 1993 we arrived in town with a U-haul, our 3-year old daughter, our 4-month old son, and no place to live. My husband Kent had just been hired by the Cincinnati Nature Center and we were searching for a home.
We stopped at Grace Church and were thankful to find it unlocked on a Saturday. There was a to be a wedding that evening, so the pastor was on hand to chat with us. Pastor Bill showed us the newly painted and carpeted sanctuary and gave us tips on a few people to contact for housing. One of his tips led to a house on the edge of town…a roomy retreat for our young family. Some folks from the church showed up to help us unload the U-haul and brought us dinner! They didn’t even know us, but we remember you, Greg & Cindi Hefner!
We came to church on Sunday and stayed for the potluck. There had just been a craft sale, Peggy gave us a quilted frog for our baby. We felt so welcome. For 3-1/2 years we were blessed to stay in this small community, joining in different parts of our new church…Sunday school, vacation Bible school, children’s church, hand bell choir, preschool…but then God called us to Church Camp.
On our last Sunday at Grace UMC in April 1997, we were told there might be a good-bye cake. Little did we know our friends had planned even more…Every time I read Psalm 20, I remember our friends Dean & Joy Hall who read it to us as a blessing. And I thank the Lord for all our dear friends who laid their hands on us and prayed for us. If we could have seen the journey that was ahead, and known all the “days of trouble” before us, we might have run and hid!
But God is faithful and continues to see us through every fiasco. In the coming days I will share some of these struggles, and if you are a church camp person, I’m sure you will just nod your head in understanding. I pray Psalm 20 as a blessing to us, to you, to all who are in camping ministry or are just out serving Jesus in this world. May God continually bless you…
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
3 May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice.
And fulfill all your purpose.
5 We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
8 They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
9 Save, LORD!
May the King answer us when we call.
Please join me for more of My TEA CUPP Prayers for Church Camps!
P.S. What is our current camp fiasco? The dish machine is broken and 200 campers are coming this weekend! Jesus, please help the repairman fix it today!