‘Please pray we will have food in our home when I get there’.
‘Pray my Dad and Mom can get through this divorce’.
‘Pray for my Mom, she (a single Mom) is working so hard trying to provide.’ ‘What about your Dad?’ ‘Oh, he is in jail’.
This type of prayer requests energize the staff of a Free Camp to keep going. Children were given a break from the hell holes they live in. One little girl was homesick, never been away from home this long, called home only to be told to stay because there was no room (eleven people in a small two bedroom house).
The camp scurry’s to find clothing, bedding and toiletries for children ‘dropped off’ with little or no provisions. One such girl was dropped off for the entire camp with the clothes on her back and a towel. One leader went home and found clothing and bedding when this was discovered. One leader gave away all of his bedding to little boys with nothing to sleep in or on with the exception of a sheet for himself.
Free Camp is an extreme measure of evangelism due to an extreme problem in our nation. The children are with us for four days and three nights so we can keep them out of the ‘ugliness’ of their home environments and to build a relationship with the kids. We don’t ‘perform’ for them – we build a relationship with them. It is our hope and prayer that the seed of love and Word of God will have a chance of survival. It is a time of ‘serving’ the ‘least of these’ for the Kingdom of God.
A total camp size of 373 was present from all social, economical and racial classes. It was a power packed, busy, fun, spiritually empowered experience! God truly worked through the workers who joined the 117 volunteers of Christian Heritage Church, Amarillo, Texas from Oklahoma City, OK; Dumas, TX; Greenwood, SC; Franklin Springs, GA; Albuquerque, NM and Petersburg, VA. Children ‘walked on water’ after hearing the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water; experienced worship led by teenagers with a full powered smoke and light show; swam at a high end swimming pool; witnessed two Christian motorcycle stunt riders show; spent quality time around the altar seeking God; was built up through ACE Awards, lessons that told them they were special; and was blessed to be exposed to a Global vision by praying over and signing soccer balls to be used in evangelism throughout the world.
We would like to thank CEM and Rev. Talmadge Gardner for making it possible for the National Royal Ranger leader, David Moore and his three sons and the National Youth Pastor, Rev. Charles Boyd, to be present for their contribution to the camp.
Pastor Scott Brown, South Greenwood IPHC, SC brought a team of ten to assist in the camp and Pastor Kevin McBride, Crossroads Ministries, Petersburg, VA sent two of his children pastors, Amber and Stephanie to assist and help prepare them for the upcoming Free Camp in Petersburg, VA. Rev. Marcus Brown, Sr. Pastor and church planter of Albuquerque, NM brought a team of six and ministered in two services.
Free Camp, in its eighteenth year, is becoming an option for young people who want to do a missions trip and not leave the country. We believe in the future we will see them across the country where young people raised in church will be able to do an evangelistic camp to reach out to children that cannot afford to attend a camp without a huge expense.