Each summer, families from our church travel to Macomb, IL to facilitate a week-long summer camp at Serenity Lake Retreat for inner-city kids from Compton Heights, MO. Campers enjoy this overnight experience as they dig deeper into God’s Word through Bible study, high-energy worship, organized games, crafts, and of course, lake activities!
What an awesome week! Our second annual Family Missions experience allowed families to come together for a week-long summer camp experience; carrying out the great commission on the mission field at Lake Serenity Retreat in Macomb, IL. We also had a mission team from Memorial Baptist in Poplar Bluff, MO, join us this year! What an incredible blessing they were! We joined together, seamlessly, with a combined total of 20 volunteers showering the love of Jesus over the 24 inner-city campers that were placed in our lives that week.
Our camp theme this year was "Get Suited Up with the Armor of God." The campers learned about spiritual warfare, the importance of each piece of armor, and tactics the devil uses to cause us to stumble. Our volunteer team used "fun and energy" as the vehicle to share the love of Jesus, develop relationships, create teachable moments, and share about the importance of having a relationship with Him. Each activity and lesson executed was planned with intentionality and purpose. Through each activity, our focus was to point the children towards a relationship with Jesus. The days were jam-packed with biblical teachings, crafts, recreation, team-building activities, large group games, hang time, lake time, a full-out dance party, and prayer/praise huddles at bedtime.
On Thursday, we ventured off campus and enjoyed singing many of our camp songs to residents at local nursing homes in Macomb. What a beautiful blessing it was to see the smiles of happiness and contentment as the residents watched the young, precious faces sing praises to our Creator! We finished off our Thursday enjoying a picnic lunch at a local park along with swimming at the city pool.
The goodbyes on Friday morning are always hard, simply because loving these kids is so easy. As we said "see ya later" to these precious faces, our prayer is that God will continue to water seeds that were planted and that His light will shine on their individual lives as they grow in Him. We pray they would learn to discern His voice and act in obedience as they remember to "Suit Up" each day to fight the enemy. Lastly, we pray they will always know how much they are loved by Jesus!