Posts Tagged ‘haven camp’

This week I am ministering at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center for their Haven Camp for adults with developmental disabilities. My day started with breakfast and then a message on Abraham, sharing about God’s promises both to Abraham and to us, and how He keeps them, which should give us confidence (Confidence is the Summer’s theme at the camp). From there I spent a little time with the campers before returning to my lodgings to change my clothes and writing some of my sessions for my next time here in a little less than two weeks. Then after lunch, I came back and finished the session I was writing, which coincided with the camper’s lodge time, a time for them to rest and nap. I rejoined the campers in time for their activity time. I ended up going along on a “hay ride” on a hay wagon shaped like Noah’s Ark. The campers were all but giddy with excitement, the guy next to me was nervous and took my hand, but at the same time he laughed with glee over every bump. They were singing Sunday School songs as well as a few silly songs thrown in and that’s when it hit me. There is something about these folks that I think the rest of us have lost. They often experience the extremes of emotions, and yet, they can find joy in the simplest things. Their simple songs held within them some deep and honest worship. In a way it’s child-like faith, but there is a sincerity in that faith that some of us, can miss out on (present company included), in our busy days.

In the afternoon, I gave them another message, this one on Joseph, and I must say their enthusiasm is infectious, and their perceptiveness is at times amazing. I go to this camp every year with the intent of blessing the campers, and, more often than not, it’s me who comes away blessed.

I marvel continually that I am blessed be able to do some of the things I get to do. I often think back to my first time here, and how nervous I was, and this may be my point for you dear reader. I came in pretty unsure that I had what it takes but I was willing to put myself out there and try, all the while trusting God. I have to tell you, that made all the difference. If you’re reading this, and you’re wondering if you have what it takes to do something you’re feeling led toward, here’s my advice. Follow the Lord and do it. Your nervousness will help you to remember to depend on God. You are fully dependent on Him anyway, so trust God and allow Him to work through you. You never know what will happen, but I do know God is faithful.

I’m working on a video clip for a great camp I do in New York each year for adults with special needs, called Haven Camp. Our theme is Enough. based on my book which oddly enough is based on the theme for this camp. I wrote a sort of rap for the soundtrack. Don’t worry Snoop Dog has nothing to worry about. It’s called I Am Enough. Here’s a sneak preview.

One of the highlights of my year every year is working with the Haven Camp at Delta Lake Bible Conference in Rome, New York. Haven Camp is a camp for adults with special needs and it is fun and encouraging and I usually come away feeling like I got more out of it than I put into it. These people are such a blessing.

Early in my relationship with Delta Lake, I learned of an event they do annually called A Night to Shine. This is basically a prom for the same folks served by Haven Camp. A Night to Shine was created by the Tim Tebow Foundation and happens internationally and it looks fantastic. The photos posted are just amazing pictures of joy. It strikes me that we in the church could do a whole lot of good if we focused more on being bringers of joy. Think about it, we are a blessed people and we are blessed to be a blessing.

How have you been blessed? How can you use those blessings to help someone else? Yesterday I saw a video on social media of Tim Tebow. It appears that he was on a whirlwind tour, traveling all over the world and showing up at A Night to Shine events where he could and surprising the guests. I can’t help but be impressed. Here’s a young man who was really blessed athletically and though he only had one full season in the pros, he has made that really count, using the notoriety and resources he has received to be a blessing to others. As I thought about this event over the night, I began to wonder why he wasn’t blessed with a longer career. After all he has proven that he will do good with what he has received, but then it struck me. Regardless of what he has (and God continues to bless him in other ways), he is determined to do good with it and that can be an example to us all.

What can you do with what you have been given?

The Scriptures say “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I’m seeing this modeled before my eyes this week. I’m ministering at a camp for folks with developmental disabilities this weekend and it is amazing. These folks are so joyful and so excited to participate and very enthusiastic. We could learn a lot from these folks about unconditional love and more specifically, joy.

I know some of these observations will seem to be (and in fact are) generalities, but they feel so deeply and love so freely. There is no guile here, just authenticity. They say what they think. They are passionate and quick to forgive. In some ways, they are very much like we all should be. There is a palpable grace here. My prayer is that I would minister to them like they are ministering to me. If that happens, we will all be blessed.

Thanks to the folks at the Delta Lake Bible Conference Haven Camp for allowing me this opportunity. I hope and pray I honor the trust you have placed in me.