In this minute … be Strong and Courageous
It’s the first night of camp. In this minute, camper Jackson can’t sleep. He tosses and turns in his bunk, his eyes opening wide to peer through the darkness. His room is quiet; the other campers are asleep and breathing evenly. He turns over again, wrestling with the sheets. His counselor, Marcus, hears the movement and waits to see if Jackson will go back to sleep. Marcus hears his camper’s restlessness again. He gets up, turns on a small light, and begins to talk to Jackson.
Although he already knows, Marcus asks if something is wrong. “Yes,” replies Jackson, “I can’t sleep.” Marcus then gently asks him,
“Are you afraid?”
“Yes, I am.”
“What are you afraid of?”
“That I won’t see my mom again. She’s in jail.”
“It sounds like she may have made some bad choices, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see her again. But I understand your fear. Do you know what I do when I’m afraid?”
“In this minute that I’m afraid, I pray to God. God loves me and protects me when I need him the most. And do you want to know the prayer I pray?”
Marcus is about to tell Jackson that he prays Psalm 23, but as Jackson sits up to pray, Marcus’ eyes fall on the simple pillow that was made by someone at Legacy Church of Christ. Marcus had earlier gifted each of his campers with a pillow, made by loving hands, and Jackson was now clutching his. Marcus sees a scripture printed on the cloth of Jackson’s pillow: Joshua 1:9.
In this minute, Marcus realizes he needs to pray this prayer with Jackson.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
After the prayer, Jackson lays back down, and Marcus turns the small light off.
In this minute, he hears Jackson begin to breathe rhythmically and easy, his mind and spirit at rest.”
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Onward & Upward is our weekend-long retreats for 13-15 year olds. The retreats use a curriculum focusing on character traits of godly men and women. We began this semi-annual program in 2004 with 39 teenagers and 46 volunteers.
SUMMIT is our weekend-long retreats for 16-18 year olds. The curriculum focuses on skills that will help them function better as adults. Examples include managing bank accounts, completing job applications, & mock interviews. We began this semi-annual program in 2007 with 12 teens and 16 volunteers.
RISE is a weekend-long retreat offered in April for teen boys and November for teen girls, ages 12-18. OFC will continue to use a 2:1 teen to counselor ratio at RISE, and the curriculum and activities are designed to help teens build self-esteem and navigate gender-specific issues.
Our Father's Children exists to provide HOPE to children of abuse and neglect in Texas, ages 6-18, in week-long camp settings and weekend retreats. We recruit volunteers from a variety of cities, churches and organizations who have a heart for offering these kids hope in Jesus Christ. Whether as a volunteer or donor (or both), we would love to have you join us in providing hope to these kids!