Putting Faith into Action
RFKC has a new staff member for the July camp, Lisa. Lisa has financially supported OFC for more than 10 years and has participated in camp “work” days here and there. But she never took the step to attend camp until someone personally invited her. To this specific camp. She is 63 and has never attended a camp—any camp—in her life. It is daunting for her—she has no experience to rely on, but something is tugging at her heart. She knows it is time to put her faith into action.
Attending training, she learns that there are 100 “golden” hours where campers’ spirits are fed, confidence is built, and a renewed hope for a bright future begins to grow. She learns that many campers are scared to attend camp at all (yes! She can relate to that!), that some are scared to swim, that some are scared to reach out to make new friends. She is determined to be part of the effort to help these kiddos understand that they have a Father who loves them.
Arriving at camp the day before campers arrive, she moves her bag and bedding into her assigned room and meets one of her roommates. “Ah! This is exactly what Campers will experience,” she realizes. Along with other volunteers, she attends a worship service where staff and counselors pray over every camper, counselor, staff member, foster parent, and parent. God’s spirit is moving and telling her that He really is in control and that He’s got this. She prays, “Just let me be your vessel, Lord, and help me to accomplish Your plan.” She goes to bed tired but confident that she should be here.
That same night, Mikey, who is six, gets nervous. He tells his foster mother that he’s changed his mind. “No, I don’t want to go!” he says. “I don’t know anyone, and I won’t know what to do.” His foster mother calls Director Darren, and explains that Mikey is nervous and now doesn’t want to go. Director Darren advises Mikey’s foster parent to go to the OFC website and show Mikey the pictures and videos of camp—to show him how much fun he will have and that staff and his counselor are waiting just to meet him.
The next day, Mikey, still unsure, gets on the camp bus. He still doesn’t know what to expect, but he is willing to give camp a try. Once at camp, Mikey gets off the bus and finds his counselor, who has a sign with his name on it. His counselor begins talking to him about his bus ride, and Mikey knows camp is starting off OK.
At the same time, Lisa watches the campers get off the bus. She sees faces that are happy, anxious, excited, scared. And she knows that camp for her is starting off OK. “God’s got this,” she thinks again. And then realizes that putting her faith into action wasn’t really about volunteering at all. It was about putting her faith in the Father and His plan.
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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 camp settings, weekend retreats, and in mentoring clubs. 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!