ReCAST Church has submitted paperwork to apply to become a member church of Camp Barakel in northern Michigan. They will be discussing and voting on our application at their annual meeting in October.
On a personal note, this is the camp where I met my wife. This is the camp where I asked her to marry me. It is the camp where my own children have camped and served over the years. It is the camp where my graduating high school senior will be going to serve in various program capacities over the summer. This location has had a significant impact on me and my family.
But it is not strictly for these personal reasons that our church is seeking to enter into a more formal relationship with the camp we use for summer camp and for retreats throughout the year. We want to support this ministry as the staff there are seeking to bring God’s Word and His glorious gospel to children and summer staff, and other adults throughout the rest of the year.
I’ve already been praying for Camp Barakel sporadically but frequently. The reason this is sporadic but frequent is simply that it is driven by my choice of coffee mug in the morning. And a large percentage of coffee mugs in my cupboard say “Camp Barakel” on them. Sending my own son up there to serve this summer will certainly help to increase my prayers for camp. But I am hopeful that others will catch a vision in the coming year for the ministry of Camp Barakel.
People have asked me over the years why Christian Summer Camp is a good thing. And it takes too long to answer. But here are some of the benefits of camping at Camp Barakel:
- Getting away from the technology.
- Great speakers who will bring the Word of God.
- A great setting to actually see God’s creation . . . Shear Lake is Amazing!
- Counselors that are models who demonstrate that faith is a good thing.
- Fun activities carefully planned by a program staff.
- Relationships with other campers from around the state showing students that they are not alone in this whole church thing.
And I would recommend turning the list of benefits into a prayer list.
- Pray for campers to connect with God as they detox from technology.
- Pray for the speakers to be used of God to accurately convey truth to young hearts and minds.
- Pray for God to use nature to open eyes to the power and majesty of our Creator.
- Pray for the counselors this summer to have energy and joy in sharing their lives with campers.
- Pray for fun and safety for all program areas.
- Pray for lifelong friendships to develop that will be centered on faith in God to form at Camp Barakel this summer.
I am so glad that our church is taking this next step of a more formal request to connect with Camp Barakel. And I look forward to what God is going to do through this summer and in the years to come at the place “where God has blessed”!