Summer has been exciting for our ministry and many kids with no fathers in their lives have attended summer camp, with more to follow. Some of those kids have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. However, one of our partner camps, Frontier Camp in Grapeland, TX, has suffered an absolute tragedy as one of the male counselors there lost his life to an amoeba infection a few weeks ago.
Frontier Camp (Grapeland, TX) Update
Please pray for Frontier camp staff and the family as they mourn the loss of a lifeguard/counselor at their camp this past month. Needless to say, they are devastated. The young man was infected with an amoeba which caused encephalitis and death within a few days. Please take the time to view this message by Tim Raines, the Frontier Camp Executive Director below.
They have closed all water activities this summer but continued to offer the camp sessions scheduled, including the Psalm68five-funded “Timothy Week” which had 85 fatherless kids sign up, especially from inner city and underprivileged communities. The dates of the camp were August 1st to the 5th. A couple of us attended the full week of camp as volunteers to help plant seeds of God’s incredible heart to the fatherless. Because it is fully funded and fatherless kids don’t pay a penny, we sometimes have “no-shows” as we did this week (about 15-20 did not show up or even call). We are brainstorming on how to continue to offer camp for the fatherless at no cost to the kids, but decrease the number of no-shows. The Timothy Week Camp was challenging in many ways, but also a great learning experience for me and a blessing I will not forget. Many of the kids have built “walls” to protect themselves emotionally from wounding, but the walls also keep them from being fully open to God’s Word and promises. But God’s word does not return void, and we know that seeds planted that week will continue to bear fruit in the future. The other volunteer with me, Steve Foster, has a true “coach’s heart” and a burden for these fatherless kids, which makes for a great combination of ministry gifts to minister at camp, and it was inspiring to see how impactful he was as God worked through him.
Camp Lake Louise (Boyne Falls, MI) Update
We have had several camps for kids so far this summer and one family camp at Camp Lake Louise in beautiful Northern Michigan on Thumb Lake. Starting out, at 5th/6th grade camp, 16 fatherless kids attended on camperships at no cost to their family. Then, we had 9th/10th grade camp in which 9 kids were on camperships through the ministry. At Senior High Camp (11th/12th/13th), we had 8 campers on camperships. At Family Camp, we encourage single mothers and their children to attend and we had 8-10 such campers on camperships that week. We also fund two Psalm68five counselors to be on resident staff for the whole summer, whose calling was to come along side our fatherless campers, stealthily, and earn the right to share God’s heart for the fatherless. One way we help that process occur is to offer the kids a Prayer Journal for free and ask that if they would copy, meditate and journal on several Bible verses during the week, they can get a camp tee shirt of their choice free. No pressure…they can accept the challenge or just say “not now.” The Verses were Psalm 68:5, John 1:12-13, Romans 8:16, John 3:16-17, Philippians 4:13 and Deuteronomy 10:17-18. This year, Camp Lake Louise called Madison Wolfe as our female Psalm68five counselor, a sophomore at Central Michigan University. Lucas Orosco, who will be an incoming freshman at Ferris State University, was training to be the male Psalm68five counselor. We will be sending highlights of their Camp Reports in a later email.
Camp Wilderness Ridge (Bastrop, TX) Update
As you may recall, Camp Wilderness Ridge lost their 2nd camp within 5 years to wild fires in the Bastrop area this past September 2016. As such, they will had only 2 camps this summer season, at leased camp facilities. However, they have exciting news about a potential partnership to build their new wilderness camp on the extensive grounds/acreage of an existing camp facility nearby and save overhead costs by doing so. The goal this year was to have 10 fatherless boys attend their sessions this year and they have met that goal. In fact, they had one additional fatherless boys who are in the foster care system who we accommodated at Frontier Camp at Timothy Week.
Camp Beechpoint (Allegan, MI) Update
This was our first summer partnering with Camp Beechpoint and they will have no problem accepting over 50 fatherless kids at the camp this summer under scholarship. We will be excited to hear the stories of young lives changed at Camp Beechpoint. The first week of camp 25 kids attended on Psalm68five Camperships. See the attached notice placed on Beechpoint Camp website. http://www.beechpoint.org/here/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Psalm68FiveCompleteInfo.pdf
We have two additional camps which we will be discussing partnering opportunities in the coming year. We are also discussing the creation of training materials and a curriculum for ministry to fatherless children with a prominent Christian College. We will update you on these developments in the coming months.
Thank you for partnering with Psalm68five Ministries in your thoughts, gifts and prayers!