Summer 2017 has been a great year for Psalm68five Ministries with the following highlights so far:
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5 NIV
- We have provided over 370 full camp scholarships for kids growing up without fathers in their lives to our partner camps and for some single mothers to attend family camps with their children. We also continue to work with our partner camps to improve our combined ministry to fatherless kids, to help them realize the truth that they are specially blessed sons and daughters of the King, with God as their True Father. It is our hope and prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this ministry to help our kids make choices in life consistent with this identity and not the “orphan spirit” identity which leads to so many bad outcomes in life.
- We have teamed up with Wheaton College and their Honeyrock Outdoor Ministry Programs to create camp curriculum specifically designed for fatherless campers, staff training materials and other important fatherless ministry resources. Our Psalm68five Ministry Symposium took place in April of 2017 at the Wheaton College campus and a post summer camp follow up meeting took place in November 2017. Excellent work is being accomplished in this group to develop curriculum specifically designed for children growing up without a father as well as training materials for camp staff working with fatherless kids.
- Plans are being made to expand the ministry to other camps beginning Summer 2019.
Frontier Camp (Grapeland, TX)
Update For the summer of 2017, over ninety fatherless kids attended our Timothy Week Camp in early August. Most of our kids come from urban, underprivileged areas and would never have had the opportunity to attend a camp in the countryside. Most of our campers attend weekly Christian ministries in their local communities so that the seeds of God’s love continue to be watered and cared for through these ministries, including CityChurch McKinney and Tamina Ministry near The Woodlands, TX. A good majority of the campers took the Psalm68five Prayer Journal Challenge while at camp and memorized key scriptures which help our campers understand the wonderful heart of our Heavenly Father toward fatherless children and their identities as sons and daughters of the King. We have already committed to partner with Frontier Camp to hold the Timothy week camp for 2018 as well as provide camperships to the regular camp sessions earlier in the summer. Frontier Camp was also instrumental in helping us produce our Camp Prayer Journals. Psalm68five Ministries helps provide volunteers at the Timothy Week camp. Approximately 95 fatherless campers attended Frontier Camp through our scholarships.
“Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God’s children. They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father.” John 1:12-13 GNTD
Camp Lake Louise (Boyne Falls, MI) Update
We had 146 campers attend Camp Lake Louise in the summer of 2017. Included in these numbers are an increasing number of single mothers and their children attending the Winning at Home Family Camp sessions; these are single parent families where the fathers are not active in the children’s lives. All of the Psalm68five Ministry Board members helped lead the Winning at Home Family camp. Psalm68five also provided funding for 2 summer-long counselors who were there specifically to minister to the fatherless kids who attended summer camp and to especially help our kids with the Prayer Journal Challenge. Hannah Johnson and David Monson were our female and male Psalm68five counselors, respectively, for the summer at Camp Lake Louise. We had originally hoped to have 100 fatherless children attend on scholarship for Summer 2017; however, as the word gets out that kids growing up without fathers can attend camp free of charge, the requests for camp scholarships grow and we went from funding 56 scholarships in 2016 to 146 in 2017. Children are carefully screened to ensure the integrity of providing camp scholarships only to kids growing up without a father. The blessing of the increased numbers of fatherless children made for a very busy summer for Hannah and David, but they were more than up for the challenge. Hannah and David are active in college Christian Ministry at the University of Kansas. It was especially heart-warming to hear stories of some returning campers on Psalm68five scholarships, who could still recite memorized scriptures with joy, like Psalm 68:5, from previous years.
Camp Wilderness Ridge (Bastrop, TX) Update
In late 2016/early 2017, Camp Wilderness Ridge joined with Forest Glen Camps to continue their important outdoor ministry for boys. As the name implies, Camp Wilderness Ridge provides a more rugged outdoor experience, but the fatherless boys who attend on Psalm68five scholarships love it. They especially love the opportunity to come back year after year to participate increasingly in “servant leadership” roles. This year, Camp Wilderness Ridge (in their new association with Forest Glen camps) initially believed they could provide 10 camp scholarships for fatherless boys, mostly coming from Foster Care situations. However, midway through the summer they had been able to fully utilize the scholarships for fatherless boys and we were able to supply an additional 20 scholarships.
Camp Beechpoint (Allegan, MI) Update
We provided 75 scholarships to Camp Beechpoint and they were easily able to use these scholarships as they invite many inner city, Chicago-area youth to summer camp. Camp Beechpoint has been ministering to inner city, underprivileged children for many years and as such, they can be a huge resource as we learn to develop the ministry going forward.
“God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” Romans 8:16 The Message Bible
Honeyrock Camp (Three Lakes, WI)
This year we provided scholarships for over 30 fatherless kids to attend summer camp mainly from the rural areas around Honeyrock in Wisconsin and from inner-city Chicago. Honeyrock will increasingly be an important camp location to develop ministry materials for camp ministry to the fatherless.
Dr. Rob Ribbe, Director of HoneyRock, and Dr. Rich Butman, Dean of the School of Psychology, who are helping develop our ministry materials and resources, will be presenting at the Christian Camp and Conference Association in Colorado Springs, CO on fatherless camper issues early December 2017.
We have just completed the Summer 2017 meeting at Wheaton with our camp partners and are excited about the changes being developed to improve ministry to fatherless children for 2018.
Thank you for partnering with Psalm68five Ministries in your prayers and gifts. Please send us any resources or links to materials that might help us in fulfilling this mission. We would love to hear from you!