For the past several years God has graciously allowed us to go to a fantastic camp in Canada that we have grown to love very much. Not only have we grown to love the directors, leadership and staff, but we have also grown to love the kids that go to the camp. Mill Stream Bible Camp holds a very special place in our hearts.
Of course our main ministry is with the folks in Livingston, TN, and I write about them a lot. However, this post is about a couple of boys that I met this summer at Mill Stream. Due to the nature of this story, I am not going to use their full names.
V and L are both 12 years old and best friends. V's mom was looking online for an over night camp that he could go to when she found Mill Stream Bible Camp and thought it would be a great place for V to go. Soon L's mom was called and he was registered for camp as well. V and L do a lot of things together. They go to the same school, they go to the same church, they play on the same hockey team, and now they were at camp together.
Although many people would call it a coincidence that V's mom found Mill Stream online, it wasn't a coincidence at all. God knew exactly what he was doing. They both come from broken homes and even though their parents seem to be very loving, both of the boys are searching. They are searching for something that activities and the church and school that they go to aren't giving them. They are searching for Jesus. You see, the church and school that they go to are both catholic and they weren't being taught that God loves them and sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and save them from their sins.
From the first Bible class V and L listened intently to the lesson and they became frequent visitors to the Bible table during their free time. The Bible table is where kids can come and say their verses, get help with their camp Bible book, or to just talk with the Bible teacher about the Bible and life. Since I was the Bible teacher that week, I had the great pleasure of listening, helping and talking.
During one of our discussions we talked about their home life and their relationship with their parents. V was telling me what the rest of his summer looked like. After camp he was going to his dad's for a few days and then it was back to his mom's house. When I asked him who makes the decisions about when he goes back and forth he immediately said that he does. He went on to explain that his dad and mom don't speak to each other and that's why Dad had bought him a phone.
I was taken aback! V had to make all of the arrangements himself! He, a 12 year old boy, was the one who had to call back and forth and be the intermediary between his parents because they didn't speak to one another. Although V looks happy, I know it has to take a toll on him.
Many times that week I know that V and L heard a clear plan of salvation. They expressed to me how different it was than what they were taught in church and at school. You could tell they were doing a lot of thinking. When I was talking to L at the Bible table midway through the week he told me that he trusted the Lord during one of the Bible classes while I was giving the plan of salvation a couple of days earlier. Praise God! V, however, never expressed that he had accepted the Lord but did have a lot of questions.
Please pray for these two boys. You can just use their initials if you like. God knows their real names and all about them. Pray that God would send someone into L's life to help him grow as a new Christian. Pray for V as well. Pray that God would send someone to water the seed that was planted. Pray for his home situation also.
As I travel around to different camps to teach Bible, and continue to minister here in Tennessee, I am struck at how much the same kids are. They may live in a different culture and even in a different country. They may do things a little differently but, they are all searching. They all need Jesus and His love.
Thank you for your prayers for these two boys, your prayers for the work at Mill Stream Bible Camp, and your prayers for our ministry, Good News Ministries, here in Tennessee. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. God bless you all!