Come join us on November 14-15! Share this post and let’s raise some money for camp! 😀
- Retreats / Field Trips / Day Use
- Working @ Camp
Come join us on November 14-15! Share this post and let’s raise some money for camp! 😀
Registration and Preparation Information
for Cedar Lake Camp’s 5K
and 30 Hour Fundraiser Run
This year’s 5K Fun Run will be held in-person at Cedar Lake Camp on November 14, 2020. This portion of the race will begin at 8 am. The course will be, as usual, down the camp driveway then left onto Conatser Lane and back. The cost for this event is $25.00. Shirts may be additionally purchased at $10.00 each.
The cost for the 30-hour run is free but each participant will secure sponsors. There is no minimum or maximum for the number of sponsors but get as many as you can! (Yes, you can sponsor yourself as well.) Make a video or otherwise tell your friends and family you are raising money to help build a gym and pool for a non-profit children’s ministry. Give them your estimated total mileage so they can determine how many dollars PER MILE they want to sponsor. Keep up with your sponsorships. After the run, update everybody on your final mileage. They can mail a check made out to Cedar Lake Camp (not you personally) or donate online at www.cedarlakecamp.org indicating “Fun Run Donation.”
A virtual option exists for those who cannot attend in-person. Simply do either version of the run on your own and let us know.
Run as little or much as you want. YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUN THE WHOLE 30 HOURS! Take as many breaks as you want. Take a nap if you like. Quit whenever you want. Walking is totally okay as are RELAY teams. We’ll start at 6 am Saturday, November 14, and stay through noon on November 15. You’re welcome come set up Friday night and campout if you like. (If you plan to do this please let us know so we can better assist you.)
This is a no-frills race so bring your own hydration, nutrition, support staff, and sleeping arrangements. There’s plenty of space to set up tents. Our dining hall will be open for restrooms and eating areas. Park your vehicle along camp’s driveway for instant access to food and hydration. Your family can canoe, fish, and enjoy our beautiful 90-acre campus located just outside Livingston, TN in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau. There are no awards except knowing you are doing a good thing by helping a non-profit. 🙂
The course is an out and back. We’ll start at camp’s dining hall and run down the road, and turn around heading back for a 3.7-mile lap. It’s about half pavement, half gravel with small rolling hills.
Headlamps and tail lights are required for night running. Bicycle pacers will be allowed after dark as long as they have lights as well. This is NOT a closed course, so watch out for cars, critters, and the boogie man. We are a Christian ministry to CHILDREN’S so please no alcohol, tobacco, or inappropriate things as there will be children present.
For those who don’t know, Cedar Lake is a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching the gospel of Jesus to the next generation, training staff, and serving churches through retreats.
Why are we doing this crazy fundraiser? Because we want to build a gym and swimming pool to better serve the children and churches who visit our camp. With a price tag of over 2 million bucks, we need all the help we can get.
Register at www.cedarlakecamp.org. Look for the link on the homepage under “Featured Events.” If you don’t already have an account with us through our software, you will need to set one up.
Visit our website at cedarlakecamp.org for more info or look us up on social media.
Camp’s address is 235 Conatser Lane, Livingston, TN. Email us at [email protected] or call 931-823-5656.
I hope to see you here November 14th and 15th. Keep training!
Camp is so important in the lives of young people. What a marvelous opportunity to make new friends, enjoy the great outdoors, have fun, and eat wonderful home-cooked meals. These are good things but the greatest part of camp is hearing the awesome news that God cares about us so much He made a way to be forgiven of our sins and have a restored relationship with Himself. We are reminded in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” May we never lose sight of what is most important in life: following Jesus Christ leads to ETERNAL LIFE!
Each summer boys and girls embrace the love that Jesus offers. For some, that means coming to a point of repentance and faith for the first time in their lives. Others are taken to new levels of understanding and commitment to the Lord as they learn how rich and deep are the truths of the Bible. Some even find themselves drawn to service in a lifestyle of ministry and mission.
Haley* had been a camper previously but this summer was different. As a teenager, she was able to have a better understanding of the gospel and her life situation than as a younger child. Haley comes from a rough home life and carries much emotional and family baggage due to her upbringing. She was able to talk through those with her counselor but also come face to face with her own sin as well. As a self-proclaimed thief with a foul mouth, she found herself surrounded by a community of young people who desire to honor Jesus with their actions. That Wednesday evening she stayed behind at campfire and made a decision to follow Christ in her own life. The next night during unit campfires with other cabins, she asked her counselor if it was okay to pray over each girl individually and provided a great example of serving others in that way. Two weeks later, during canoe camp, she actively engaged in dialogue with others about their own faith and expressed concern when others had not yet made the same decision as her own. That same desire to see others grow in faith and Christian unity was seen in her Week 5 for her cabin mates.
Jesus changes us from the inside out, beginning with a new heart. Haley became a new creation in Christ. Change was evident from the start of her faith.
Without camp, stories like Haley’s and so many others would not be possible. As with every summer, God is working here at CLC. Praise God for His faithfulness! Thank you to all who prayed, donated, and “loaned” us your kids this summer. We stand on the promises of God found in Scripture to “make camp happen.” I will close with one of my favorites found in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Our plan is to share the good news of salvation, forgiveness and eternal life found only in Jesus Christ. May the Lord see it through, the same as the past 78 years.
Wisdom and biblical counsel for our nation’s leaders
The preservation of 1st Amendment rights across our country
Financial support for Cedar Lake Camp
Advancement of plans for a new gym and pool
More retreat groups
Book your retreat, field trip, or event with us!
Our facilities are open and available to rent for your next church or ministry retreat! Spend a weekend in seclusion and enjoy exclusive use of our 90-acre campus, complete with a commercial kitchen, dining hall, pond for canoeing and fishing, hiking trails, sporting areas, and more. Give us a call at 931-823-5656!
Partner with CLC
If you’ve never considered giving to the ministry of Cedar Lake Camp, now is the time! As a 501c(3) non-profit organization we depend on the generous support of parents, alumni, business leaders, and folks in our community who wish to see this long-standing outlet for the gospel continue. Financial contributions are always accepted. If that’s not a possibility for you at this time, we also receive gifts of stock, annuities, IRA Rollovers, endowments, or physical items such as vehicles, mowers, utility equipment, jewelry, and more. Your used vehicle or ATV could be used to remodel Cabins 7 and 8, install LED floodlights, purchase a new water heater for the Bird Cage and so many other projects we have going on. Our two largest retreat groups canceled this summer, among others, impacting our finances about $50,000. Your donations are MUCH appreciated!!!
Annual Auction Fundraiser
Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 22 when we host our annual fundraiser auction and dinner. This year’s event will once again be held at Duck Pond Manor. Invitations and details will be mailed soon. If you have an item to donate for the auction, please let us know ASAP!
Annual 5K Fun Run PLUS BIG Bonus Mileage
You may have noticed our annual 5K Fun Run and Walk has not YET happened this year. The past few years we have held it in May but prior it was known as the Chilly Chili 5K held in November. This year’s run will be in November again but this time it’s crazier than ever. While 5Ks are enjoyable, I like to push myself further in endurance and have come up with a challenge that is sure to test your limits: a 30 hour a-thon. Now before you say that’s not for you, listen to how it will work.
First, the 5K option still exists for those who want it. But for those who want more, there are 30 hours to run as much (or little) as you like. Each lap to the end of Conatser Lane (where camp is located) and back is 3.7 miles. Do a lap then eat a snack, hydrate, take a break, and do another lap. Walking is welcome as are relay teams.
Remember, this is a fundraiser for camp. Only the 5K will have an entry fee. Everybody else: find sponsors. How does that work you might ask? It’s super simple. Tell your friends, family, business partners, church members via video, letter, text, or in-person that you are raising money for a non-profit by walking or running and have them commit to a certain dollar amount PER MILE (minimum $1 per mile). After the race you let them know your mileage and they pay up. For example, if a person commits to $2 per mile and you run 10 miles, they donate $20 to camp. But here’s the neat part- that’s only one sponsor. If you find 10 folks to sponsor $2 per mile and you run 10 miles, that turns into $200. And given 30 hours with breaks, naps, staying hydrated and fresh, you can run a lot of miles even walking- many more than you think.
This is a no-frills event. That is, bring your own nutrition, hydration, etc. Bring your tent and sleeping back if you wish. Park your vehicle along the driveway for instant access for food and extra clothes. The dining hall will be open for a place to sit down, lay down, or fall out. I will provide more details soon but for now, circle the weekend of November 7-8.
We look forward to the return of staff and campers for Fall Camp! Registration is available at www.cedarlakecamp.org. Dates for this event are TUESDAY, October 13-16 (Monday is Columbus Day). Cost is $125 per child. Transportation is available upon request from Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville, TN.
Cabin Pictures on Our Website
Have you purchased your campers cabin picture from this summer? NEW to the website. Click here for Cabin Pictures Summer 2020!
Cedar Lake Camp is happening! We are so excited and READY! For your convenience, please read the attached documents about what CLC is doing to stay proactive in light COVID-19.
We are continuing to pray and prepare for camp! We’d love to have your camper this summer!
We are having an added week of day camp on May 26th-29th… Register now HERE!
I have believed for years that camp is one of the healthiest places to be. While at camp, children are away from TV screens and in the great outdoors. They get loads of physical, mental, social, and spiritual stimulation. Kids run around and get sweaty and dirty. They play games, sports, and do crafts. We take them swimming, hiking, and canoeing. These are all things kids NEED to be doing. Staying at home all summer watching TV and playing video games is not healthy.
At camp, we are away from all the busyness of life and have a chance to think. Being out of the city also means cleaner air with wide-open spaces to enjoy God’s creation and beauty. Sunshine produces Vitamin D which boosts the immune system. We get plenty of that at camp!
We serve delicious, home-cooked meals. Each week begins with spaghetti, salad, and homemade garlic cheese biscuits. (We even make our own bread, hello!!!) Other meals include barbeque chicken with green bean casserole or roast beef and mashed potatoes on Banquet Night. Taco Tuesday is a BIG hit with staff and kids. I remember one Tuesday we did NOT have taco salad. There was almost a riot.
Breakfasts are something to look forward to with meals like biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, fruit and toast. You just can’t beat camp’s oatmeal and sausage! We finish the week off with French Toast Friday and Cinnamon Roll Saturday (hand-made of course). For some kids, they eat better at camp than at home and I don’t just mean a healthy variety of foods. Some of them aren’t fed at home like at camp.
Spending time with friends and making new ones is a good thing. When our staff spends time with the kids it encourages them and lets them know someone cares. Children NEED to be told and shown how important they are. At camp, they receive that. Life-long memories and friendships are forged at camp.
Of course the greatest need of our lives is to understand God’s love for us and how we can be forgiven of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ. There’s no greater encouragement than to know the God of the universe cares for you enough to give His life and offer you eternal life.
Our sickness policy is simple. If your child has a contagious sickness, don’t send them to camp. If they get sick while at camp, we have someone to take care of them who will be in touch with you about next steps. We trust you, the parents, to make the right decision. Your children are individuals and each person who gets sick at camp will be treated individually while in communication with you to make the best decision regarding their PERSONAL circumstance.
Soap is always available for washing hands. We encourage hydration at appropriate times of the day. If it’s too hot we’ll take a break or go swimming. Cleaning is always done with bleach so we know the germs are dead. These are a few of the ways we help ensure safety and health while at camp.
Camp is good for children and staff on so many levels. We are proud of the opportunity to serve those who spend time with us. Thank you for entrusting your most prized possessions to us for the week.
In this game show, contestants play for a prize but then have the opportunity to win a bigger prize IF they select the right door or envelope. Sometimes ‘Door #3’ may be hiding a new car. Sometimes it’s a ‘ZONK.’ (You don’t want a ZONK. It’s usually something ridiculous like a pair of designer shoes…made of butter.)
In January I received a call from a gentleman who helps lead one of our large retreat groups. He asked if we could use another van. I said yes, not knowing where this was leading. I thought he was about to offer me ‘a great deal’- a used van with low miles and well-maintained for some thousands of dollars. I was mentally preparing my rebuttal: “That sounds great but it’s not in the budget,” and so on.
He said, “Well, I’m going to buy this one and donate it to you guys…if that’s okay.” Yep. That’s TOTALLY okay! I selected Door #3 and knew what was behind it. But was this guy serious? Was this a ZONK? I had no idea. I just waited to see what would happen.
Months passed and nothing. Then I get a text: “Can I bring the van this week?” And sure enough, he brought the van and a backstory to go with it. It belonged to a friend’s church and knew it to be a good deal. He also knew we could use it. He shared with his wife what the Lord had laid on his heart and she agreed. After I told him yes, he committed to buying it but had to work overtime to do it. Once he worked enough to make it happen, he brought it up. He explained there’s no strings attached. We can use it for whatever we need and his group and we’re not obligated to loan it to his group. I could tell how happy he was to make this a reality for us.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” We are certainly blessed to receive this gift but this generous man is more blessed. There IS blessing in giving. The Lord teaches us to keep a loose grip on the things of this world. I mean, we can’t take it with us when we die anyway. Would you thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what you may give to support the ministry of Cedar Lake Camp? With the current world situation, I assure you, there is a genuine need on our part. We would be so honored to receive your gifts but the greater blessing goes to you.
The Israelites were the nation God first chose to be His inheritance. Thankfully, it did not end there! The Apostle Paul explains in Romans how we, as Gentiles, are ‘grafted’ into the family of God like a wild olive tree is grafted into one that is cultivated. Through Jesus Christ, the promises of God are transferred to anyone who believes in Him on an individual basis. We can personally receive forgiveness, salvation from sin, and eternal life.
But as a nation, the psalmist writes, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!… Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” May we personally AND as a nation recognize Jesus Christ as the ultimate Ruler of our hearts, nation, and world.
The long wait is over- Behemoth is finally done! The finishing touches were applied last week- shower curtains, window curtains, and mirror were hung on the inside. Dirt work, grass seed and hay, fascia metal, and door for the crawl space were completed on the outside. The only thing remaining is to have a dedication ceremony and then get some kiddos in there!
It was December 1989 and some of the summer staff had gathered for our annual “New Year’s Eve” reunion. We did some inside work to prepare for the summer, conducted the real Polar Bear challenge in the lake, and, as always, enjoyed the company of our fellow camp laborers. I returned home encouraged and excited about what the next summer would bring. Less than 24 hours later, I received a call from a fellow staff member. The reason for his call? Sometime the previous night, a fire started in Deerfoot, the camp’s kitchen and dining hall, and burned it totally to the ground. Though only a teenager, I understood the ramifications.
There was no kitchen. No dining hall. Yet, summer was on the way. Camper registrations would slowly begin to arrive within the month. This was another critical moment for a place that had faced many before and has faced many since. A plan was developed for the construction of a temporary kitchen and dining area. It would take creativity, quick funding, and many volunteer hours, but by the time the first campers arrived in early June, the Pavilion was ready for service. It would be pressed into service for three summers as a more permanent facility was built. Today’s staff and campers enjoy the facility known as the Ruth Geiger Memorial Dining Hall. The Lord was indeed gracious in his provision then as He continues to be to this day.
Cedar Lake is a place that from its beginning, was designed to come alongside people in the spiritual context of their lives. The primary manner for doing so is to introduce boys and girls to the good news of the Gospel through our summer camping ministry. Every summer there are heavenly celebrations as boys and girls acknowledge a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Leading in this context requires a deep trust in God’s good and gracious provision. In our humanity, we do not always know where this provision will come from, but we know that our God is trustworthy.
Nehemiah 1:3 says, “And they (Nehemiah’s brothers) said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” The men and women who remained in Jerusalem were struggling physically and spiritually. Nehemiah’s response upon hearing of the state of Jerusalem:
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the GREAT and AWESOME God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
Ryan, Jared, Angela, board members, and staff are following Nehemiah’s example as we ask the Lord to be attentive to our prayers, for his listening ear and open eyes. We are praying for the ability to be open for business as usual. We are praying for the opportunity to minister to boys and girls on property. We are praying for full camps. We are praying for the opportunity to invest in the spiritual lives of our summer staff. We are praying for the financial resources to weather this critical moment. We are praying for retreats for this fall and next spring. We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of POWER and LOVE and SELF-CONTROL (II Timothy 1:7). I ask of you three things:
Proverbs 16:3 reads, “Commit your work to the Lords, and your plans will be established.” The sacred ground and work of Cedar Lake Camp have long been committed to the Lord. In this time, we patiently, yet with eager anticipation, wait to see the plans the Lord establishes for this place, our staff, and our broader camp family. May each of you continue to experience the abundant riches of His grace and mercy.
By the Shores,
Chairman, CLC Board
We are having an extra week of day camp!! This day camp will be on May 26-29. This extra week of day camp will be available for kids ages 5-10. Register here on our website!
Like other individuals and businesses, nonprofits are struggling financially. Would you consider giving in the participation of #GivingTuesdayNow. This is another Giving Tuesday Campaign to help nonprofits during this time of crisis. If you are willing to donate, click here!
I can’t wait for schools to be back in session. Not because I’m tired of my own kids, mind you. But rather, I’m ready for the country to return to normal. For sure, there are some things that need to change in our culture but I mean folks going to work each day, kids going to school, playing sports and music events, eating at a restaurant, and knowing our favorite brand of toilet paper is in stock. These are things that are normal and GOOD. It feels like we have been robbed of ‘normal’ lately.
I want to encourage you: do not be afraid. Don’t just take my word, take God’s. The Lord has not called us to a spirit of fear or timidity. There is a verse that has been circulating in my head: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” It’s true God was not speaking about virus concerns in the original context of this passage from Isaiah 41. The principle, however, remains. God loves and supports His people and has shown that time and time again. His care for humanity was most clearly displayed when He became human and ultimately gave His life for us on the cross. If God can conquer sin and death, He can most assuredly conquer a virus and all the associated fear.
When I read the CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of contagious germs, I’m happy to report we already practice them. Hand washing is easy to do. Hand sanitizer is available at camp. If your child is sick, wait till they are well to send them to camp. If they become ill at camp, we have a nurse to take care of them.
Part of my intent for writing our CLC family is to assure you we are doing and will do everything we can to keep the kiddos safe and healthy.
The other reason I write is to say we are moving forward with summer camp. Not in a wreckless abandon nor in opposition to government authorities as Romans 13 mandates but rather in the hope and confidence this will soon pass and all the prep work we have invested so far in creating a new summer booklet, writing campfire talks, securing summer staff, and maintaining facilities will be implemented. We will forge ahead, praying each day the situation in our world will get better, restrictions will be lifted, and things can get back to normal. As of writing, the federal government has established an April 30 goal of loosening restrictions which is 5 weeks before camp begins. We will plan for summer camp until we absolutely cannot. It’s all we know to do. Restaurants cook food; it’s what they do. Mechanics fix cars; it’s what they do. And we host children at camp. This is what we do!
Our children have had a lot robbed from them lately. Schools are closed. Sports, music, dance, and recreation have all been canceled. Family trips, vacations, and even visits to grandma’s house have all been taken from our children. Even regular church attendance is not an option. If I hear of one more thing canceled…well, I wouldn’t be happy I’ll say that.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have normal restored? If the Lord is willing, we would love to grant ‘normal’ to the youth we serve. Camp is a great place to process events in their lives, with staff who care about them, all with a biblical perspective.
Camp is so important to our campers and staff. Literally tens of thousands of young people have enjoyed Cedar Lake Camp over the years and we have no plans to stop. Each year there are kids who come to faith in Jesus Christ or are challenged to grow in their faith. Staff have an opportunity to live out their faith and share what the Lord has done in their lives. It’s not uncommon for our campers and staff to go on to the mission field or work in ministry in some capacity. The Lord is working at Cedar Lake Camp.
This year we enter season #78. Like each year, if we want to see the next it is imperative parents send their kids to camp. You’ve heard me say it many times, “Without campers, there is no camp.” Our mission is to serve the next generation.
Our board of directors have made a few adjustments in preparation for summer camp including cutting our registration deposit rates in half!
I hope these changes are advantageous for your family. These changes are for this summer only in direct response to the current situation in our country. Our refund policy includes a non-refundable deposit that is transferable up to 12 months while the remainder of fees paid is fully refundable and/or transferable up to 12 months.
Please make plans to send your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbor kids, and children from your church this summer! What we do is important in the kingdom of God and in their lives. We would love the opportunity to invest in your child!
Summer Camp Registration Click here
Visit www.cedarlakecamp.org for dates and registration.
In Other News
Coronavirus Financial Impact
We have lost two retreat groups due to virus concerns. Anticipated revenue from both events totaled between $4,000 – 4500. With the current situation, camper registrations are also down. Please pray this revenue will be made up somehow. Almost all our revenue for the year is from camper fees, retreat fees, and donations. When one of these sources wanes another must make up the difference if camp is to be healthy. Entering the summer with a deficit is hard to overcome unless donors make up the difference. Please pray about becoming a monthly donor. It is important to remember we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization meaning all donations are tax-deductible. We are also non-denominational meaning we have no denominational support money as income. This makes our donors all the more important.
Our new cabin Behemoth is so close to completion! We fully expect it to be utilized this summer. The only items remaining are bunk bed mattresses, shower curtains, curtains, toilet paper and paper towel holders, and a little paint here and there.
Of those items listed, bunk bed mattresses are the most costly. Each mattress costs $89.50. We need 14 for a total of $1253. Would you consider sponsoring a mattress? Perhaps you feel led to make a donation to cover the entire cost. Or maybe you would like to cover the costs of the lesser items. As a non-profit organization, we depend on generous donors like you to help us cover the costs. Thank you in advance for your gifts!
New Gym and Pool
Please be in prayer for our board of directors as there are big decisions to make regarding the plans of a new gym and pool. Specifically, we will be discussing a potential partnership with a professional fundraising firm and next steps in regards to the plans for this structure. Complete architectural drawings for this project are priced at just over $67,000.
The date of our annual fundraiser 5K Fun Run is TBD. This laid back run winds down camp’s driveway and past camp ‘back in the holler’ they say. Look for registration and details soon! If you would like to be a sponsor for this event, please send us a message for instructions.
Please pray about how you can support the ministry of Cedar Lake Camp. In addition to cash donations, we are also able to take gifts of stock, annuities, IRA Rollovers plus material items such as vehicles, sport/recreation vehicles, rare coins, tools, and more.
Click HERE to see practical ways you can help camp!
Livingston Police Camp May 26-29
Staff Training Week June 1-6
First Day of Resident Camp June 7
First Day of Day Camp June 8
It’s a strange feeling to leave the dead of winter and step out of a plane into tropical weather. The quandary is this: do you wear long sleeves and pants in the cold knowing you’re going to sweat upon arrival OR wear shorts and a t-shirt onto the plane knowing you’ll be a step ahead? Our Jamaica mission team was about 50/50 on the issue. Things like this “Jamaica me crazy,” as the saying goes.
I can only brag on the Lord as He was with us the whole way. Even during the planning phase, He was faithful in every little detail.
Our team consisted of 12 staff and 3 adults- the largest CLC International team yet. We had an awesome travel agent who kept us from getting gouged on airfare (thank you Celeste!) and found a great deal on a hotel. These are big deals, not just from a budget perspective, but also practical. Traveling can be draining and knowing you have good flights and a place to rest at the end of the day is huge.
As it turns out, the tap water was drinkable in Jamaica (not that everyone dared to do it). This was a far cry from Peru and Haiti where we drank bottled water and STILL got sick. The food was good as well. Rice and beans are a staple at almost every meal and being a in warm climate allows tropical fruit to grow like crazy. We ate fruits I didn’t even know existed! Our driver said the main dishes we MUST try while there were “jerk chicken” and “goat curry.” Everywhere you go there are signs advertising “jerk” which makes me think of beef jerky but it’s not that at all. Jerk is a seasoning they use on different meats. The jerk chicken was great and the goat was okay except all the bones.
Because we were at a small church in a little town each day during lunch our only option was to get supplies at a local store and bring with us. By supplies I mean bread, peanut butter and jelly. Yes, we had PB & Js five days in a row. Five days! I haven’t eaten that many PB & Js in the last 2 years. But no one else complained. It did, however, provide an opportunity to sample jellies not usually found in American stores. Among the unique flavors were guava, pineapple-coconut, papaya and mango.
It is true Jamaicans speaks English… but there’s still a small language barrier. Their version of English is not only difficult to understand because of the accent but they actually have other words we don’t use and ways of spelling common words that differs from ours. We all know Jamaicans say “Yaaman” (“yeah, man”). But how about “Wah gwan”? That’s slang for “how’s it going?” To which you reply, “Mi deh yah, yuh know,” meaning “I’m doing well.” I strained my ear listening when they spoke, especially the children. A few times I couldn’t understand them at all.
We partnered with a local church named Iterboreal Brethren of Christ. They have a very small concrete building with no play area. Thankfully, the primary school next door graciously allowed us to use their building, small yard, and bathrooms.
Our goal with CLC International is threefold: 1) reach people in other cultures with the gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) provide a cross-cultural ministry opportunity for our summer staff, and 3) equip native churches/missionaries with tools to reach their own children using the tools of camp ministry. It was encouraging to see all three at work on this trip.
Our staff taught Bible lessons each morning and afternoon. We storied the Bible from creation to Christ. Jamaicans love to say, “No problem.” It’s part of their culture to not want problems, but rather to relax and take it easy. I used this as a launch point to explain that there IS a problem called sin. The book of Romans teaches us that all people sin and the “wages of sin is death.” But praise be to God, the story doesn’t end there. Sin creates a debt that we are unable to pay but there was One who paid it for us through His own blood and death on the cross. Jesus is the solution to our sin problem. By turning FROM our sinful ways and turning TO faith in Jesus Christ we can have forgiveness and eternal life.
For some of our students, this was their first out-of-country experience. Hopefully, their perspective has been broadened, allowing them to see how other people live outside the borders of our own country. Many of our staff are involved in mission work and CLC International is one more opportunity.
Each day we gave a gift to the children. Over the course of the week those items included toothbrushes and toothpaste, clothing, toys, candy, and for the grand finale the best gift of all: a Bible. We gave summer camp devotional booklets to the leaders of the church to use when they have need and left our sports equipment with the school. Also, adults in the community were fitted with reading glasses (thanks Dr. Mark!).
I spoke with the host deacon on the last day asking if we had an open invitation to return. He enthusiastically said “yes.” We gave all our games and song lists to them and suggested they do a camp on their own during the summer. He and another youth leader had the confidence to say they would give it serious consideration.
In the end, it was another great adventure in doing our part of the Great Commission. Thank you to all those who gave of their time, prayers, and dollars to make it all possible! And thanks be to God for His faithfulness to honor those efforts.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” –Ephesians 3:20-21
The winter season is the perfect time to start fundraising funds for camp for your group or child.
Looking for ways to help your child earn money for camp?
Having your child raise some money for camp is a great way to get them excited to go! Here are ways that your child can earn money:
Looking for ways to fundraise for your group?
Fundraising at your church is a great way to chip down the cost of camp for families.
Here are some ways to fundraise:
Happy Fundraising! If you decide to fundraise for your group, post a picture and make sure to tag us. We want to see!