Our second week of camp this summer was at Timberline Ranch, a horse camp in Maple Ridge. Every camp has its own format and structure and Timberline’s specialty/strength was in their drama.
I had the chance to share a devotional in the mornings with their staff and speak to the kids (ages 8-11) every day after their chapel in the mornings, as well as two campfires. The campsite makes sure to have a few campfires going throughout the day for warmth and for something to sit around. That’s one of the best parts of camping, being able to create a lovely fire to sit around and talk. The adults of the camp have to ensure that there’s enough wood for the campfire to last all day and night. When adults go out to collect firewood, they will be sure to take the best axe they can find on the campsite to make sure they can cut down enough trees and create the best wood for the fire. It’s also vital that we take tools like that to clear the campsite too, we don’t want anyone getting hurt by any dangerous trees and plants on the campsite.
The thirst for God’s word has been incredible this summer. After I presented the Gospel at the campfire on Thursday evening there were a lot of kids who stayed behind to talk with both their cabin leaders and me. They had incredible questions about suffering and evil, some were sharing about their loneliness and others were asking for clarity wanting to know how they could know if they were Christians.
It was amazing!
One child in particular named Michael who was incredibly excited that he had found Jesus and couldn’t wait to get home and bring “God’s word” home. He was convinced without hesitation that his Dad would be just as excited as he was about having The Bible at their house.
His excitement and passion were contagious, both his cabin leader and myself were taken in along with him. There is nothing quite like seeing someone come alive when they encounter the love of God and the saving Grace of Jesus.
Because of where it is based, there are quite a number of kids at Timberline who are not from Christian homes, so it isn’t uncommon for many to hear about Jesus for the first time at camp. You see, the horses are a pretty major draw for kids from all backgrounds. They get the chance to learn to ride horses whilst at Timberline. But not only that, they also learn about them as animals in more detail, including things like how to care for a horse. The ranchers at Timberline pass on valuable information such as what horses generally eat, signs of common illnesses and diseases (and how to treat them with things like cbd for horse cushings), and how much exercise they need.
It’s nice to see the children get excited about the horses and to show enthusiasm to learn about them. But it’s even nicer when you see those same emotions when God is involved. This was the case with Michael.
Our biggest prayer for Michael (and others like him) was that his parents would be excited for him and that he would find others to help him grow. That he could impact his entire family with the love he now knows as a part of God’s family.
Although I don’t know exactly how many lives were impacted during the week, I do know that the camp was full (about 120 campers) and that they had unprecedented requests for bibles at the end of the camp week with 75 bibles given away to kids who didn’t have one yet.
Thank you so much for your prayers as we share the truth of Jesus with hundreds of kids, youth and adults this summer.