Friday, June 5, 2009

Scholarships and Camp: Makes A Difference...

In the past we have featured articles on our Faith Formation Stimulus Package (our outreach to families affected by the economic times) and camp scholarships.
These programs have been very successful and we have helped many kids who otherwise would not have gone to camp. We have received many heartfelt letters and thought we would share this one with you. We can all make a difference in the life of a young person.

"Dear Mr. Johnson,
Amy won't be able to come to camp this summer. She will be spending the summer with her father in Arkansas. Here is a small check ($100.00) for you to add to your scholarship fund. Last summer at camp changed Amy's life and my own in profound ways that I never thought possible. I will be forever grateful. I hope this small token of gratitude will make a difference for someone else. God bless you."

You need to know a little more about Amy and her mom, lets call her Martha, so you can appreciate the full significance of this gift and the miracle that God worked in their lives. Martha's pastor (lets call him Pastor Joel) used to serve on the LLMI Board of Trustees. Last spring, he went to Martha and encouraged her to send Amy to camp. Martha said no. She had been divorced twice, was unemployed, and claimed she could not afford it. Pastor Joel did not know it at the time, but Martha was also dealing with a bad drug habit. Amy had dropped out of youth group at church and was starting to have trouble at school. Fortunately, Pastor Joel persisted. Together with his congregation and LLMI, Amy received a full scholarship to attend camp at Lutherock. That week literally changed Amy's life. She was physically challenged and the Holy Spirit touched her life in a profound way. Amy also re-connected with some old church friends while at camp. Amy was not the same person when she returned home. Thanks to Pastor Joel's help and encouragement, she once again attended youth group and arranged for a ride to Sunday worship. Martha noticed the difference and, last fall, was motivated to seek Pastor Joel's help to enroll in a drug treatment program. Amy and her mom still have a long journey ahead of them. It will not be easy for them, but they are no longer walking alone. The Christ who surrounded Amy with love and support at Lutherock, is walking alongside Amy and Martha. They now have hope for a better future.

In making a gift, Martha is not only saying thank you, but she is also recognizing the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of campers and guests at Lutheridge+Lutherock. In the Camp Season 2009 several campers will receive financial assistance to share in the Christ-centered camp communities this summer. Already, over $75,000 has been committed to the Faith Formation Stimulus Package. However, we expect to need to at least double this amount in order to meet all the anticipated requests for help this summer. If you know of a young boy or girl who could benefit from summer camp, please contact them and invite them to attend. Their situation does not need to be as dramatic as Amy's. What a joy it is to share together in a ministry that God uses to touch lives like Amy and Martha!

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