Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Camp Director Paul David Kurts sent this recap of Higher Ground 2009:
At Higher Ground 2009, campers not only heard the message of God’s unconditional love for everyone and the life we all share with the Father, Son and Spirit, but they witnessed it also. Seventy staff members from a dozen different church backgrounds served 140 campers and showed how Christians from all denominations can work together, recognizing their shared identity as children of God.
Based on last year’s camper feedback, the chapel messages addressed the reality of the camper’s lives by featuring stories of men and women in the Bible who encountered God and were used by God in spite of their imperfections, age and social status. The chapel theme was “Real Life, Real People, Real Good News.”
Camp activities including dodge ball, paintball, high ropes, water polo, disk golf, and arts & crafts. To foster team spirit and build family bonds, dorm members participated in activities together and sometimes would compete against another dorm. Evenings featured special events such as a talent show, camp dance, praise and worship concert, a magic show and the ever-popular Camo Night. On the last night, each dorm had its own campfire and fireside chat. It was a time to share their thoughts for the week, encourage one another, and ask questions of counselors and guests.
Jeff McSwain from Reality Ministries in Raleigh visited the camp on Friday to observe how we reach out to young people in the light of who they already are in Jesus. He was very excited about what we are doing and may consider partnering with us next year or running his own camp at the same location.
Higher Ground 2009 filled up in record time. Based on early registrations for 2010, we expect next summer’s camp to fill up even faster. Higher Ground offers a $75 discount for registrations received by August 31. The camp website is www.carolinacamp.com.
Jay Richie, Pathways Camp Director, sent this update:
This year Pathways Camp was blessed to have our best camp experience ever for campers and staff alike nestled in the beautiful hills of Jackson, Ohio during the week of July 18–24.
This year we had 118 campers, 13 mini-campers and 58 staffers gather to worship God, have fun, learn social skills, and learn more about our life in Jesus. We used the Narnia-themed curriculum, which proved to be a powerful message that the kids could understand and get excited about.
Aside from our normal activities, we were able to participate in an outreach event one afternoon – without ever leaving the facility. We worked with the Jackson County Family Services Division and arranged to have 21 kids between the ages of 7-14 attend camp for a few hours. We had staff there to help out, but we put most of the work of running a block-party style of events on the capable shoulders of our Senior Campers. It was simply awesome to see and feel the love of Jesus flowing out of our campers and into the lives of those other children.
From Gary Moore:
Last weekend at the South African board meeting I was able to pass along some sports equipment donated by the Vancouver congregation for use at the South African summer camp. It was great getting the news this week from Dennis Thibault that the Castlegar, B.C., congregation has decided to fund the travel of our national ministry leader in Zambia to each congregation in that country. Their generosity will be deeply appreciated.
The first photo is the passing on of the sports equipment, and the second is proof that I really am in Africa. We had the chance to interact with African elephants weighing in at 4.5 tons. They are pretty impressive animals.
Prayer Requests and Updates
From John Biswas:
You are all aware that it is difficult to share Christ’s message of hope in fundamentalist Islamic Bangladesh. More than 150 million people are living in a space smaller than Iowa. Muslims constitute 90 percent of the population, Hindus 9 percent, and 1 percent are Christians, Buddhist and others.
Sadly, two week ago fanatics attacked and badly damaged our Bangladesh mission center. They numbered about 19 to 20 people. They entered the mission compound carrying homemade firearms and have first broken the security walls. They also broke doors, windows and threatened our people. They vandalized the clinic casting out medicines and supplies, plus our books, Bibles and Christian literature and other materials.
Some of the BEA gospel workers tried to save mission property, but they were chased and threatened by the attackers. We thank God that none of the gospel workers were hurt except for some minor wounds. Our people have calculated that from this incident, the Mission Center has incurred a loss of more than $3,000.00 damage.
Despite all this and the persecution of our little Christian outpost, our BEA brave gospel workers take it as a challenge to work for Christ, even though they are persecuted and disturbed from time to time.
The BEA gospel workers are helped and encouraged by your continued prayers and support. By God’s grace they remain strong and dedicated to his work. They do firmly believe that our Savior the Lord Christ saves at every step while they share his message to the people of darkness. They earnestly seek your kind prayers in their efforts.
From Brian Spurgeon:
The Spurgeon family would like to thank everyone who has been praying for Dosha Spurgeon. She went to be with the Lord at 8:50 pm Tuesday evening. Our great Lord chose to give her fullness of life with him in his eternal kingdom.
We are grateful for the time that God blessed us with this wonderful woman of God. She has been such an inspiration to so many with her kindness, patience understanding and love. We miss her deeply, but we know that she is in a better place, and that through the power of Jesus our family will go on united in love and moving forward to the crown of life that we are all waiting for.
We would deeply appreciate your continued prayers as there are so many children and grandchildren who have been affected by her passing on. The dynamics in our family are affected by this change. We love you so very much and treasure the kind words and thoughts that we receive from you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Cards may be sent to:
The Spurgeon Family
2276 Huntington Drive #228
San Marino, CA 91108
Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer, for we belong to Christ, and by the Spirit it is in Christ that we pray. Prayer and other spiritual activities help keep our hearts in tune with God and remind us of who we are in Christ. He is our all in all, and in him we are eternally beloved of the Father and blessed to share his good news with others.