With Elementary Club out for the summer, we put on a lot of special programs to continue the relationships we've made with our younger students over the break. We took them to Camp Indy, hosted a basketball camp, and just had Elementary Club Week, our kick-off event to Elementary Club. With the students back in school, we wanted to look back at one of our favorite events of the summer: Camp Indy.
We were able to take 24 elementary students from our program and our partner church, Horizon Central, to a camp property on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Camp days are long and sweaty, but even the moments of weakness were penetrated by joy and grace.
The students got to swim, take on the low ropes course, canoe, climb the rock wall, and play group games. Most importantly, we had a daily worship and Bible time, as well as intentional conversations with campers throughout the day. After each significant activity, we talked with the students about how that camp challenge relates to God and our relationship with Him. As the week progressed, campers searched for and experienced God more through the camp challenges.
The campers had drastically varying levels of exposure to Christianity. Thursday and Friday of camp focused heavily on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, as well as the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives today. Students heard the freeing message that Jesus understands and cares about our pain, and that we never have to endure separation from God, because Jesus endured it for us.
And this message really sunk in for the campers. On Thursday, one of our students, Devon, closed the group Bible time in prayer. “Dear God, thank you that you will forgive us . . . No, thank you that you have forgiven us . . .”
Not only were the hearts of students impacted, but also those of the volunteers. One of our counselors said of the experience:
“My time at Camp Indy has honestly impacted me in so many ways. I don’t think I’ve experienced so much love and heartbreak in such a short amount of time. Those kids hold such a special place in my heart and have touched my life in more ways then they will ever know. Camp Indy was such an amazing experience for myself as a leader because it was truly a place of hope. For a few hours of the day these kids got to be kids, they didn’t have to deal with any of the junk they go through at home, they just got to have fun and be themselves. God truly showed himself in that week. It was an amazing experience and one I will hold onto for the rest of my life.”
-Maggie McComb, Volunteer Counselor
Campers faced and conquered fears, doubts, and conflict throughout the camp week. We could not have gone without your contribution through prayers, donations, time, and support. Thank you for making Camp Indy possible!
Please pray for:
- protection for these young students as they are back in their homes facing the severity of their daily life
- the students to grow in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ