What a joy to have received enough donations to take a group of inner city children to camp for a week.
Wilds Camp Here We Come!
What a privilege to take 18 children to The Wilds who would otherwise never have been able to a end if it had not been for the generous giving of fellow believers. Please know that the importance of this opportunity for these particular children cannot be sufficiently described. Each of these children are from homes that the word “broken” does not even begin to describe…
Along for the Ride, but God is Faithful
Most are connected by gang and criminal activity and the children have just been along for the ride since they were infants. They have each suffered abuse of many sorts and are exposed to violence, drugs, and sexual debauchery on a daily basis. Our ministry to them seeks to see each of them rescued by the Lord Jesus himself. We have been involved in most of their lives for three years now and it is much like a missionaries’ work in an unreached part of the world. While there is plenty of religion in their communities, there is no knowledge of the one true God. It may be many years before we see much fruit from our labor but we believe that God is faithful and that the gospel is the power of God to salvation!
What do You Take for Granted?
The ability to take them to camp played such a big part in this ministry to them this year. For a full week the kids are given the following things that they almost never experience in their homes (please take a moment to truly reflect on the importance of each of these and also how much we take these things for granted):
- Regular meals at set times
- Loving instruction
- Biblical instruction
- Clean/pure fun
- Games with enforced rules
- Friends who love God
- Preaching/teaching that is Bible based
- A constant pointing to God and His word/ways
- Protection from evil men
- Challenging activities that teach courage rather than foolish bravado
- Health that comes from clean living
- The mountains which many of them have never seen
- People with smiles all around them
- Loving discipline.
- Love, love, love that flows from God through the believers!
Does it Have to End?
When the week was over, there was such a sadness as they were going home. Many of them asked me if they could stay. Most of them have already asked me when they are going back. They always want to see the videos and pictures of the Wilds whenever they see me.
Discouragement to Joy
Often times, the ministry to kids who are growing up in such an environment can be very discouraging. I often wonder if it is doing any good. My ability to spend time with each child is limited and they are bombarded by evil all week long. Sometimes they seem to not have any response to the teaching of God’s Word. However, there are moments of joy when we see the gospel light shined in their hearts.
Life in Jesus Christ The Lamb of God!
One of the most encouraging moments of this ministry took place just after the Wilds trip. A young man named Destin who is 13 years old was riding with me in my car along with another young man named Ely. Destin broke the silence by saying “Mr. Mel, I really did get saved. I also learned that I don’t have to keep gettng saved, I just need to confess my sins to God.” My heart cried out for joy that this young man whose only influences are evil was speaking of his Savior! He then said, “Mr. Mel, I’ve been reading my Bible. I started in Genesis and have been reading about the creation.” Tears came to my eyes and a relief that perhaps our labors are not in vain as he pulled out his phone to show me something else. He began to scroll through the rap music on his phone until he came down to a Wilds song that he had found and downloaded. He played it and began to sing it right in front of his friend. He asked me to please get him some more Wilds music. I can’t describe the joy in my heart whenever I think of Destin and thinking of him brings me to my knees for him and his mother and his little brother and all of the others who simply need the same thing we were freely givien—LIFE in Jesus Christ the lamb of God!
Will You Continue to Pray?
Please pray now for Destin, Ely, Diavonni, Yonna, Tyjae, Jamariun, Keria, Breniyjah, Niyah, Jamya, Courdney, Mashari, Kyla, D.J. Zachary, Nevaeh and those they represent even in your very own neighborhood who are growing up ignorant of the one true God and His reconciling work on the cross. Perhaps God would have you lay aside some earthly comforts to go and make disciples of those who are near you.
May everything be to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His all that He might redeem us .