There has been a solid momentum in SU camps for middle school aged boys, including: Rugby League Camp, Rugby Union Camp, and Cricket Camp. These camps are going strong, with many of the boys attending all three camps each year – their enthusiasm growing at the end of each one in anticipation for the next one. Let us rejoice! North West Regional Coordinator, Dave Tankard, shares Max’s story:
He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’Mark 9:36-37
When Max* came to Rugby League Camp he was quite a handful, to put it mildly. He refused to comply with instructions, participate in any activities, and was behaving with aggression towards leaders.
He told me that he would not be sleeping that night. The camp director, Janelle, and I were very close to phoning home for him to be collected late on day one.
We decided to try one last conversation with Max, where we firmly told him he must follow our instructions for his, as well as everyone else’s, safety.
I felt prompted to tell him that I believe sleep is a gift given by God, quoting Psalm 127:2, “The Lord grants sleep to those he loves.” With his permission, Janelle and I prayed with him that he would have a wonderful night’s sleep.
The next morning we had a bright and compliant boy, in fact Max went out of his way to help, seeking out tasks such as distributing water bottles during sweaty training sessions.
He still required a lot of attention from the leaders, but he was no longer against us, he was becoming our friend.
Having Max on camp taught Janelle and I, as well as the leaders and other campers so much about giving, patience, and love.
It has been a joy to see him flourish at two other SU camps since then, and to run into him at a church youth event in his town. This family, facing many challenges, have been touched by the love of God, and are living with hope now.
Please join me in praying that our range of camps will continue to grow, so that any boy or girl can find one for themselves.
SU camps continue to make an impact for Christ in young lives. Thanks to 437 amazing leaders, 26 camps ran last year – reaching 725 campers for Christ. Incredible!
Could God be stirring your heart to consider serving on an SU camp this year – could you help start a camp? We’d love to hear from you! Contact [email protected].
*Name changed for privacy reasons.
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