Photos: The joy of family camp
Camp season stretched all the way into late September this year! Family camp was postponed, mainly because war prevented us from going to the cool, breezy seaside. Local camps were too hot until the fall. But the new dates made it possible for two more orphan-parented families to attend, including single dad Igor and his daughter. With many facilities closed, we were thankful to find a good place owned by Christians. At the last moment God brought everything together.
This was an especially youthful camp. All the parents were 22 or younger! Ten moms, five dads, and 12 kids attended, plus our staff and one volunteer from our Educational Outreach program. It was wonderful to see so many dads.
Swimming and sauna time were restful, and families bonded over ping pong, billiards, and crafts. Every other day the staff provided a special treat, like popcorn and mocktails, or fresh cotton candy eaten outside with sticky fingers.
At the heart of family camp is an invitation for families to build healthier relationships with each other and with God. In the morning, every parent listened closely during parenting lessons, and at night they learned about growing in the Christian life.
For the first time, our group included a single dad. Igor’s girlfriend died of complications from drug use. At first, he told us, he couldn’t imagine parenting by himself. For a while Igor’s daughter stayed with his sister, a Stop the Cycle mom with four children of her own. Then Igor brought her home. Now he finds joy in being a dad. Igor and two other dads spontaneously decided to sing with our worship team in the last service.
Last Bell surrounds orphaned parents like Igor with love and support. The special days of camp always lead to new ways we can serve our families.
Camp donors, thank you again for making it all possible!