A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Camp CUMCITO (City Union Mission Camp In The
Ozarks) in Warsaw, Missouri. In the beginning of my internship I learned all about the history of City Union Mission and how these 1,000 acres of land were originally purchased for Opportunity Farm. This extension of the Christian Life Program (CLP) was a way for men in the shelter to escape the distractions and temptations of the city in order to get their life back on track. Then in 1934 Camp CUCMITO was established and became an important part of the Mission.
The children that visit Camp CUMCITO each summer get to have fun while learning new skills and meeting new people. I even watched as two staff members were teaching disc golf lessons to a group of children. Not only that, but they got to experience God in a way they may never have before, particularly if they have spent their entire lives in the city. These kids get an opportunity to experience the Lord through nature.
In Psalm 24:1-2, the Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all
who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” As I walked the grounds of the camp all I could see was nature and beauty and God. This was a place for campers to find themselves and God in the quiet, peacefulness of nature. When we admire the world around us we can see God’s handiwork, and in a quiet place like camp, much clarity can be found.
The campers are able to spend time with each other and the staff in a majestic place that allows them to experience the Lord in their own way. The Holy Spirit moves in ways we could never understand, and out there at camp it was moving in these kids; it was bursting out of them in everything they did, like that of a supernova exploding! It is similar to what the Bible says in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help
you and be with you forever;” and in John 14:26, “But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” The campers were experiencing this love and attention in massive amounts. They felt God with them, and for some of them it was the first time, and it was amazing!!!
This beautiful wooded area was so much larger than the eye could see or the mind could comprehend, a similarity to that of God; a place that cannot be contained, but must be left open to explore. . . like their relationship with God.
(Submitted by Ashley Gillihan, Development Department Intern at City Union Mission)