Category: blog

City Camp 2018 - Wk. 9 - So Long Summer

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Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday we got this summer started, but the calendar tells us a whole 9 weeks have passed since City Camp started. School is back in session and our kiddos are back to the daily routine that all brings. So what better way to end the summer than to celebrate a great 9 weeks than with a party? A party full of fun and friendship for the week sounds about right.

Our last Monday together, while half of our students went swimming at Platte County Community Center North YMCA, our other crews partied with some favorite foods, video games and fun in the gym. Those that went swimming, partied on Wednesday while the other students went swimming. On Tuesday, our party bounced over to Bump City (GAGE). All of our students had a great time playing in foam pits, climbing, sliding, and more. We ended our summer on Thursday, with a trip to CoCo Keys Waterpark -- swimming, splashing, sliding, and generally having a great time all around. We are so thankful to each of these establishments for welcoming our group, and partnering with us over the last several years to give our students some exciting opportunities.

During our devotion time that last week, we looked at something that wasn't a party but was and IS certainly worth celebrating! That event is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death -- we can have hope, a confident expectation that if we've trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, that we are forgiven, and will have life with Him for all eternity. It was this hope that Mary was given when she saw the resurrected Lord on Easter morning and then shared with the disciples. It was this same hope that the disciples soon had for themselves. It was this hope that helped Peter and the others have boldness to share the life changing power of Jesus with others. Because of Christ we have HOPE! Now THAT is definitely worth celebrating and sharing with others!

Thanks so much for everyone who has prayed for our students, interns, and staff over the course of the summer. We are all very grateful for your support. This chapter may be closed, but more fun and growing together await us. In a couple short weeks, we will return to City Corps after school program once again with a number of these very same students. They will be coming to us for homework help, life skills, Bible Study, recreation, field trips and more. Please pray for a great Fall semester with all our students, and that we can build upon the success of the summer.

Camp CUMCITO 2018 – Wk. 5 – Jr. 2 & Tot Lot 4

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Junior 2 Camp -

As we passed over Truman Lake, nearing camp, there were screams of pure excitement “A LAKE!” they declared. For many of them, this was the first time they had ever seen a large body of water and they couldn’t contain themselves. Upon finally arriving, there were volunteer staff running alongside the bus, cheering and clapping; and for the last time this summer, Junior campers hopped off the bus at Camp CUMCITO. They ran through the staff tunnel with mixed emotions, yet excited for lunch and excited to find out who their counselors and cabin mates would be.

Our theme for the whole summer has been ‘The QUEST’. We’ve been talking about how a quest is a difficult journey towards a goal, and that our Quest in life should be to seek God and follow Him. We’ve memorized verses like Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” and Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” to further support this truth.

On the way down to the lake, one group of boys thought they saw a bear or a snake and were afraid. Their counselor explained that the lake trail is like God’s path. Even though there are some scary things along the way, if you stay on God’s path, He keeps you safe and directs you, as Proverbs 3:5-6 speaks of.  

The end of the week carnival came far too quickly, but we played, laughed, and had so much fun at the different stations. The campers got to dunk their counselors in the dunk tank, get their faces painted, eat watermelon, play limbo, and so much more! On Friday night campers received their character awards, where their counselors got to build them up, and speak life into them about who they are.  

One camper told their counselor, “Mr. C, when I first met you I thought you were big and mean, but I think God softened all of our hearts because now you’re just a big, soft, teddy bear and I love you”

Saturday was filled with tears and hugs as we said goodbye to our little family. We prayed that God would keep them safe and declare His mighty love over them.  It is so scary sending such precious and little souls back into everyday life, but we must look to the future with eager hope, knowing that our labor is not in vain, and that what God has started here at Camp CUMCITO, He will finish.   Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

 

Tot Lot 4 -

The final week of Tot Lot 2018 has ended and no one wants to leave. As the campers get ready to head home, it’s hard not to think about the beginning of the week and just how far we’ve come. When asking different staff members about their favorite memories from this week, there were a few we just had to share.

Camp is a wonderful time to get familiar with kids who maybe haven’t grown up in the same environment as you. Some campers aren’t as disciplined or as obedient as you, but at Tot Lot we love to work with each kiddo on their behavior and practice being better sons and daughters in Christ. During Bible time one day, a camper who had trouble following directions, raised his hand to say, “God loves all children, even if they are bad all the time.”  Hearing that really affirmed to the staff that had been handling this campers behavior, even though the disciplinary situations aren’t always positive, our staff handled it in a way that communicated God still loves you!

One of Tot Lot’s favorite to do is to host a carnival for the kids on Thursday evening. There is a bouncy house, Merry-Go-Round, various games, and at each station there is a prize. Each camper gets a bag to fill with prizes throughout the evening, but one camper came up to her Big Sister and asked, “Do we get to take these home?”  Let’s just say the Big Sisters answer put a smile on all her camper’s faces.

During week four of Tot Lot one of our staffer’s kids (also a camper) was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia which was thankfully caught early. The next day, the Big Sister told the rest of her girls about their fellow camper. Immediately, this Big Sis witnessed the rest of her campers begin to pray for their friend. Many of them were ones who weren’t particularly fond of prayer, but when they heard their friend was sick they ignored their own wants.

It’s the things the campers learn and pick up on from the adults around them that really shape who they grow up to be. Although they don’t realize it now, Tot Lot is a profound way to begin their journey with Jesus, surrounded by people who love and support them -  That is what Camp CUMCITO is all about!

City Camp 2018 - Wk. 8 - Around the World

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Week 8 of City Camp took us "Around the World". We had a great time learning about other cultures and places around the globe. One of our staff, Ms. Melinda is our resident world traveler and just returned from a trip to visit a friend in Malawi. She and some friends here stateside were able to share about life and culture in African nations.  They also shared about South Asia as well.

We had a very good education session on the dangers of stereotypes. Unsurprisingly, most of our students don't like stereotypes they may hear about themselves or others close to them, but it was good to think about others who are also stereotyped unfairly. During recreation we played the game "Around The World", and how can we go around the world without sampling some of the food? We enjoyed sampling some cookies from Belgium called speculoos, a snack mix and samosas from India, tim tam cookies from Australia, and Pocky's from Japan. Since we couldn't actually travel around the world, we traveled outside our building to explore. Some of our older students went to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum while our elementary students went to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.

In our devotions this week we continued to learn about the life of Jesus in a very different and creative way. On Monday our staff and interns performed a short play that presented the Gospel, depicting that Jesus died on a cross for our sins and that we might have eternal life and a relationship with God. As we followed the lives of our two main characters we were able to demonstrate that knowing God doesn't come through any good we do, or by any of our own merits, but through what Christ did for us - taking all our sin, dying in our place, that we might accept this free gift of salvation. Jesus from the grave, conquering sin and death, and because He lives, we too have the promise of eternal life. As the week continued, we were able to further unpack the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and what it means for us. We had many, many spiritual inquiries and fantastic questions and conversations. Please pray for our students as they consider these truths and what they mean in their own lives. 

 

City Camp 2018 - Wks. 6 & 7 - Incredibles, Music & Movies

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Continuing on our summer journey, week 6 was "Incredible". The "Incredibles" happened to be our theme this week, because you have to celebrate a summer blockbuster that's been 15 years in the making right? However, our week wasn't just about our favorite animated superheroes, we also did some fun superhero recreation games, like Iron Man dodgeball, a long time VYC favorite. We also had an excellent education session about incredible people who also happen to have special needs. Some of our students admitted they didn't know much about people with special needs or why they were different, but our education time gave them a glimpse into the lives of those who may be different, but are also very determined, and incredible in their own right!  To close out the week, we were fortunate to be able to take our whole group to see the movie, ‘Incredibles 2’. 

 

Week 7 was officially "Music and Movies" week. Our students enjoyed learning how to make both music and movies. We had some friends of our staff members and a few of interns come and share their knowledge about music with our elementary students. In addition to learning what it takes to play instruments and hear some great music, they also got to try out some musical instruments and have a lot of fun! They also had a little dance party by playing some dance revolution video games.  Meanwhile, our secondary students got to work on making their own short movie filmed entirely on a cell phone. They wrote their scripts, gathered props, and did takes and editing to make their movies. They were quite silly, but also very fun to watch. 

 

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n our devotion time we continued through the life and ministry of Jesus. A couple of the highlights we were able to cover were talking with students about Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city, and how people were initially so excited to see Him. In very short time however, many of these same people would be jeering at him and crying out that He be put to death. Many of the people in Jesus’ day had their own idea of who Jesus should be. They wanted a political leader, or a miracle worker, or someone who fit their individual ideal. Even today, we have many people who want Jesus to conform to their ideal or fit their lifestyle. However, that has never been the way it works, which brings us to another highlight. Jesus’ claims about Himself -- that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Isn't it great that we can serve a God who came to earth to tell us plainly the way to God? Not a way, but The Way, and not a truth, but The Truth. Not just any life, but abundant life, eternal life! As we continue to walk our students through the life of Christ, would you please pray that they will have understanding, and that they will see that Jesus stands ready to save them? We have had some great conversations with the students and hope that those continue!

Camp CUMCITO 2018 – Wk. 4 – Pre-Teen 2 & Tot Lot 3

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It’s always amazing to watch how God brings all the right people together to work a week of camp.  With the rain and different personalities and temperaments, Tot Lot 3 may not have been the easiest week of camp, but we have saw how this body of Christ came together to fill in gaps to make each day work.   One little guy asked the teacher why Jesus loved him. If all he learned this week is that he is loved by God, as well as those of us at camp, that will be enough. That is why we are all here.

The Pre-Teen campers spent the week learning about the life of Moses, from the time he was a baby in a basket to when God parted the Red Sea to help the Israelites escape slavery. After hearing about the parting of the Red Sea and that they had found Chariot wheels buried in the sea floor, one camper asked a counselor how there could be wheels if it hadn’t happened. “That’s exactly right,” the counselor told him “the wheels help prove that it did happen.” The camper then realized that what he was hearing at camp was true.

Although it was a rainy week the campers still had plenty of time to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, archery, and time in our new ball pit. We had a lot of returning campers and it is so great for us as staff to be able to see the growth that has occurred and the fruit that comes from all those that have poured into the campers lives over the years. One camper got off the bus eager to let staff know that he hadn’t been in as many fights at school and that he was getting baptized soon! Sometimes the rain changed the schedule a bit and we were so grateful that we could have indoor activities at the Ridge. Another fun, indoor activity was movie night in the Chapel!