Corbin—102 campers and adults from eight churches attended Camp Courage on July 29-30 at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp. Through the camp theme of “Rejoicing in God’s Works,” attenders learned about Baptist missionaries and outdoor activities as well as teamwork and cooperation to accomplish tasks and solve problems.
“The purpose was two-fold,” said Jon Auten, Royal Ambassadors and Challengers consultant for the Kentucky Women’s Missionary Union. “They meet and hear from missionaries about possibilities on mission fields around the world, and get outside to enjoy God’s creation and learn outdoor skills.”
Children, youth and adults from Parkland and Living Hope churches in Louisville, Frenchburg Church, Immanuel Church in Somerset, Wrigley Church, Knoxville Church in Williamstown, and Liberty Church in Campbellsville participated in the overnight camp, which began with registration and outdoor games on Friday and ended on Saturday afternoon, following an awards ceremony for the various games and competitions.
“It’s a good opportunity for (fathers and sons) to come together. We hope to get the kids excited about missions,” said David Buie, RAs and Challengers representative on the Kentucky WMU Board. “Many of those in the mission field began as RAs as children. (We) do it for the kids and ultimately for the Lord.”
The camp experience also included worship services. Doug Williams, missions strategist for the Missions Mobilization team at the Kentucky Baptist Convention, preached the sermon for the Friday night service from Numbers 13, using a scene from the movie, “Toy Story,” to illustrate the importance of trusting God even when the circumstances seem impossible.
“The kids need to be on mission wherever they are,” said Williams. “Their schools, neighborhoods and sports teams need to be where they witness.”
For the Saturday afternoon service, the message was brought by Ron Leonard, a North American Mission Board missionary. He, along with his wife Marilyn and dog, Molly, serve as missionaries to military veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder living in the Nashville, Tenn., area. They partner with a larger ministry called “Canines for Christ.”
“The first thing is to know Christ. The second is to make Him known,” said Leonard. “We’re here to help the kids learn how to be on mission.”
Children and adults were encouraged to enthusiastically raise their voices in praise.
“From a young age, guys believe that it’s not manly to sing,” said Steve McDaniel, worship leader for the Camp Courage weekend. “We are commanded to lift our voices in praise to our God. It’s encouraging to see fathers being godly examples to their sons, and to see boys bonding with godly male role models.”
The RAs and youth also participated in knot-tying, campfire-building, archery, rope bridge, compass challenge, fishing, bracelet-making, and RA racer events. Awards were given to first, second and third place finishers.
Camp Courage is a proactive way to connect RAs from across the state and to encourage community and cooperation among RAs from across Kentucky, Auten noted.
“We’re thankful the weather cooperated, and we enjoyed the leaders and kids,” said Auten. “All in all, it was a success.” (WR)