Saturday, July 12, 2008

Childrens' Camps

children camp
Children's camp in Rio Blanco
Matthew 19:14
but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Precious to God are little children and this is how we must come to God, as they are. Children are dependent on their parents for every need that they have and we must be that way toward God.

Once every quarter we had a 3 day long camp for the children in the mountains. Since none of their parents have automobiles, we have to go up to the mountains to get them and take them to the camp. It takes nerves of steele and lots of gasoline to get all the children from their respective villages to the one place where the camp is located. We go 3 or 4 different dirrections on 1 to 3 hour trips to pick up everyone. Sometimes by the time the last child is on the vehicle, it is so loaded down that with every minor bump (and there are many on those mountain roads), that the tire scrapes the wheel well or the van thumps the rocks that we are passing over.

It is such a joy to see the children though. I remember one trip in particular when I was accompaning Roberto to Teotsacualco to pick up children to take them to a Summer camp. We were driving in a blue Dodge van that was loaded way beyond its capacity. All the children were singing praise songs to Jesus and in perfect harmony. It sounded like a load of angels coming down the mountain and was one of the most joyful experiences of my life.

At the camps, the children sleep in tents and attend classes and play games. The tents are set up dividing boys and girls and sometimes they will have a large tent where all the boys or girls will occupy. Regardless of whether they use one or many tents, all are loaded to capacity. The missionaries were kind to me however, they let me sleep by myself in either a tent or one of the vehicles.

The classes are led either by the missionaries or by young women or married couples from the church in Rio Blanco. At the group meetings, all children are in attendence and sing silly songs and praise song or are entertained by clowns or puppets. These meetings are where the children learn the songs that they take back to their parents in the mountains.

What is really wonderful about these meetings is that these children will grow up knowing Jesus and will be able to raise their families following Him rather than alchohol or worshipping some god that is not the real one. They will be able to do away with sinful customs of their fathers such as robbing your future wife from her parents or having more than one wife. I am thankful for the work of the missionaries in not neglecting the children or hindering their coming to Jesus.

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