Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3
I had the honor of serving as a counselor at a kids camp last week. This camp is much different than most kids camps; this is a camp for abused and neglected foster kids. Each year my church takes a group of kids on a Royal Family Kids Camp. The week is filled with NON-STOP fun (literally.) We do everything between swimming to a huge birthday celebration, including a party AND presents! I went last year on staff but this year I went as a counselor and it was awesome. While I can’t share my kid’s names, I can share a few things I learned from these sweet girls.
My co-counselor, Emily, and I were blessed with like the two best campers! They were so easy going and wanted to just have fun. One of our campers in particular, who I will call A, forever changed my life.
As soon as A stepped off the bus, I knew this week was going to be special. When we were getting ready for bed on Monday night, I was trying to start conversation and for some reason I asked A if she had ever been to Church. I learned that she had never been to church or even introduced to God! She had no idea that God was more than just a name, but someone who works in her life. This shocked me to my core. In my ignorance I guess I thought that everyone knew about God… Like wake up, Hannah!
So as soon as I learned that I knew I had my work cut out for me. It was time to take care of some kingdom business! So that night, her questions began. She asked me everything between the difference between Jews and Christians to why would God sacrifice His son for her.
Each year we have a talent show and we encourage all the campers to participate. When we told our campers, they decided they wanted to sing a song together. They decided to sing the song “See You Again.” Emily and I were like perfect, that’s easy! Then A said she wanted to do a skit with it… Emily and I were a little concerned about what that would entail… So Tuesday afternoon as we were walking to the pool and A, out of the blue, said “I think that for our skit we can say something like, ‘Just like the song says, friends come and go, but God never leaves us. He’s the father to the fatherless and friend to the friendless. I think we should quote some Bible verses too.” I couldn’t even find words. It had been less than 24 hours, and she got it!
She was so eager to learn more about God. She was so hungry for His Word. Every time we were in our room she was reading my Bible. She even made a journal filled with her favorite Bible Verses. We had countless conversions over the week that filled my heart with so much joy. This sweet 12-year-old girl had been through so much in her life, yet she was able to understand that God was always with her, protecting her.
They killed the talent show! They sang, preached the word, and even had an altar call (okay kidding about the last one!) But our girls spent the week submerged in God’s love for them.
The last night A and I were praying and she prayed these words that will forever mark my heart, “Thank you God for allowing me to come to this camp because now I believe you are real and you love me.” That’s what that week was about. Sharing the love of Jesus with these exploited children.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
I am so grateful that God allowed me to play a short part of A’s life. I am so grateful that through, Royal Family Kids Camp I was reminded that these kids exist (because for some reason no one wants to talk about orphans!) but more importantly remember my calling. When I was 12, just like sweet A, my dad passed away. I could’ve been put into foster care if I didn’t have my mom. I could’ve been in the same place those kids were in. I truly believe God used the loss my Dad, to call me to fight for the kids who have lost theirs.
It is SO easy to forget how big this world is. There are people in our towns that have no idea who God is. It’s easy to think that places like Africa are unreached, but are there really unreached people in Dallas, Texas? YES. It only takes one conversation to change someone’s eternity. Thank you Jesus that you gave me 5 days with my two campers to do that! God is so good.
Also, here’s some statistics about Foster Kids to ruin your day. Just heartbreaking!
*Statistics found on the Royal Family Kids website.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
If you have any questions or prayer requests (or both) you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @thatotherhannah and Snapchat @hannahhmooree 🙂