The power of Christian camp
The desperate need for the gospel in the UK is no secret.
In Yorkshire, where I was born, brought up and still live, there is a population of 5.5 million. Research indicates that less than 1% go to church once a month or more. This is comparable to Japan, a country we would ordinarily associate with a 'missionary call'.
So, how do we even begin to reach the people around us in a way that will impact the whole nation?
My husband, Andy, and I work at the Oakes Holiday Centre in Sheffield. Each year it runs over forty camps, throughout the whole year, for up to sixty children and young people aged 8 to 18-years-old. The centre faithfully shares the gospel, whilst giving the children a fun and memorable holiday.
The Oakes attracts church youth groups, schools and individuals and though each group is different in its background and Bible knowledge, they all are taught the wonderful gospel message in a way that is relevant and fun but without compromise. In this way, they reach around 1,500 campers every year with the gospel.
Think of the impact these children could have in the future if they commit to loving Jesus and following Him in the years of their youth.
That's why we are keen to see this work expand further north, to reach the spiritually barren county areas of North and West Yorkshire. We have been praying about opening a centre, very similar in focus to the Oakes, elsewhere in Yorkshire. We have seen two possible sites, though as yet, they have not become available to us.
So, as we wait for a permanent camp centre, we are stepping out, in faith, to start gospel camps in West Yorkshire. The first camp is being held in April for children age 8 to 12-years-old in Bramhope, Leeds. With a team of people who have worked at the Oakes previously and other Christian volunteers, we hope to run a range of activities for the children, including archery, crafts, an egg hunt, frisbee, golf, fun night and a bonfire.
Further camps are being planned for October and over the New Year holidays.
Each day the children will have meetings together where they will sing, learn Bible verses and the Bible will be taught to them. They will also have group time in their dormitories, discussing what they have learnt and have the opportunity to ask questions.
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A permanent site would mean that we could attract school residential camps to the centre, who would also be required to participate in the same teaching programme as church group camps. Many school children do not know that God loves them and we have a wonderful opportunity to tell them how He has shown His love to us through Jesus.
So, what can you do?
1. First, and by far the most important please pray for us
We need the prayers of righteous people across our land, committed to regularly coming before the Lord to pray for the work of Yorkshire Camps.
2. Tell your church leaders
We would love to come to your church family and share all that God is doing and speak in detail about how you can be involved.
3. Recruit people to come on camp
Who could you share details of this camp and project with? Could you help subsidise a place for someone else?
4. Support the work financially
There are various ways you can do this. Please contact us for more details.
Gospel camps have the potential not just to change individual's lives for all eternity, but to impact a nation for Christ.
Find out more at www.yorkshirecamps.org.uk