My wife & I had the tremendous joy and privilege of volunteering at a “Handi-Camp” presented by Power Ministries. To be honest, in the beginning, we were apprehensive. We have not been blessed with parenting experience yet, so when we read the statement in our commitment letter that said, “If you (the faculty member) look to the right, then to the left and do not see your ‘Handi-Camper,’ then you are in the wrong place!” After reading those words, we thought we were sunk! Besides, these campers had medical needs and other issues besides physical and mental challenges and what made us think that we could be a parent, doctor, nurse, counselor, and friend all at once? Needless to say, we felt a little overwhelmed before our Handi-Campers arrived.
But, we must tell you that as soon as we met our new friends, God gave us peace and confidence that “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:16)”. We laughed and loved like we haven’t done in a long time. We were able to be childlike ourselves and just have fun. We were told to just share Jesus; and that is so true. We were struck with the realization that when the simple message of Christ is presented, it can pierce the hearts of anyone! The universal language of music and the message of the Gospel is the thread to weave us all together. We sang and celebrated. We “normal” people forget the joy of knowing Jesus, and how He loves to fellowship with us.
We rejoiced to see Jesse (18 years old), able to be with teens his own age and also to watch Bessie (63 years old) get in a paddle boat for the first time in her life, and to come out of her shell. Ted loved leading a “Basketball Championship” for the boys. We both enjoyed having our group do a drama about the life of Christ. We were also humbled by the sacrifices that the parents and care-givers have made for these special people and pray for them to have continued strength. If the time we gave at Handi-Camp helped to refresh them, for that reason alone we are thankful to have been a part of Handi-Camp.
Power Ministries is a very desperately needed and excellent ministry. The staff was excellent. We want to encourage readers to take the challenge; give your time and resources to support this ministry. Step out of your comfort zone to focus totally on the needs of someone else for a while (and we don’t mean your children & family). Any problems you have will seem miniscule after just 4 days at Handi-Camp. Your time is the most precious gift you can give. Your heart & life will be changed forever.
Ted & Jeanie C.