- Principal, Raisin City Elementary School
Local church and partners collaborate with community and school to bring Good News Camp to Raisin City!
Camp Good News, held on the grounds of the lone Raisin City elementary school from July 31st to August 5th, was the first in memory for the community of Raisin City. It was both educational and Christ-focused for 80 kids from around Raisin City who otherwise would never be able to go to camp! 21 young adult assistant counselors also grew in service, work, spiritual life, and ministry. A community carnival run by FPC volunteers invited all families into the uplifting spirit, culminating the 4 days of teaching, games, and ministry.
The collaborative camp was the fruit of a year of prayer, service and relationship-building by the local Raisin City church, Iglesia Fuerza Del Calvario (Power of Calvary Church) and its partners, with the community of Raisin City. It began in prayer first seeking the Lord’s plan and agenda, which He progressively revealed as the church got out of their walls and served the local community, beginning with mowing and caring for the local park. This grew into greater service opportunities and cooperation with the community leaders through local festivals, an Easter Vacation Bible School in the park, an end-of-year school carnival (run totally by the church and partners), culminating in their request for an educational and developmental camp! When it was clear the church could also share the Good News of the Gospel while on the school grounds during the summer, the rush began with only 2 months to go!
And boy, did the Lord provide! God quickly raised up volunteers around the Iglesia in Raisin City from First Presbyterian Church and River Park Bible Church, four non-profit ministries and Children’s Hunger Fund, and many donor/sponsors who blessed the community and the name of Jesus! Not just another vacation bible school (though it included many such elements), it was uniquely a collaboration of the community, public elementary school and local church (with supporters) to bring hope through education, crafts and games, and the Gospel to impoverished children and families of Raisin City. The openness and desire and invite of the school to uplift the community was a clear response to the work and service of the Iglesia, and an open door to teach and share the real Hope of Jesus at a new level.
What did the Lord do at the camp?
- He brought hope to Raisin City, its public school, and families in a way none had seen before.
- Fully displayed the heart and unity of Jesus’s church.
- He redeemed some young hearts AND even some school staff.
- Called some young adults to start a journey of child and camp ministry leadership.
- Mentored 21 young adults from valley towns and Bethany Inner City Church in job skills, camp and children’s ministry.
How did the town respond?
- Teachers have shown the camp video in class and many children are now excited about next year’s camp. (You'll find it embedded below.)
- The school has already invited the church and supporters to come back and run another event during the Christmas break.
- The attendance at Iglesia Fuerza Del Calvario has doubled in the last six months.
This work by Our Lord is a collaborative model via the local church to approach, engage and bring real hope to other communities. And it all began in prayer, first seeking the Lord and His agenda, for the salvation of many and His glory in the impoverished community of Raisin City! May the word of this work in Raisin City far go out far and wide, opening new doors for collaboration and development and disciple making across the valley, giving glory to His name!
The Lord’s Servants in Raisin City
one of whom is Paul Marr