The journey has officially begun. Camp to Camp is real and alive. In the beginning, this isn't a day we thought would actually come to be. It still feels a little "out of body" to be living in our camper, traveling full time, and fully devoting our lives to seeing this through.
I don't think Sam and I are timid people, but I can't deny that we are cautious. We stick our toes in the water. We like to know. So the certainty with which we made the decision to pack up and go was a little shocking at first. The idea for Camp to Camp developed out of a joke at a county fair - not exactly a strategic planning meeting. We laughed and moved on, but God whispered - "Go."
A few weeks passed. We thought about other things. But God whispered a little louder - "Go."
I'm not sure when the whisper turned into a roar, but the longing grew. It became a plan and a vision for a new way we could serve camping ministry.
Through all of the planning and officially hitting the road, we heard the word why pretty frequently. We answered that question a lot of different ways and asked it of each other a lot too.
Why do we want this? Why are we leaving what we already love? Why has this captured our hearts?
It took a lot of prayer and hashing out to finally come up with definitive answers.
We are overjoyed and blown away by the kingdom work that is being done every day at camps around the country.
We have so many hopes for this project. First, we want to be vessels. Each trip to another camp is an opportunity to be filled with insight and practical ideas that we can take down the road and share. We are physically creating connections between camps to draw attention to the astonishing power of shared ministry. Camps are already epicenters of working together; how can we do it even more?
We believe that camping ministry deserves to be at the forefront of church planning. It is a viable mission field hidden in the woods right outside. I don't think it could ever be said enough: CAMP IS AWESOME. We think churches and Christians should rally behind it. Our hope is to start a conversation that encourages Christians to support camping - not just financially - but with their prayers, time, and mouths.
Because we are "camp people," we tend to get a little excited. We get jump-up-and-down, bang-on-the-table excited because people meet Jesus at camp. People find out what love is really like at camp. The most honest forms of confidence, peace, leadership, friendship, and purpose are discovered and built at camp. Disciples are made at camp. We are overjoyed and blown away by the kingdom work that is being done every day at camps around the country.
So, we decided it was our job to get other people excited about it too. The words "summer camp" don't always carry the same authority as "international mission trip," but camping ministry is transforming lives and we want people to see how diverse and relevant it is. We want churches to take mission trips to their local camps. We want parents to see the matchless opportunity there is for their kids at camp. We want kids to think camp is the coolest thing ever. As we build this project and our audience, we hope to find more ways to make camping ministry something everyone is excited about.
Even after a year of planning for this trip and a few months to get our bearings in Nashville, I feel like we are unprepared. I know that we are ready. We have the plans. We've filled the planner and sent the emails and written the vision statements. But I don't think we could possibly be prepared for the year that is ahead of us. I hope that we will be faithful servants, do good work, and be humbled by this experience. Beyond that, I can't be sure. Nothing about this is steady. But we know it will be okay. God told us - "Go."