Overheard at camp

I’m at Camp KidJam this week.

I had just finished kicking around a soccer ball with some campers when I decided to grab a piece of shade and cool off for a minute.

Here’s what I observed and overheard:

The soccer ball had rolled under a bus, and my son, Liam, found my husband, Dan, and said, “Dad! My soccer ball is under the bus. Can you help me get it out?”

Here’s what happened next that I just can’t stop thinking about.

Two campers were in the shade eating Sno Kones and had seen and heard the same soccer-ball-under-the-bus that I had just seen. One little boy quietly said to the other, “It’d be cool to have a dad. I wish I had a dad.”

And in that moment, I knew why I spent 7 hours doing laundry and packing, filled our van with gas and drove endless hours, ate cafeteria food, slept in beds with squeaky plastic mattress covers, and walk ’til my feet feel like throbbing bricks. Because there are kids that come to camp to feel like they’re a part of something, like they belong to a family. Even if it’s just for a few days.

And while my sleeping arrangements weren’t exactly five star, I found sleep harder to attain last night as I prayed that our Heavenly Father would be evident to the kids this week. That He would fill the void in the lives of the kids that are here looking for a place to belong and someone to love them.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
~I John 5:1


19 thoughts on “Overheard at camp”

  1. Well that made me cry this morning. Good thing I don’t wear makeup.

    Powerful thought really. I grew up without a dad in the house, and watching my husband be an amazing Daddy to my little girl will make me stop breathing at times.

    1. It’s moments like these that remind me of how good I have it, and how important it is for me to share out of the fullness of love in my life. So thankful for my dad and the dad my kids have in Dan. And thankful for everyone who does ministry and gets to be a hands-on positive influence in the kids’ lives even if it’s only a few short days here at camp.

    1. Thanks Roxy, you’re no stranger to camp and the scenarios of camp kids. Thank you for praying, it was definitely a moment where I had to control my emotions even though inside my heart was breaking. Good moment of realization and reminder of why we do ministry.

  2. My father wasn’t around either, but I have an amazing grandfather (who raised me until I was 15) & amazing step dad who I love and care for oh so much for. I hope the little boy gets a great dad like I did.

  3. holy geez…this is why we’re going to cambodia twice this year. because any other “vacation” that we could take just wouldn’t quite measure up to those 2.5 weeks that we’ll spend parenting the parentless.

    praying for that little boy and for more opportunities for Dan to love on him this week.

    1. Amen, sister! Love your tender mommy heart! “…we’re gonna rock this world with the way we love…”

  4. After all the effort of helping and serving it’s neat to see God working when we aren’t even trying to serve! It certainly shows us how little we are aware of how/who we influence those around us. We’re all on display to others around us whether we see the effect or not!

  5. Perspective is a powerful thing and you are a great example of that as you share this story. So appropriate as we’ve just celebrated the dads in our lives. Praying for you friend.

    1. Thanks, HJ. The perspective for me could not have come at a better time as I was struggling with a bit of a ‘tude having our family vacay be coming to camp. Could not have spent our time or money much better and thankful for how blessed I am.

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