Dearest Camp Family,
I trust that you are experiencing deepest intimacy with our Loving Father as we face an exciting new year of knowing Him and making Him known. Thank you for extending His ministry of reconciliation to hurting children in Mexico through Camp Laughing Child. These precious kids, their parents/guardians, along with the leaders of the institutions that care for them, all experience God’s healing touch because of your sacrificial prayers and donations. It has been said “Everyone’s salvation begins with someone else’s obedience”. Bless you for saying yes to Jesus, and another loving yes, to these hurting kids!
Last year was filled with incredible blessings and equally impressive challenges. Personally, I struggled with several health issues. I very much appreciate your prayers as I creep toward better health. I am humbled and so grateful to report that the ministry of Camp Laughing Child thrived last year. We hosted awesome camp experiences with terminally ill kids, participated in rich community-based ministry with the help of our team from Christ Community Church, and benefited from an amazing string of Fall fund-raising events for which we are profoundly grateful. All in all, a remarkable year of learning and growth, in this little healing ministry. Praise God and THANK YOU!
Our major fund-raising events of this past Fall reduced our interest-free debt by almost half! This is most signifiant. Thank you so much for supporting those efforts. The greatest challenge that we face is a pressing need to increase our monthly income. The predictability of monthly gifts dictates the level of ministry activity hosted at Camp Laughing Child. We are asking for God’s wisdom and creativity as we make necessary adjustments to camp programs during this challenging year of expanding our support base. Here are a few of our prayer-saturated plans for the new year:
1) Reaching our Jerusalem.
We are committed to increase our ministry activity within the poor communities that surround the Camp. Building on the success of our annual, Family Day Celebration, we will host an Easter Outreach Party this March. The great folks at Christ Community Church are putting together another team to sponsor and to serve at this Kingdom party event during Spring break. What an awesome opportunity to display God’s lavish love for us! It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. Many Bibles and other Christian materials will be distributed at the celebration. Our deepest thanks to Christ Community Church for sponsoring this Easter Outreach Party event!.
2) Project Chicken Fix.
This community-based project is Camp Laughing Child’s response to the need for poor families to enjoy a sustainable food source. We intend on fixing hunger in our local community, one flock at a time! Fortunately, we already run a small chicken farm. We have over 100 chickens, and still hatching, at Camp Laughing Child. We will identify families that have the need and desire for a flock of chickens. Eligible families will receive a flock of 12 chicks, a coop, feeder, waterer, starter food, and a bit of education on managing their flock. This gives us a great opportunity to build deeper relationships with our neighbors. The only thing that we require from the recipient family is that they provide 12 chicks from their flock (within the first year) to be given to another family in need. Information will soon follow as to how donor families here at home can help fix hunger through Project Chicken Fix.
3) Adventure Camps.
Our focus will always remain on the development of effective healing programs for terminally-ill kids. However, these adventure camp programs are quite expensive to operate. It costs around $3,500 to run a three day camp program. Transportation is around one-third of that expense. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to host half as many adventure camps this year as we hosted in 2015. We are working hard to gain adequate funding for a full camp season. Long term, it is likely better stewardship for us to purchase a van for transporting campers. We can buy a dependable van, in Mexico, for approximately $20,000. Bless you for praying specifically for our needs.
4) Staff and Volunteer Cabins.
Though we have slowed down the pace of our construction, we will continue to plug away at completing our much needed housing expansion. We are increasing our capacity from 20 to 30 beds to accommodate our new ministry to the parents/guardians and siblings of our terminally-ill children. We are convinced that this ministry growth is Father’s plan. We will work hard toward finishing these cabins. They will take shape as we can afford the materials. It will cost approximately $25,000 to complete both cabins. Thank you for building with us!
5) April Showers Speaking Schedule.
I will be in the States visiting churches during the month of April (10 – May 1). Please pray that I will effectively communicate Father’s invitation to join Him in partnership with this beautiful little ministry for hurting kids. If you know of a church that may have me share, do please let me know. I hope to see you along this important journey of expanding our Camp Family!
Folks, there is absolutely nothing I enjoy LESS than talking about money. I so wish that it was not so much of an issue for us. I feel awkward expressing these needs to the very people that are giving so lavishly, and often sacrificially, to support this ministry. Please know that it is with deepest gratitude for you, and genuine confidence in your love and prayers, that I include you in these necessary pleas for financial support. I am humbled, but not surprised, that you believe that Camp Laughing Child is one of the God-things, among the good things, for which to pray and to give. I could not, and would not, do this without you. I am asking God to give you opportunities to share with others the blessing of participation in Father’s healing ministry in Mexico. YOU represent love, hope, and a future for hurting kids, that laugh their way into God’s love and healing, at Camp Laughing Child.