Christmas in July was perfect! Our eagerly anticipated campers arrived to the grounds of Camp Laughing Child just before noon. When the door opened on the 20-passenger van that brought them from Mexico City, wide eyes and ear-to-ear smiles stepped onto the green grass. Both Children and adults were gasping with the natural beauty of the Camp. Some kids rushed to the stable to see the animals, others raced to the playground pavilion, while a few stayed close to their mothers as they were taken on their first tour of the Charlie and Hazel houses.
We welcomed nine boys, three girls, and seven adults. The ages of the young ones ranged from 5 to 16 years old. It was wonderful to experience them adding the beautiful sound of laughter to the sounds of the water, the animals and the gentle breeze. The adults were constantly pointing out the beauty of the Camp. The magnificent beauty of Creation is revealed in the clearest way during a stay on our grounds.
The Hazel house has become our official dining area. Thanks to my wonderful mother and our wonderful friend, Esperanza, our tables hosted delicious meals that will be spoken of for a long time. After every meal, we spent long periods of time talking and reflecting about God and our spiritual lives. It was great to witness the interest of the young ones in knowing God and His plans for us. They would go out to play, only to return shortly to hear more.
A very important part of our Christmas time was dedicated to “gifts”. I talked to them about the greatest gift that has ever been given to the world by our Father, Jesus. I also introduced them to the wonderful gift of His Word. We put all the names of the young ones in a bowl. They each drew the name of one of the other campers. Each received a wonderful comic book style Bible. All of them were opened at the same time. I talked to them about the gift that they had just received and the importance of reading it. They spent a long time exploring their new “story”. They had never seen God’s Word presented in such an exciting way.
The morning after the gift exchange, we had a girl that did not want to get out of bed. Her mother, the director of La Casa de la Sal, asked her, “Don’t you want to come down to have breakfast, everyone is at the table already”. Very firmly she answered, “No, I am reading my story”. Her mother could not figure out what she was talking about, so she inquired, “What story?”. To her surprise, she lifted her Bible and showed her what she was talking about. The sweet little girl spent 20 more minutes reading Genesis and then came down for breakfast.
You have successfully provided at Camp a new introduction to God’s Word. In México, the reading of the Bible is not something commonly done. Most people consider it a task of the Priest, and a sacred book that should be only read by those that know how to interpret it. Thank you for helping us create effective bridges that bring His children closer to Him.
I spent long hours talking to the director of La Casa de la Sal and one of their most important staff people, the director of hospital relationships and psychological care. During one of our main conversations, we were discussing the wonderful work that they have been able to accomplish to raise these children as confident, strong, aware, and responsible young people. A life with the diagnosis requires a lot of strength and courage to walk in our world, still full of prejudice and fear. The director spoke to me, “Alejandro, all these years, we have done our best at providing psychological and physical health for our children and adults. Now, with the help of Camp Laughing Child, we are going to be able to provide the spiritual health that we all so need. Thank you.” Needless to say, camp was a tremendous success.
Now Camp Laughing Child is going to be working hand in hand with the largest institution in Mexico that cares for people living with the diagnosis and those who live with them (they have provided their services since 1986). Thank you for all your prayers, thank you for all your faithful giving, and thank you for all your God-given dedication to serving His people. You’ve made Camp Laughing Child possible. God Bless.
Here I share with you a few pictures that illustrate some of the fun times we had at Camp.
Bible reading before breakfast.
Some of our campers venture on their way to one of the many beautiful waterfalls in the area.
For many children, if not most, Camp Laughing Child provides their first walk in the woods.
We pray for this grandmother to remain strong as she takes care of her sweet granddaughter in the absence of her mother.
Mother and daughter at play.
Before our last meal together, we sat down to pray. Each of us shared the things that we would like to ask from God. The most common prayers were for strength, health, and courage. Please pray with us.
Noah’s Band is very happy in their newly built stable. They rush to be petted.
Ten of our twelve precious kids at Camp Laughing Child.
Thank you for making these life-changing camp adventures a reality. God Bless you.