Dear Camp Family,
I am faced by the challenge of having to narrow down to mere words the magnificent beauty of what we are experiencing at Camp Laughing Child. I fear the inability to adequately communicate the heart of our campers. It is my hope that you will join me in prayer as you read and as you see the faces of those who visited our camp.
For our February camp we were honored to host three familiar faces from our first-ever-camp with La Casa de la Sal. We welcomed two of their latest family additions, the staff that cares for them and their young ones; as well as two sixteen year olds -who have been close to La Casa de la Sal since age three- and their guardians. It very much felt like welcoming one large family.
I cannot recollect the last time, prior to this camp, that I had played for as long as we did. Even though the young children were outnumbered by the teens and adults, somehow, we all ended up being joyful children for a weekend and played even after dark -yes, we played ball after dark with the aid of flashlights.
I could spend many sentences telling you about all the fun that we had. Instead, I want to share a few stories with you:
At camp, we spend long hours in dialogue with the guardians. We have discovered that a profound part of our ministry is to listen and encourage those who are in charge of the children. Talking with a mother, who is HIV+, I heard something that I will forever keep close to my heart. She stated: “Being HIV+ has been a blessing to me. My son and I face situations that are unimaginable to most people, as a consequence, we have needed to be closer to our Lord Jesus. We are strengthened daily through Him.”
My heart rejoiced as I heard such powerful and beautiful testimony of faith. Later, in dialogue with Shane, he added: “Are we not all born with a terminal disease? We are indeed. It is called, sin. We require the blood of Jesus to cure us from this dreadful and terminal condition.”
Mother to Others.
While at camp, several spiritually guided spaces for sharing are opened. We share on many levels and depths. Sometimes we speak about our dreams, our goals, and the things we enjoy. Other times, there is an open invitation for sharing about our hurts, regrets, and fears. The preamble to the latter is the reading of scripture; the closing is prayer.
On this occasion, we had the privilege of welcoming one of the main care givers of La Casa de la Sal along with her thirteen year old son. This strong, yet sensitive motherly woman has dedicated fifteen years of her life to assure that these children are raised in a home of love. The results of her loving hard work are evident when witnessing the interaction of the children with her. She is a mother to them. However, the time spent at the institution has kept her from her own son. As one can imagine, there is a lot of regret and hurt that can be expected from this situation. During one of our sharing and prayer times at camp, she found strength to express the lament of her heart to her son. With tears of sorrow they found forgiveness at camp.
Please join me in prayer for them: May the Holy Spirit restore their hearts. May they find peace and love in Jesus where there is regret and sorrow. May He strengthen her son’s compassionate heart as he becomes a man of Christ.
Subsequent stories will be posted shortly. Thank you for keeping Camp Laughing Child close to your heart in prayer.
Alex Molina, Camp Director.
Knitted hats provided by a loving family from Columbus, Georgia.