Love, prayer, hope, praise, grace, laughter, dreams; those are the words that best describe what happens at Camp Laughing Child. This past 30th of January we welcomed eleven children and eight adults to the Charlie and Hazel houses. We believe, that more importantly, they were welcomed into the Kingdom of God.
From Mexico City, one of the world’s most polluted and overpopulated cities in the world, our campers arrived. After the first introductions were made, the children rushed to the playground pavilion while the adults gazed through the windows at the natural beauty. For these young ones a pristine space to play and run safely is highly unusual. Seldom, if not ever, have they experienced the sense of freedom and safety provided at Camp Laughing Child. It is as if they have been given a second chance to laugh, to rejoice, to be children.
Each child has a different story, a different background, a different origin. This time, they had been gathered from “regular” households. They were brought up at a home and not in an institution. Left with only their mother, under the care of a grandmother, or a distant relative, these precious souls struggle through the trials of life and their diagnosis. Frightened of the stigmas of our society, they fight for a normal life. I am heartbroken to report that these children were craving love, they craved attention, they craved care. Without attempting to raise any comparisons, I have to add that the children that were brought up at La Casa de la Sal did not present this depth of need. Is it not disturbing to think that an institution is doing a better job at raising a child than a family? I now find peace and comfort knowing that they left our Camp understanding that they are loved, they are cared for, they’ve been granted eternity with their Heavenly Father. We prayed together to receive Lord Jesus.
Several times we gathered at the table to share Father’s provision and His Word. We prayed to be light and salt. We made a commitment to let His light shine in and through us so that more people will see Him. I insisted to the mothers that it is their mission to continue guiding their children through a path that helps them walk with Jesus. It is incredible how God’s design has given us an opportunity to minister to the guardians in charge of these precious children.
Dialogue plays a very important role during camp. The mothers and/or guardians of the children had a wonderful opportunity to have in-depth exchanges with the leadership of La Casa de la Sal; as they did with each other. I was told by the Executive Director, Dr. Olivia, that Camp Laughing Child offers them a great chance to gain a fuller understanding of the families that they serve. This deeper knowledge improves their care. We firmly believe that Camp Laughing Child is helping build sustainable relationships of care and support made in the name of Jesus.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve Jesus through this ministry. My life has been transformed. Four years ago, when I was introduced to this mission, I had no idea where God was taking me. It turned out that being His servant among the broken was my calling. I treasure and embrace the opportunity that I’ve been granted. I am fully devoted to dedicating my life to sharing His Word and serving His Kingdom.
Camp Laughing Child has become a place of worship, rest, discovery, and contemplation. Thanks to you, and our always faithful Father, we have built a sanctuary for His new creation.