Do you remember going to summer camp when you were a kid?
Close your eyes and think about it.
The sun is warm on your face. The leaves rustle in a gentle breeze. The air smells fresh and clean.
Camp was about new experiences. You made new friends. Maybe, you slept in a new place. Without question, you did things you couldn’t do at home: hiking, climbing, swimming, campfires.
And, of course, there was that special counselor you’ll never forget. The person you looked up to, and who assured you that, though you may be far from home, you were cared for and protected.
Even now… so many summers later, I can still remember the sights and sounds of summer camp. They are recorded in the memory banks of my mind. But it’s the friendships and the relationships that developed that are seared in my heart and will forever be there.
As you read this letter, it’s the beginning of the brief summer weather in Alaska, and kids are going to camp, just like you did.
It’s an exciting time for our Alaska ministry staff. During the week of June 24th, approximately 50 Indigenous kids, from villages throughout Alaska, will attend Teen Camp at Camp Bingle, near Fairbanks. There, they’ll go rafting and horseback riding and do many of the things you did at camp. They’ll participate in activities that will remind them of their Alaskan heritage and culture. They will feel safe and cared for. But, the most important activity will be the time that is spent sharing the hope of eternal life that is theirs, by the grace of God and through the blood of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.
Jesus loves Native children! Some will hear this message of hope and salvation for the first time, and it will change their lives!
When you went to camp, you packed your bags with all the essentials you would need to get you through the week: shorts and t-shirts, tennis shoes, swimming suit, toothbrush, and towel.
The teenagers attending Teen Camp will bring all of those things… and more. Many will bring the pain of intergenerational trauma and suffering. Some will bring stories of physical or sexual abuse. Others may have contemplated suicide.
For these kids, Bingle Camp will be a safe place where they can tell their stories, and our trained ministry staff will serve as a safety net to catch them when they fall, not just at Teen camp, but in the years beyond.
This safety of this place, where they are loved, and where healing can begin, is why so many kids return summer after summer, and why each year, they bring more friends.
You make this happen. Your gifts to Lutheran Indian Ministries enable our missionaries to act as a safety net for Native and Indigenous young men and women whose lives are in turmoil.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Lutheran Indian Ministries shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Alaska Natives so they can know the “hope of glory” (Col 1:27) which can only be found in Him.
Outside of Alaska’s wilderness, Lutheran Indian Ministries is spreading spiritual safety nets across the landscape from the plains of Kansas to the Olympic Peninsula – from the desert of New Mexico to the islands of Hawaii. And we are able to do this, because of your passion and dedication to Native Ministry through LIM.
Would you please prayerfully consider making a gift to Lutheran Indian Ministries today, so we can, together, reach more of Native peoples in need of a safety net?
We are blessed by your prayers and faithful support.
May God bless you and keep you always.
Tim Young Eagle (Pawnee)
Lutheran Indian Ministries
Because of you, Lutheran Indian Ministries reaches places where traditional churches don’t go. Because of your past support, Lutheran Indian Ministries is able to share the Gospel with some of the world’s most forgotten peoples.
Your gifts to this ministry change lives and save souls.
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