By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Leaving a child at overnight Christian camps in Pa is usually more difficult for the parents than it is for the children. A recent experience reminded me of this again, as well as the fact that the pain of separation is worthwhile.
Earlier this summer during registration, I recognized some women and their children heading my way. We attended church with these women years ago: a young mom, and a grandmother who had primary care over her granddaughter for recent years. These were great ladies who love their children and grandchildren very much. It became clear as I interacted with them that they were quite nervous about leaving their kids at overnight camp for the first time. This was verified as I saw several posts from one of these guardians on social media during the week, emphasizing how much she missed her daughter. I prayed consistently during the week that God would work in these girls’ lives and that the parents would have peace. One evening I saw the two girls helping Miss Jackie lead worship prior to the actual start of chapel. My wife took a brief video clip to share with their guardians in order to encourage them and alleviate some of their concerns. The mom and grandmother were so delighted to receive these clips. One shared how she cried to see her little girl leading worship.
The following week, my wife and I stopped at a local ice cream place. The grandmother must have seen us coming through the window, because the moment we stepped through the door, someone hollered out to us, “I need to thank you!” We turned our heads and saw her approaching us with her granddaughter and a couple other people. She went on for several minutes about how grateful she was for the experience her granddaughter had, and she also explained that the other family’s experience had been the same. They were both moved to tears during the closing program, and they were convinced their children were greatly impacted by the week.
We were so thankful these guardians had entrusted their children to Joy El despite their anxiety at leaving them, and we were so grateful for how God worked in the children’s lives. The experience proved fruitful for all.
- Mother -Daughter Retreats
- Momentum Retreats (Middle and High School)
- Men’s Retreats
- Bible Adventure Retreats – Fall (2-6th Grade)
Joy El Camps and Retreats, is a Christian camps in PA, we offer Christian camps and retreats in PA and we are a retreat centers in PA since 1974. Our focus on making disciples is seen in Bible Adventure and the 4.12 Leadership Training Program