By Andrea Ziebarth, Bible Adventure/CIA Administrator and Creative Marketing Coordinator
It’s just a small black & white 4.25 x 5.5 white sheet of paper. No pretty design, no color, no pretty photos. But the impact of this printed form creates a powerful opportunity for some Bible Adventure volunteers to lift up some real needs of the students on the first week of meeting this year. Bible Adventure, is a part of Joy El Generation , and is for elementary school students in 3rd-5th grade. With their parents’ permission they are legally released from public school for an hour a week for biblical instruction at a nearby church. The students can earn points for memorizing Scripture and with their points earn awards. For 300 points they can earn a free week of camp at Joy El, a Christian camp and retreat center in PA. Last year over 3,300 children participated in Bible Adventure.
Here is a selection from an email I received from the School Coordinator at our Ferguson program after opening day-
“Well, we’re off and running at a fast pace. We started with a total of 17 kids, 14 Bible Adventure and 3 CIA. Many returning students, for which we are thankful. The kids are so glad to be back, and seem really open in allowing us to share in their lives.
Here are some of the prayer requests they shared in the get-acquainted times in small groups:
- My grandpa who needs a liver
- That I would find my shoes
- That we would know where we’re going to live
- My friend who got shot (12-year-old shot on Sunday night in York, not far from our church)
- That I would wake up in time to get to school on time
- My grades
*Mark, who was one of our continuing behavior issues, was broken up about the friend who was shot. We feel this will give us an opportunity to pour into Marks’s life in meaningful ways.”
As we prepare for a new year of Bible Adventure during the summer, the printer is running consistently here at Joy El, a Pennsylvania Christian camp, to produce forms and curriculum. The volunteers are counting endless stacks of papers. But as we hear these stories in the fall, we know that God is at work through each of our volunteers. He’s using those small black & white 4.25 x 5.5 white sheets of paper to give opportunities to impact these young lives with God’s love and provide life-change.
*Name has been changed.
Joy El Camps and Retreats is a Christian Camp in PA, we offer Christian camps and retreats year-round in PA and we are a retreat center in Pennsylvania since 1974. Our focus on making disciples is seen in Bible Adventure and the 4.12 Leadership Training Program