“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
A Camper Named Joe
Faith in Maine
This summer will be our 19th year holding a Royal Family KIDS camp. A lot of people have been involved in camp over the years, and one thing I have seen over and over again, is that when you talk with someone who has been a part of camp, the very thought of it brings a smile to their face. The word ‘camp’ makes people smile even if they have never experienced one!
Joe first came to camp when he was seven years old. His parents were drug addicts who most of the time didn’t remember they had a child. Joe was tiny for a seven year-old due to the abuse and neglect he had experienced. When he was six, both of his parents had overdosed and Joe came to live with his grandparents in Maine. His grandparents were over 60 years old when they took Joe in that year. From the start, they were determined to love Joe into wholeness.
That first year of camp, Joe didn’t participate much but rather simply observed his surroundings. His camp counselor was always at his side encouraging him and surrounding him with God’s love. After camp, we received a letter from his grandparents thanking us for the “amazing week of camp” and the fact that for the first time, they were seeing Joe smile. His grandmother wrote to us stating that she liked to sew and perhaps could make the children’s personal care bags that they receive upon camp arrival. She expressed that this could be a way to give back to camp and show their appreciation and faith in what God is doing in these children’s lives. We sent her fabric and the number of bags needed. She proceeded to make the most beautiful bags we’ve ever seen! In addition to the bags, that next year she made pillowcases.
Joe’s grandmother conveyed that she prays for camp every day—particularly during the time she is sewing. She does this to encourage our staff—Joe’s camp family, to continue to make a difference in the lives of the children. She tells us that camp has been a huge part of the healing that God is doing in Joe’s life. She also tells us that what we do makes God smile.
Beverly Lowell, RFK camp Director in Saco, Maine