Reach Local: Changing Lives in Inner City D.C.
“[Camp Dynamite] gave me hope that there were places for children to laugh, love, and learn in an amazing environment.”
Camp Dynamite is a week-long overnight Christian summer camp for inner city children, youth, and seniors. It was started by Bob and Sharon Mathieu, InFaith missionaries in inner city Washington D.C. for the last 48 years. They received the following thank you note recently:
It was over twenty years ago that I found myself living in a Southeast DC neighborhood that didn’t offer much for the children. Being a young, divorced, single mom at the time was hard. I was concerned for my children and how to offer them the best in life. I was suffering in silence because I felt I didn’t have enough to offer them. But I found out about Camp Dynamite and because it was a Christian camp (I am a Christian) I decided to take a chance. I was afraid to let my boys go, they were my children and I didn’t trust life with them. Meeting Brother Bob and counselor Tony changed everything and made it very comfortable to let them go.
My sons returned happier than I had ever seen them and raved about the time they spent talking to God. I am more convinced that the time my boys spent at camp was life changing. I am also confident that the time spent there changed something in myself as their mother. It gave me hope that there were places for children to laugh, love, and learn in an amazing environment. I felt like I could offer them something because of the joy they experienced. My boys came home happier and to this day we remember the blessing called Camp Dynamite. For this reason, I will forever celebrate, be encouraged by, and reverence what Camp Dynamite did for my family.
Along with running Camp Dynamite, the Mathieus’ ministry consists of church planting, computer learning centers, Bible clubs and studies, jail ministry, day camps, and a teachers’ resource center.
Candidate Profile: Edna & Marty Ziegler
Over a thousand miles away, Edna and Marty Ziegler are reaching their corner of the country: the small rural farming community of Stafford, Kansas. They teach Bible studies in a local outreach center and lead a Sunday school at their church.
But they don’t just stay in Stafford. They also consider the central United States as their “local” and load up their 30-foot fifth-wheel, pulled by their Ford truck, and go as God leads. The Zieglers use their quirky sense of humor to speak and perform skits at churches, camps, and RV parks to share their deep love of Jesus with others.
Read more about Edna and Marty to see if you’d like to partner with them and enable them to continue to reach local in their own unique way.
By Ridge Burns, Executive Director/CEO
Consolation is an interesting word. I looked it up in the dictionary tonight and it’s defined as “comfort received by a person after a loss or a disappointment.” It’s when someone comes and consoles you and makes you feel better. But the Bible says something different about what consolation really is. Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” How much more powerful and wonderful is it when God is the one who consoles you at the very center of your being? Your soul doesn’t find comfort, according the Bible, it doesn’t find peace or wholeness—it finds joy.
A few months ago, I was in a conference and the seminar was on joy. The teacher of the seminar really believed that laughter and joy are arrows that destroy the tools of the evil one. That’s why when we have so much anxiety and so much pain, concern, and stress, the author of Psalm 94 says “God when you talk to me, it brought joy to me. When I was down, your words brought joy.”
I’m going through a rather stressful time right now, a time when I need to think through how I can make God my dwelling, as I talked about in another blog. But I also need to think through how I can receive God’s consolation—through the words of Christ, through the Scriptures, and through the work of the Holy Spirit—which brings joy to my soul. I find myself wanting to open myself up, to lay on my bed or pause in the middle of my day and say, “I need your consolation. I need to be consoled. My soul is heavy. My soul is broken, scarred, and hurting. The stress and anxiety that I am bearing is too much.” God would respond, “Listen to Me and I will console you and the results will be joy.”
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