Summertime is full of great opportunities for kids and families. Children have so much time to play outside in the warmer weather. They don’t need to be in school, so kids have the freedom to run around outside all day long. There are also so many summer and sports camps to attend that children should never be bored. Families take vacations and go to the beach or to a theme park for a week or two, or maybe they visit family out of state. Summer is full of relaxation and fun for most families; but not for all.
For homeless and impoverished families, summer can look immensely different. Kids are plucked out of the routine and structure that school brings, where at least they were guaranteed one or two meals per day. Homeless families worry about where they are going to pass the night, usually not where they will spend vacation. Homeless families could spend their time trying to find a place to sit inside, out of the sun, instead of fantasizing about sitting in the heat on the beach. Haven of Rest tries to reach out to children and families like these in our community with special events during the summer months. In June, the Mission held its annual Community Picnic and now, in July, Haven of Rest is putting on Hope Sports Camp.
Hope Sports Camp gives children the chance to experience a basketball and volleyball camp with no cost to their families. The first week of camp is for the boys. They learn and refine basketball skills as well as learning about Jesus and how much He loves each and every one of them. The second week, girls are taught basketball and volleyball techniques while having similar devotions about God’s loving Son. Each year, Haven of Rest staff don their camp t-shirts with Jeremiah 29:11 printed on the back: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
That is exactly the prayer we have for all the children that come to Hope Sports Camp. Please pray with us that the kids will know that God loves them and that He has a future full of hope in store for them.