June is usually a time of extreme activity and joy at King’s Camp. Our campground is typically overflowing with the laughter and chatter and singing of children’s voices at this time of year. This June, it is quiet…the silence is loud. You may have felt the silence in your own lives. Globally our lives have been altered by a worldwide pandemic. Almost 400,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. 400,000 individuals who were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters and sons. Life as we knew it has been greatly altered.
The collective silence that we all felt in March and April and May however, has nationally turned into a roar of rage and exasperation as we have witnessed through our screens the loss of another individual’s life, not due to a pandemic but due to an abuse of power.
Power is a critical topic that we must as God’s image bearers consider and learn to steward well. If we are to co-create with God an environment that provides space in this given time and culture for others to know God and be transformed into Kingdom people, we must learn to be people that reflect Jesus, the Light of the World, in our actions and daily habits. To reflect Jesus we must know Him and spend time with Him! To know Jesus and to love Him means to love others and use our bodies in such a way “that carries Christ and takes up space to accomplish God’s purposes.” (Morse, 17) It means to use the power within us, given to us by God, to enlarge the being and space of others. I want to say that again. Power used rightly enlarges the being and space of others! Most of us have experienced and/or witnessed power used selfishly for one’s personal gratification and gain that has diminished being and identity. In the gospels however, we see the model of power used rightly. Jesus lifts up and enlarges the space and being of the powerless in his culture, children, women, lepers, the blind, the poor, the crippled. Power is a gift from God: used well it is healing; used poorly it is sinful; used maliciously it is evil.
How do we use the power that is given to us in our bodies? Where do our feet take us? What do we do with our hands? How do we use the voice we’ve been given? Do we speak maliciously of our brothers and sisters? Do we speak up for the powerless? Do we feed the hungry? Do we sing praise to our God because we have a voice and we know He is good? We are active participants in the missio Dei, God’s mission to the world, God’s desire to draw all peoples to Himself with His everlasting lovingkindness. Our world needs us to use the power given to us by God through the Holy Spirit to bring healing to its brokenness.
What does that look like? It may look like the actions of Baby and Clare Clark when they donated a prime plot of land to be set aside for God’s purposes, for healing and ministry which is now the campgrounds of King’s Camp. What would it look like for you to steward the life and power of Christ in you for His kingdom? In the silence of this month on our campground, I am asking God to show me how to steward the life and power of Christ within me that enlarges the space and being of others for the splendor of His glory. Will you join me in that prayer?
Consider this story by Hundley Harkleroad. His mother Jeannie Harkleroad, the oldest daughter of Baby and Clare Clark, used her gifts for years to quietly do much of the behind the scenes work and activity that it takes to run camp. Hundley has followed in his mother’s footsteps as a servant who stewards the power and life of Christ in him for the Kingdom of God. He and his wife are missionaries in Rwanda for Willing to Go Ministries. They have taken the desire of God for all peoples to know Him to heart and have willingly gone to share the good news of His love. Here is Hundley’s story in his own words.
KING’S CAMP! When I hear, see, speak, or type these two words many things come to mind. First and foremost, I think about Christian Life Fellowship Campground, a Holy place set apart by God for His worshippers to gather and praise His Holy Name.
I had the great opportunity of growing up around “The Camp” or “The Place” as it was once called. I spent the first four and a half years of my life living at the white house next to the barn. While I was young, I still have a few memories of living at the camp. I remember visitors honking the horns of their trucks for my Dad to come outside because they were scared of our big beautiful German Shepherd named Bull who was all bark and no bite. I remember my cousins from Kentucky coming to visit. One of my best memories is of many people gathering at the Tin Top Tabernacle to share a meal and raise their hands in worship to the Lord.
Many a spring day I would spend fishing with my Dad or friends on the lake or across on the Bonne Idee. When I was 14 my Mom told me that Wayne Wiggins was putting together a Christian Camp with my Aunt Molly and others for kids at Christian Life Fellowship and asked if I wanted to go. At that time I would have been one of the oldest campers and decided to concentrate on my summer job. After all, I could go to the camp at any time. I remember my sister coming home from camp telling me about all the friends she met and how much fun she had. I was beginning to regret not going to camp and still to this day wish that I had gone. The next year I was too old to be a camper.
Fast forward to my freshman year in college and I received a call from Molly. She asked If I would like to be a counselor at camp that summer. I wondered why she asked me but felt that it was also an invitation from the Lord so I agreed. My first year as a camp counselor was amazing. I already loved the camp but now my love was growing deeper. Not only was it a place I could go to fish and camp, and spend time with God, it was a place I could go and serve and grow in my walk with Him.
Over the years I had the opportunity to be a counselor, activity director, coordinating director, assistant director, and overall camp director. I learned a lot form serving in these positions. I learned from my successes as well as from my mistakes. Some of my best memories come from the lessons I learned from my campers as well as from fellow staff members and leadership. To this day when I praise God in song, I sing songs taught to me and led by Pastor Jonathan Wiggins. One of my all-time favorite songs “As the Deer” was taught to me by Jonathan. My very first sermon to ever preach was the story of Leah and Rachel that I first heard from Pastor Don Boyett. Many of the lessons or devotionals I teach to this day came from Brother Don. I learned life lessons from other people at King’s Camp as well like Molly, Dude, Nolan, my Mom Jeannie, Emmy, Sam, and so many others.
Today my family and I are missionaries to East Africa living in Rwanda with Willing To Go. One of our main focuses is mobilizing, training, and assisting local East Africans to be Great Commission Missionaries. Living in a third world country I constantly rely on the life lessons I learned at King’s Camp. I can remind myself to act out the Fruit of the Spirit by walking through the dormitory in my mind. Many of my former campers and fellow staff members partner with us today in the work that we do in Africa. I can truly say that My family and I would not be where we are today without the influence that King’s Camp has had in my life. I know I would not be the person I am today without the impact that so many people from the King’s Camp ministry has had on my life. One word of advice I have for staff and campers is don’t let camp become a once a year spiritual high. Take what you have learned and experienced in the summer and apply it to the rest of the year. “The Camp” will always have a special place in my heart. I love King’s Camp and am excited about the direction the camp is heading to impact campers for Christ by giving them a desire to serve in the world today.
Hundley and Jennifer with their four children in Rwanda.
If you are connected to King’s Camp in any way and have a story to share please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Put on your calendars October 31, 2020. We are still planning to have our Vision 2020 event, God willing and we are able.
God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:27-29