One of the blessings of doing transport for the church is the one-on-one conversations that the driver and the person riding along get to share. Today, Sam Kim and I shared the ride together and among the topics was the upcoming Special Needs Camp. He asked me if there will be a particular camper whom I will be partnered with, to which I responded, “I don’t know”. This is one of the challenges and blessings of working with people with special needs - there’s a lot more uncertainty when it comes to planning (but I’m sure most would say the uncertainty is not far from the uncertainty of working with “normal” people). Pastor Rick McLean and his staff don’t have a confirmed roster until a few weeks or even days before camp. We didn’t even have a camp nurse confirmed until recently, which is a necessary qualification for the camp to get the green light. The day-to-day schedule of the whole camp can change on the basis of just one person.
Amidst this uncertainty, one thing we can confidently do is pray. This past Friday, we had an encouraging prayer meeting at the Gueco’s home, a gathering of going team members, sending team-members, and church members alike. Although we had no musician for the evening, we still sang the hymn “The Lord Is My Salvation” to prepare our hearts for prayer, with the help of electronic devices, Then JC gave a short introduction into our time of prayer, reminding us that our prayers are rooted in Scripture. For each prayer request, there was an associated Scripture verse - we read aloud all ten verses. When we pray to God, we are not saying empty phrases or recitations (Matthew 6:7), but rather we are recognizing “this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 John 5:14). We pray out of an expression of dependence upon God and he desires that we would simply come before him to ask our requests. We have the promise that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16b) and that answered prayer will not necessarily be fulfillment of what we explicitly ask for, because God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Already we have answered prayer - God has given us a camp nurse when we were in need of one and camp teachers in Ted and Teddy. But there is still much more to pray for, especially during the week of camp. Specific needs and requests will unfold, but there are always unchanging ways to pray for - the unity of the team, the proclamation of the Word, and repentance from sin. Please take some time throughout the week to review the ways that you can be praying for us to lift these things up to the Lord! The STM is not just for those who are going and sending but for the whole church!
Here are the prayer items that you can pray for:
God is glorified in every aspect of the Short Term Missions (1 Cor. 10:31)
God would work in ways beyond what we can think ourselves (Eph 3:20-21)
God would open the campers' eyes to see their sinful nature and be made alive in Christ (Eph 2:1-10)
The partnership with Grace Community Church is a testimony to who Christ is (John 13:35)
Staff unity between GCC and LBCSJ (1 Cor. 1:10)
The team would be fully equipped and nourished in the Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
The team would be faithful to share Christ with the campers, calling those who don't know Christ to repentance and encouraging those who are believers (Matt 28:19-20)
Heart attitudes of walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18; 5:22-26)
The physical safety of the campers and staff (Psalm 32:7)
Safety travel of GCC staff and LBCSJ team (Joshua 1:9)