Explorers Bible Camp Update

When you have a very cold winter, and a very wet spring, a camper can be concerned about what is in store for the summer, even wondering ” will it ever come?”. Now that summer has come, the campers have many things to enjoy. The wet spring has helped fill our camp lake with water for hot summer days. There may be many mosquitoes, but the forest is also full of a wonderful variety of berries.

We have been watching the green berries ripen for weeks, anticipating when they’ll be ready to pick. Inner city children seem to have an extra appreciation for berries and they have been collecting and eating to their hearts’ content. The season began with many wild strawberries; then we showed them the bumble berries (a dark red raspberry type). Then all of a sudden the saskatoons were hanging like grapes, and we were filling our morning pancakes with them. On July 14th we picked our first blueberries, and on July 16th the raspberry bushes gave us the first few red raspberries of what will be a huge picking season. What a wonderful gift our land is for the children.

Aside from all the berry picking, the children who have been attending Explorers Bible Camp are staying very busy. We have activities such as swimming in the lake, canoeing, shooting bows and arrows, turtle hunting, hiking, and biking. Most importantly though, they are learning about God, and especially learning how to pray.

Last week, a nine year old boy led the whole camp in a “repeat after me” prayer, a job normally done by a counsellor or camp director. When asked who would like to pray for our chapel, or for a meal, at least half the campers’ hands shot up to volunteer. This is so encouraging, as we watch the kids transition from saying, “I don’t know how to pray” to praying aloud, whether it’s one on one with a leader, or often times, in front of their friends.

Since the beginning of the planning process for camp in May, the team really wanted to focus on making disciples this summer, rather than converts. We desire for the kids to know God better, and to know him on a personal level. It is so rewarding to see it happen, and we truly believe that Explorers Bible Camp is part of helping these kids to follow God for their whole lives just as Proverbs 22:6 states: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

We have been so blessed to have Shane Shodine, Gloria Fligg, Naomi Negrych, and Khel de Castro as our camp speakers so far, as they have all been able to show the kids what following God looks like on a personal level. We are looking forward to having and Becky Hill as our speaker the upcoming week.

We also want to mention an exciting addition to our camping facilities. We received a gift of a camp kitchen from the Sigfusson Northern Construction Company. This was trucked in from Lundar and is being used with great relief by our cooks who now have a secure place for food and full cooking facilities in the forest. In the future, all the equipment can be used in our permanent lodge kitchen. This will save  at least $20,000 of our kitchen costs. Special thanks goes to Katherine Peters and Bill Feniuk who arranged this gift.

In addition to a new kitchen facility, on July 9th our 4th duplex cabin foundation was cemented with the help of Hans Regier of Finish First Concrete. This gift of concrete work allowed us to start framing this cabin by the end of July. Other work is happening daily as volunteers are available and our camp is really taking shape. Special mentions of thanks to Randy Martens, Kenn White, and David Thiessen for their hard work.

Please continue to pray for us, that God will continue to meet our needs this summer in terms of food, supplies, and good weather. Please also pray for a reduction in mosquitoes, as we have an abundance of them. Pray also that God will be softening the hearts of the campers, so they will continue to respond and that the things they have been learning here at Explorers Bible Camp will continue to be fixed in their minds. We have had several children accept Jesus into their hearts, and many more continue to deepen their knowledge of God and his love for them. Seeing the children make such progress in their spiritual lives is so encouraging, and it makes it worth every single mosquito bite.