Light a candle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the majority of QCCC Mapleton’s bookings are repeat bookings the year here settles into a fairly steady rhythm. 2012 is drawing to a close and QCCC Mapleton draws the curtain on hosting 400 groups and 25,000 guests.

The week before Christmas is given over to a charity group who bring a lot of kids to Mapleton in the first week of holidays to let their hair down. A lot of the kids come from a tough home situation and the week is about giving them some respite and coping strategies and mechanisms.

The “new year” kicks off again on Boxing Day with Family Summer program. Before we know it the busyness of Term One will descend and off we go again. So this week is a bit of an introspective time, thinking about what we’ve achieved this year and planning for what is to come. It’s fitting that the backdrop to all of this is the group we’ve hosted this week, because they bring so many reminders about what’s important about what we do.

Food3It’s a privilege to be a place people love coming to – to be a happy memory in their lifetime particularly when so many face tragedy on a daily basis. It’s an honour to be seen as a place of respite and renewal. It’s wonderful to know that each and every day kids are coming to a place where they are being equipped, empowered and trained for their future.  It’s humbling for our staff to have the opportunity to serve people and to bless them with a smile, an act of service or a kind word.

Increasingly we’re coming to realise our staff bodies can be a community in a unique position to bless many others.  Here’s a few lines from Rob Bell‘s Velvet Elvis that speaks about what we want to become:

For Jesus everything is turned upside down.  The best and greatest and  most important ones are the ones who humble themselves, set their needs and agendas aside, and selflessly serve others.  So what is a group of people living this way called?  That’s the church.  The church doesn’t exist for itself; it exists to serve the world.  It’s not ultimately about the church; it’s about all the people God wants to bless through the church.

It is so toxic for the gospel when Christians picket and boycott and complain about how bad the world is.  This behaviour doesn’t help.  It makes it worse.  It isn’t the kind of voice Jesus wants his followers to have in the world.  Why blame the dark for being dark?  It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.

And to set about lighting a candle with goodness and love.

Postscript: This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the many carers who come to our sites with various groups through the year and pour themselves out for the people they bring. Just this week I’ve watched in awe as a team of dedicated adults have worked themselves to exhaustion caring, teaching, playing, equipping and then when everyone is asleep dragging themselves to a de-brief.

The way I see it carers like these are the unsung but true heroes of our society. Those who set up one of our rooms as a de-facto hospital ward each time Camp Diabetes turns up. The one-on-one helpers with kids from special schools who never let their charges out of their sight. The many others who give of their time and energy to make camp a special and transforming place. We take our hats off to you all.


One Response to Light a candle

  1. Michelle says:

    What an amazing opportunity and privilge you have. I pray our Lord will refresh you and all who serve there over this season.

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