Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a joy and privilege to share some very exciting news with you. In 2016, the Michigan District, LCMS will again be providing our Summer Sports Camps/VBS outreach to the children of Detroit and Pontiac. This vibrant ministry will again touch the lives of several hundred children who are in great need of Christ’s love and our intervention. I invite you to join us in sharing Christ’s love with them.
A Little History
Summer 2016 represents our 4th year of providing our Sports Camp/VBS outreach. The vision to touch the lives of underprivileged, urban children began with the original Sports Camp/VBS on the east side of Detroit under the leadership of Rev. Christopher Bodley. Little did we know at the time that this Summer Camp would become a model that would be duplicated in other urban communities in the years that followed.
In year 2, using the initial camp as the model, a second camp was offered on the west side of Detroit. Both camps in year 2 experienced God’s hand of blessing as the east side Detroit camp grew in participation level, while the initial west side Detroit camp had a great beginning. The children attending these camps heard the Good News of the Gospel and they saw the love of Christ in action through the many volunteers that served them throughout the five-day camp experience in each location.
Then, in year 3, the Sports Camp/VBS outreach took another bold and exciting step. It expanded to a third camp. Using what was learned in the first two years, the third camp was implemented through St. Paul Community Lutheran Church in Pontiac, under the leadership of Rev. Dietrick Gladden. All three of the Sports Camp/VBS programs were very successful in the third year. Children could again hear and see the Gospel message and also learned other valuable life skills, such as good sportsmanship, working together, and trust, while having fun and learning a variety of sports skills.
Now on to 2016. The Michigan District will again provide three camps during the summer months, one each in June, July, and August. Two of the camps will again be in Detroit, and one in Clarkston (sponsored by St. Paul, Pontiac). Specific details of the camps may be found here.
As in previous years, I am coming to you to respectfully ask for your financial help in sending children from the cities of Detroit and Pontiac to one of the upcoming 5-day Summer Camps. Through the generosity of many during the past three years, every child wishing to attend a Summer Sports Camp/VBS was able to attend at absolutely no cost to them. For these expressions of love and care for those who are the least among us, please know that I am grateful.
Please prayerfully consider supporting these children. Because of past acts of generosity, the cost to send one child to camp remains at $55 in 2016. Help us send as many children as you are able, whether it is one, five, ten, or even twenty.
As you consider your decision regarding sponsoring children, please ponder the words of this beautiful hymn titled Thine Forever, God of Love (LSB 687 v. 4):
Thine Forever! Shepherd, keep these thy frail and trembling sheep;
Safe alone beneath thy care, let us all thy Goodness share.
In closing, I pray that you will allow the Light of Christ to shine brightly through you. Together, let us pray that many children will see the love of Christ in action through a 2016 Summer Sports Camp/VBS volunteer because you made it possible for them to be there.
God grant this for His sake and the sake of the children who will be touched by His hand this summer.
In shared service to God’s children,
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS
P.S. As Sports Camps/VBS gifts are given, if the A2E ministry is blessed to receive sponsorships that exceed the number needed to sponsor every child, any funds exceeding that need will go towards the general support of the A2E ministry.
To donate, click here.
Photos by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District-LCMS