We had such a great and fruitful summer serving at Living Waters this year. From helping campers check-in, to having the summer staff over to our house, to leading music at Family Camp, to directing the Little Squirts (1st-3rd grade) camp, and much more. Overall camp had a great summer serving 600+ campers over the course of 8 weeks. Kids Camp 2 hit a record by starting the week with 109 campers and 10th-12th Sr High Camp grew to 95 campers this summer.
Of course, camp ministry is not about the numbers, though numbers are nice, it’s about cultivating opportunities to present the gospel and encourage people to grow in their relationship with the Lord. With our theme “Firmly Planted,” based on Psalm 1, we wanted campers to encounter God and become more deeply rooted in His word. We had a camper come this summer who comes from a tough background where the parents are not in the picture and struggles from early childhood trauma and depression. This is the second year the camper has been to camp, and during Kids Camp 1 he professed faith in Christ. He was able to come back for Kids Camp 2 and said he enjoys coming to camp and will tell others about it because “they take care of you.” It’s so exciting to hear when campers profess faith and encounter the love of Christ when they attend camp.
As directors of Little Squirts, we focused on helping the teachers take the lesson plans and make it understandable for this age group. This is probably one of the hardest, but best things we do at camp; sharing God’s word in a way that will help a 1st-3rd grader make their relationship with God their own. This year we looked at David’s life and his relationship with God. Hailey, as 1st grader, learned in her Bible time at camp that, “God can see our hearts.” Lydia, 3rd grader, writes, “I learned that God loves us all.” Amen, right? We pray that this seed of God’s love to Lydia will be able to be watered by other Christians in her life, that she will more deeply grasp the love our Heavenly Father has for her, for the other campers, for even you.
With this year’s theme being about trees at camp, the campers learned about: the process of sap to syrup, eating edible plants, taking data of how big and old a tree is and learning about the DNA of a plant and what all those scientific facts tell us about God. “I leaned about DNA this week,” said Liam, a camper from Dubuque. Many other kids put down what they learned about the plants and trees God created. Our prayer as directors, and as camp staff, is that the campers see how these discoveries about creation directs them to worship the Lord and directs them into a deeper personal relationship with Him.
Kadlin attended her very first full week of camp! She wasn’t ready for getting a little homesick, however, she made it through with the help of fun letters from family. She said she saw Christ working in her life at camp by seeing how amazing God is because He created the trees, plants, and rocks. Kadlin also had her first summer of softball and fell in love with the game! She is a pro at swim lessons and can now take on all diving boards at the surrounding area pools.
Adelina had a blast this summer in swim lessons; this was her first year jumping into the water and going all the way under. This is huge for her! It has taken a couple years of lessons to get to the point where she can move on to the next level. Adelina enjoyed her first year of T-ball, but I think she enjoyed playing at the park with her friends after practice better.
Laelin had a blast at family camp! Her favorite part was playing with new and old friends! She still talks about how fun our kid kaddie (babysitter) was this year. She eagerly awaits being old enough to take swim lessons and play T-ball like her big sisters.
Obadiah is no longer a baby; he turned 2 this summer. Tear. He enjoyed just being able to be outside ALL THE TIME, frequently saying “out” and “shoes” when he wasn’t outside. His enjoyment for playing in the sandbox and the water grew exponentially this summer. He has learned how to jump, and is
working on climbing to the top bunk bed and going down the slide by himself.
To get healthy. Since mid-July one family member or another has been sick with flu, colds, strep, pink eye, fever.
For the start of the school year for Kadlin, Adelina, and Laelin (1st year–4K)….oh yes, and for momma to as she homeschools the two oldest.
Camp has found its next Executive Director, Ivan Munguia. He and his family are from Mexico. The next step is for him to get his immigration papers and to start raising support. It’s anticipated to take 18 months before he can be here and begin. Please pray for all the details in this transition.
For the staff as we enter a very busy fall schedule serving Christian schools (13) during the weekdays, guest groups (4) and camp events (5) on the weekends. We have many volunteer needs serving the groups and many of the staff families (including kids) help serve.
We’re at approximately 75% support raised. Camp is currently covering the other 25%. We’re hoping and praying we can get to 100% either by or in 2020.
CONNECT WITH THE HOUGAS FAMILY
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907 Rose St, Cashton, WI 54619
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OR Mail check to: Living Waters Bible Camp E8932 Reo Ave, Westby, WI 54667