Summer is coming… I keep saying that, but the weather doesn’t seem to agree! Before we know it, the days will get longer, and the sun will shine a little more. Already the pace is starting to pick up in our Children’s Ministry department. We are busy planning our summer camps!
As many of you know, Harbour has run summer camps for kids and youth the past 3 years. These camps have been an amazing way to reach out to our community and share the gospel message with hundreds of kids. Registration is now open for this year’s camps, and spots are filling up! For more information, and to register your child, click here
Our camps haven’t just been about the kids though. They have also been a great way to invest and mentor some of our youth and young adults. The past 2 years, Harbour has applied for, and received the Canada Summer Jobs Grant. This government grant provides wage subsidies to employers to create valuable summer work opportunities for students. Receiving this grant meant that we were able to hire 2 students in 2016, and 3 students in 2017. These students worked alongside us for 8 weeks each summer.
I cannot tell you all of the great things these students accomplished because the list is too long, but I can highlight a few:
Having the students here was absolutely the key to not only running our camps, but actually growing the program in numbers and quality. These students worked so hard to make sure that every child could be ministered to.
They helped to organize our Manchester kids program ensuring volunteers were scheduled and details were taken care of. They also went on a mission trip to Quebec last year as part of our Lead Out vision.
Discipleship happened! 8 weeks is a lot of time to spend in one office together! One of my favourite times with our students was during our morning devotion time. Before we would begin working, we read through a chapter of Acts, and reflected on it together. Hearing their insights and questions was always such an encouragement. They were growing in their faith!
Of course, I was looking forward to filling out our grant application again this year! Unfortunately, things have changed. Funding was conditional on our support of an attestation inconsistent with a Biblical view. We just couldn’t agree with this statement, and therefore will not be receiving the grant.
It’s a disappointing situation, but it forced us to pray, and to ask God, what will we do now? How will we respond to this?
We feel that God is turning this disappointing situation into an opportunity. God is not calling us to make our programs smaller, in fact, we feel that He is asking us to expand, and continue to find ways to invest in our youth! This is what spurred the idea of the 412 youth mentorship program that I announced a few weeks ago. We will have more details in the coming weeks on that program.
It has also confirmed that this year, we should hire a Summer Camps Program Director. This person will be focused on planning, organizing and assisting with our summer camps. This is a huge step in faith for us, as we did not anticipate having to add a new staff member to our budget, but we feel it is necessary to continue our high quality camps!
Our Summer Camps Program Director will be on staff for seven weeks from June 11- July 27. This person should be creative, love children, and be ready to grow their faith this summer. A more detailed job description will be posted on our website this week. If you are interested, or know someone who may be, email your resume to me by May 14.
I am excited for this summer, and all that God has in store for us. God is stretching our faith, and calling us to respond. Harbour has had many of these moments over the years. Moments where we knew God was asking, and stepped out even when we weren’t sure of what the outcome would be. In the past few years alone He has asked us to plant and church, move into the Greenvale and Manchester communities and support an Eritrean family. When we look back on those times, we see how God moved in those moments. He opened doors, and closed some too, but He always met the needs. We have a caring heavenly Father who provides for all of our needs. how amazing is that? I am really looking forward to seeing how God provides for Harbour this summer.