Blog: 4 August 2013
I recently interviewed one of our impressive camp counselors.
“Why did you come back to Camden for your third summer in a row?” I asked.
I was amazed at the energy and dedication of this young collegian. Danielle, a political science major at Azusa Pacific University in California, has served as an UrbanPromise intern for the past three years—a remarkable commitment. Her dream is to go to law school and have a career as a child advocate.
Each year Danielle covers her own transportation costs to make her coast-to-coast trek. More importantly, she “tithes” her time as a gift to UrbanPromise and the children of our city.
“It’s the kids,” she responded without hesitation. “They need consistency and continuity in their lives.”
Danielle paused momentarily, furrowed her brow in reflection.
“The more time I spend here, the more I realize that these kids have exceptional talents and gifts. They just need some adults to help them identify their God given individuality; then learn how to positively express it. That takes time. That takes trust.”
As Danielle has kept her promise to return each summer, the children have come to trust her. And trust is critical for effective youth ministry. Trust allows Danielle and the other counselors to speak into the lives of our young people.
Not every UrbanPromise intern returns for three consecutive summers. Danielle is a superstar. But she’s not unique. This summer 40 college-aged missionaries are working at least 60-hour weeks—loving children and teens in the name of Jesus. These bright, passionate, committed leaders are running day camps, coaching athletic teams, teaching Bible classes, tutoring, and mentoring. Each day they reach over 600 Camden youth. In return for their volunteer services, UrbanPromise provides interns with room, board, and weekend trips. It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation.
But we need a little help to feed these amazing saints. Peanut butter, milk, spaghetti, fresh fruit, vegetables, and even meat (once in a while) are all on our interns’ grocery list.
I’d appreciate any support you can give to help me check off the items on the attached document. We need to keep these young people healthy and serving so they can continue to impact hundreds of lives each day.