It Was Beautiful

It Was Beautiful

Posted on July 17, 2017


Last month, the interior of Grace Church at 146th Street and Fishers looked anything but normal. Tents, cowboy hats, and even a full-sized chuck wagon filled town square as nearly 700 campers embarked on another week of Grace Kids Camp

One of the many amazing stories hidden inside those numbers is this: a good amount of those campers came from the Grace Care Center. For several weeks prior to camp, volunteers had spent time in the Care Center engaging families and encouraging them to bring their children to camp. For many of us, an invitation to a camp or vacation bible school is no big deal. We might take the flier and toss it in the trash without a thought.

But for many of our friends in the Care Center, it is a big deal. It might have been the first time any of these children had been invited to such an event. And so, the invitation comes with challenges. Grace can be a large, intimidating church, not to mention that many of our families might not speak English. But in the end the volunteers' hard work and persistence paid off as 57 campers came to Grace Kids Camp!  

Perhaps even more amazing than the number of campers was the fact that so many Care Center friends also signed up to volunteer. The Grace Kids Camp leadership was ecstatic that not only did nearly 60 campers show up, but 31 adults and teenagers showed up to volunteer. The leadership was blown away with their desire to help and how quickly they finished a task and were ready to move to the next.   

Volunteers from the Care Center helped on the hospitality team, prepared food, watched young children in little one’s way, and other various projects from cutting, copying, and helping wherever help was needed. They truly came with a servant’s heart and helped in immeasurable ways. But not only were they impacting others with their service, they were impacted as well.

One of the volunteers, Liliana, put it this way, “It was a great experience. I never imagined that it was this amazing. Everything was in order. You can feel the love and generosity in every room you go into. Everyone is working hard for Jesus. It’s just amazing.”

Some of the volunteers were so moved and so impacted that signed up to volunteer the following week at the Fishers Campus. There is a great likelihood that none of these families had ever been to Fishers Campus, or even knew where it was. But their experience serving left them with only response: if they need help next week, then let’s do it again next week.  

Another highlight of the week was Wednesday afternoon. Camp leadership had organized a “community picnic” where camp volunteers and Care Center families could eat lunch together after camp ended for the day. It was another effort to bridge the gap from the Care Center to Grace Church.

It was truly a great experience to see all those families together eating, laughing, and having fun. It was just another example of the Grace Kids Camp trying to love and engage the campers and their families.

But at the end of the day, the biggest takeaway for Liliana was simple, yet deeply profound. “It was beautiful” she said. “My favorite part was the smile on my child’s face when I went to pick him up from his room. It was beautiful. The whole thing was just beautiful.”

Inspired? Jump In!

If you have been moved by this story and are wondering what you can do to get involved. We have tons of opportunities right here at Grace! Here are just a few ways: