Camp has officially surpassed $1 million raised in gifts and pledges for the new multi-purpose gym and, at 49%, is closing in on reaching the halfway point of its $2.5 million goal! What’s truly amazing is how the Lord is working in so many different ways to provide the funds. The campaign started with a great launch pad thanks to donors, board members, and Camp friends who have been faithfully giving to a future project. In the past couple of weeks, gifts have been made by kids, parents & grandparents picking up their kids from summer youth camp, quilting ladies, longtime friends, and first-time guests. Here are two of the many stories we’ve heard.
1) Gabe (8) sends donation along with hand drawn card.
Check out the drawing Gabe Lubinski sent to us at Camp! Gabe is 8 years old and saved $100 from his personal allowance to help raise enough money for the new gym. Amazing! He can’t wait to see the new gym and neither can we! You see, even though Gabe is only 8 years old, he understands that the gym won’t just make Camp “funner.” People are going to give their lives to Jesus at Camp, just like he did this summer! What a testimony of a joyful, purpose-filled, generous gift.
2) "Our favorite way to spend money is by giving."
Speaking of joy-filled gifts, we recently sat down with some Camp friends who were excited to support the campaign with a $100,000 donation. They told us “our favorite way to spend money is by giving” and they were so happy to support the mission of Camp Lebanon. I didn’t think it was possible, but as fun as it was for Camp to receive the blessing of such a gift, they legitimately had more fun writing the check than we did in receiving it!
3) Aubrey's Garage Sale
It’s been so much fun to hear stories from the Kids Love Camp-A-Thon this summer! There are kids raising money for the gym by painting & selling rocks, saving tips from selling ice cream, asking people straight up for a donation, doing a football-catch-a-thon, pledges per baseball hit, and doing a trash-collecting-a-thon.
And then there’s Aubrey who was just at Camp a couple weeks ago and loved the idea of getting creative in helping to raise funds to build the gym. She came up with the idea to sell her toys (she told her mom they have more toys than they need) and give all the proceeds to the camp! Well, this special garage sale raised more than $250 for the new gym! Not to mention the $19 she made from selling candy she collected at a local parade.
Whether it’s $10, $100, $100,000, or $1 million, there is something truly inspiring about a joy-filled gift! Maybe it’s because it causes us to ponder and think deeply about our own motivations and heart-level passions? But even more, I think these stories are truly incredible because they so deeply resonate with who our God is! He is the ultimate Giver! Not only did He literally give us life in our physical bodies (Genesis 2:7), but He gave His Son to die in our place to give us life eternal (John 3:16). And just like the donation stories above, I believe God finds even more joy in giving us life than we can ever imagine having in receiving it. And our joy is great! It’s just another testimony of how great our God really is! May we all find joy in our Lord and may it compel us to become more and more like Him. Amen.