MCALESTER—When campers arrive at CrossTimbers Mission Adventure Camp, they know they are in for an exciting week. This year, campers were greeted by camp staffers dressed as “mad scientists” cheering for them, giving high fives and even climbing on top of the campers’ vehicles to show enthusiasm.
The campers then are immediately introduced to their small group leader—their Tribe Leader—and escorted to lunch.
Each day, campers are taught how Oklahoma Baptists are on mission locally and across the globe. The mission lessons included Oklahoma Oil Patch chaplaincy; the Oklahoma partnership with Guerrero, Mexico; Oklahoma disaster relief efforts in Haiti and missionary endeavors in East Asia.
Week 11 campers got to hear from disaster relief volunteer Dennis Ingram, who shared about his experience being one of the eight volunteers on the first disaster relief team to travel to Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. Ingram reminded the campers that God brings beauty out of ashes, and one form of that beauty is that more than 85,000 Haitians have accepted Christ since the earthquake.
A slide show of photos demonstrated the devastation by comparing pre-earthquake conditions with images of the destruction. After campers learned about the water wells the relief teams built, they had a chance to use the same tools that the relief teams used. The Haitian wells are drilled about 50 feet into the ground and with the rocky soil at CrossTimbers, the campers did not reach any water, but they had a great time digging.
Ingram also shared that relief teams are still building houses in Haiti. The blocks are delivered to the site and locals are paid to lay the blocks prior to the arrival of disaster relief volunteers. The disaster relief teams make the tin roofs and two windows per home. In most cases, the teams are able to build a complete 10-foot-by-20-foot house in one day. The campers also had the opportunity to lay bricks on a concrete slab to experience how the disaster relief homes are built in Haiti.
At the conclusion of Camp Week 10, Mark Jones, childhood ministry specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and program director of CrossTimbers announced that the Camp Weeks 1-10 raised $2,220.75 for Haiti, which was enough to build a house. The missions offering going toward Sunday School materials for the Convention’s partnership in Mexico to-date is $2,017.71 with the total offering of Camp Weeks 1-11 totaling $4,427.71. The gifts of children are making an impact around the globe.
During the mission lesson on East Asia, campers heard from Raley*, an international student who now lives in Oklahoma. Raley became a Christian while pursuing undergraduate studies and quickly began sharing with others about her new life in Christ and began a house church. Then she moved to Oklahoma for graduate studies, but did not leave her mission behind in her homeland.
Raley taught the students characters in her written language and they got to practice writing them on chalk boards, watch clips from a worship service in a house church, taste tea and eat rice with chop sticks.
Campers aren’t the only ones who are encouraged during the weeks at camp. Before each new set of campers arrive, Jones leads a devotional, training his staffers with the Word and ending the time in prayer for each other and the new campers. Before Week 11 began, Jones led the staff through Luke 14:27 highlighting that to take up your cross, you must deny yourself.
“Once you are carrying your cross and following Him, you will hunger and thirst after Him,” Jones explained.
Although the primary goal of CrossTimbers is to educate, equip and engage children in a missions lifestyle through the camping experience, the students have opportunities to relax and just act like kids. Each night they experience “Tribal Chaos,” which can include a game called “Organized Chaos,” water games or any other crazy game the staff can come up with. Campers have the opportunity to enjoy archery, shooting BB guns, swimming, high and low ropes courses and recreational games like human foosball.
Campers who attend CrossTimbers are taught about who Jesus is and how to share Him in their city, state, nation and to the ends of the Earth. For more information about CrossTimbers Mission Adventure camp, visit www.bgco.org/ministries/crosstimbers or call 405/942-3000, ext. 4662.