In Summer 2018, DayShore will be in its third year. We have already seen amazing growth and stories from years one and two. Last year’s DayShore Team Leader, David McDuffie shared a few stories about his experience with the program that will be shared over this four post blog series. Be sure to read last week’s installment: “All are Welcome Here.”
DayShore is a particularly special program for the churches we partner with. Last summer, many churches saw DayShore as an opportunity to reach into their communities and meet new families. Children who were not active in churches were exposed to God’s love. I received several messages from churches sharing that a child’s family had visited or joined their congregation after enjoying the experience with DayShore. I also heard stories about campers growing or changing behaviors after experiencing the love and grace shared at DayShore.
One week, we had a camper who was celebrating his birthday on Friday. One of the church volunteers had told us this camper’s special day probably wouldn’t be celebrated at home and that she wasn’t sure he would receive the love and excitement most children experience on their birthday. She planned to bring cupcakes for everyone and hoped we could have a celebration for him. So, for the Friday afternoon snack time, we held a makeshift birthday party complete with singing and making the camper the center of attention. The boy’s face lit up in the kind of way that brightens an entire room, and later he told me “This is all I ever wanted.”
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to make him feel like the loved and special boy he is.
We have a few spots left for DayShore hosts! If your church is interested in reaching out to your community members and deepening children’s relationships with God through DayShore, contact Allison Doyle to get started!
Lakeshore can’t do all the work in ministry it does without help from friends like you! Approximately 25% of our annual campership fund allows community children to attend DayShore. We are partnering with churches all over the conference to help us go and be about the family business. If you are moved by the work we are doing here, consider making a donation to the campership fund to ensure those opportunities for children to grow closer to God.