Hope. It’s a command, a gift, a noun, a verb. Of all that matters in life, the Apostle Paul states that hope is one of a trinity of essentials alongside faith and love. When we are loved, faith blooms in our hearts, and when the path darkens, hope keeps us remembering the love we’ve received and the presence of God.
This year at Camp Squeah has tested our hope in the face of trouble and despair. With the pandemic continuing to cause us all frustration and anxiety, we’ve had to patiently wait to see what the Lord would do. It began with summer camps.
Our province waited until mid-June last year to determine what it was that summer camps would be permitted to do. Not a lot of time! But we scrambled, and the Lord provided means to care for a full summer of children safely. That was one great miracle—more than 400 children were loved for Jesus! We had half the staff we needed when staff training began, and when it ended we had an overabundance.
Mid-summer, our summer director and his wife were anticipating the arrival of their second child. Being some distance from the nearest maternity facility, they had plans for a home birth, with a few back-up plans.
But life seems to have a way of changing things. About two weeks early, the first child to be born on site at Camp Squeah arrived healthy and safe. There may be no other greater reminder of joy and hope than the birth of a new little one. Little River Siemens helped us focus on what God is always doing in giving us what we need. And her namesake was a portent of loving opportunity just a few months later.
Last November gave us a deluge of rain. The ensuing landslides blocked every major highway near us. More than 1,200 people were trapped in our region. Squeah cared for between 150 and 200 different people over that week.
What more do people need than love and care? The hope that we offer to others by giving without thought of return is essential to life. Hope is what keeps us going and, in many ways, what binds us together.
We praise the Lord for his timely gift of hope in the face of difficult times.
Remember that by freely offering the love of God to others, you give the essential gift of hope to them.