by Walter Selke, NCEM General Director

Many years ago I sat listening to a children’s camp director telling stories of the changed lives of those who had attended Bible camp. I had never attended a Bible camp growing up. I was mesmerized by the life changes that he was talking about.

That next summer I found myself going to camp for the first time. I was 22 years old, and felt the same excitement that many campers have as they come to camp for the first time! During that summer God used Bible camp to change my life. I discovered that God can use me! I watched as many children made peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was because of camp that I decided to put my career in carpentry on hold, and follow the Lord to Bible school. I wanted to become a camp director! I wanted to be used of God in children’s ministry. It was during Bible school that God led me to a First Nations Bible camp, and eventually to full-time First Nations ministry. I have always had a soft spot for children’s ministry.

After coming back from meetings someone once asked evangelist D.L. Moody how it had gone. “Two and-a-half persons were converted to Christ,” he replied. A friend asked if he meant two adults and a child. The fact was just the opposite – two children and one adult. Moody pointed out that the adult had already used up half of his life. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (NIV).

Children’s ministry is important. From the very beginning of NCEM it has played a prominent role in the Mission. We believe in reaching children with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is often through camp ministry that villages open up and the foundations for church planting are laid.

In this issue of Northern Lights you will read of a certain young man who was reached through children’s ministry. He grew up in the local church, went to Bible school, and has now come back to his church to help pastor. He has also become a missionary member with NCEM. Peter Constant and his wife, Charlene, are among our newest missionaries (see “faces & places”).

I started my journey into ministry because of children’s ministry, and I am still committed to it. Who knows … maybe some day, when I grow up, I can become a Bible camp director!