The *Eagle Feather characters aren’t real people (*referring to the NCEM-produced Eagle Feather novels for teens and pre-teens).
But each summer hundreds of real life (and really lively!) First Nations children and teens attend our NCEM Bible camps.
Outdoor activities, good food, friends, fun and spiritual encouragement … all are part of the Bible camp experience.
It’s a different world in many ways. The youths’ familiar routines at home are left behind, along with their media habits.
It may seem like a very short outreach, but the 24-hour-a-day relationships experienced in one week of camping add up to more time than a missionary may have with local kids during an entire year! And Bible camp creates memories that last for decades, or even a lifetime.
So what does it take to start and operate a Bible camp?
Honorary missionary Harold Roberts tells about the vision and dedication required to get NCEM’s Pine Ridge Bible Camp in northwestern Saskatchewan up and running.
He says the idea really began with this question: “Why should there be so many Bible camps and Christian opportunities for other young people in Canada, and so little for the northern Native people?”
Harold and his coworkers trusted the Lord and acted in faith. Years later, reflecting on whether it was worth it, he recalls:
“One eight year-old girl, in particular, trusted in the Lord and has never turned back. She became a regular camper in the years to follow. As she grew older she would come for her week of camp and would then stay on as part of the kitchen staff. She then took part as a junior counselor and then on to the responsibilities of a regular cabin counselor. She went out to a Christian high school, then on to graduate from Bible school and into nurses training.
“God is faithful and does exceeding abundantly above what we can ask or think,” says Harold, “and this girl is a seal of His faithfulness.
“Others, too, went on to become part of the summer staff. One year we had the joy to have on staff five of those who had come to camp in those first years as campers.”
Adapted from our Northern Lights magazine (Issue #495). Note: some of the locations and involvements of our missionaries may have changed since the original publishing of this article.