The Treasure I Seek

Why we serve at Bible camp / by Rollie Hodgman (from Issue #540)

by Rollie Hodgman


“HEY, CAN YOU PLAY THAT SONG ‘Crazy Train’?” The teenage girl’s voice caught me off guard. I was sitting on our back porch strumming my guitar, unaware that anyone was listening.

Her head appeared over the fence. I answered, “Sorry, don’t know that one.”

The last few years Denise and I have made attempts to get to know these neighbors. Activity at their place the past couple years has included lots of visitors, most often young people. On a few occasions, when we’ve been losing sleep because of the noise, we’ve had to call the authorities to calm things down.

We really don’t have a lot to complain about, though. Our neighbors usually make sure their party guests stay inside the house.

The girl suggesting the song was one of their guests one Saturday afternoon this spring. She was blurry eyed, but talked as if sober.

“So what songs do you sing?” she asked. I said, “Mostly Gospel.” She asked, “Can you sing All in All … that’s my favorite.”

Surprised, I asked her where she learned it. She said, “Big River Bible Camp.” I invited her to tell me a bit more of what she remembered about camp, and she told me that she still believes in God, even though her friends don’t. She said she’s got into drinking, but indicated that she feels bad about it. She also mentioned thinking about suicide at times.

I was starting to remind her that Jesus cares about her, and that He came for people just like her – and was about to invite Denise to come outside to meet her – when a teenage guy came out to coax her back into the house.

I thought, how sad … here’s someone who has been exposed to the Gospel, yet caught up in this destructive lifestyle.

On the positive, though, at least she realizes that there is an alternative – her friends might not even know that. Without Bible camp she wouldn’t know that there is a better way – that there is hope and life in Christ.

And that’s why Denise and I keep serving at Bible camp each summer. We know that, in many cases, it’s a “seed planting” ministry, and that it will take more than just a week at Bible camp for the Gospel to reach its potential in these kids’ lives, and in their families.

Bible camp provides a beginning and future point of connection for ministry. Even years later, a camper still remembers the words to All in All … “You are my strength when I am weak. You are the treasure that I seek…”

Rollie & Denise Hodgman serve in publications and urban ministries in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

(from Northern Lights issue #540)