If Bobby and Will didn't know God cares deeply for the needs of children in foster care, this truth became very evident after a weekend as counselors at Teen Reach Adventure Camp. Bobby and Will themselves had difficulties in their backgrounds, and God had already done a work in their lives.
As Bobby got to know the camper he had been assigned that weekend, he realized something amazing. Bobby's mother had started a rehabilitation facility, and this camper's mom was in that very facility. And if that weren't enough for God to orchestrate, the interaction Will had with his camper was even more incredible. The camper was talking about his dad, who had been a gang member and was now incarcerated. He shared that he only had one picture of his dad and began to describe it, including that it featured a friend of his dad's. Will couldn't believe it. That friend was him. He imagined that boy returning to his foster home, looking at the picture again and recognizing his counselor from TRAC!
Though these two counselors couldn't reveal these miraculous connections they'd pieced together to their campers, they did share with the rest of the team. With tears in their eyes, these tough guys described to the leaders at TRAC what only God could have arranged.
The teens, however, were not excited about being at camp. They didn't want to cooperate or participate. Bobby and Will understood and persevered. They had been those angry kids at one point, so they could uniquely relate to them. They spent the weekend playing basketball, talking with them, sharing their own pasts and how God had changed them. There were breakthrough moments. If God could turn Bobby and Will's lives around, the teens realized there was hope for them. One of the campers had already dropped out of school. Through another "God" connection, a few years later, Will has discovered that his camper went back and finished school, and is now getting ready to attend college. And, he is also leading a Bible study!
You can invest in the lives of foster teens by volunteering (a variety of roles are available) or by giving (note TRAC on your donation). This year's Girls Camp takes place June 30-July 3, and the boys Camp takes place July 7-10. To learn more, email Nick Mehle.