Bible Camp: It’s a Ministry

June 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Janet Morris Grimes –

You have to be there to understand.

No one from the outside world would get why people would load up 90% of our belongings, pack them into a tiny cabin with bunkbeds and no air-conditioning to inhabit the world that the snakes and the skunks clearly believe belong to them. Why would we bring enough audio/visual equipment to snap the breaker system on what little electricity exists in this tiny corner of the world? Why would we find creative ways to tell to stories, or better yet, help these kids become a part of the story? Why would we hike through waist deep water, only to climb the steepest of cliffs in our soaked clothing? Why would we hike through the dark with only every tenth person carrying a flashlight?

Why would we sing underneath the clouds, loud enough to rattle them? Why would we hold an obstacle course competition, with water, only to make sure that it ends in a massive mud and shaving cream fight? Why would we wake each morning at 7 when the previous night ended way too late? Why would we walk a mile through the last week of the life of Jesus, so that we might focus on what it felt to literally walk a mile in his shoes? Why would we remove ourselves from restaurants and computer screens and sickening daily news bulletins so that we might sit across the table from a teenager and look him in the eyes until he knows how much we care? Why would we make a point to write a note of encouragement to every person at camp during the week? Why would we spend a year planning something that is over so quickly? Why would we stand in line for a shower when only cold water remains? Why would we gather around a campfire to end a day spent in intense heat?

Why would we carve out time to read the Bible, to memorize a part we may not have known before, to ask questions and take the time to find the answers? Why would we spend hours in prayer for each individual, each activity, each moment to make sure that above all, God shows up? Why would we worship under the stars, where it seems that the crickets, the deer, the raccoons, and even the waterfalls worship right along with us?

It’s the relationships. It’s the changed lives. It’s the growth, from one year to the next. It’s the exhaustion and thrill of knowing you left it all out on the field. You held nothing back. It’s the joy of knowing that life is better with each other, and our burdens are much lighter when left behind for a week. It’s the feel of becoming invisible, translucent, so that others can see the love of Christ shining through you. Not because of us, but through us.

The fact that it’s a ministry really hit me this past year when I received an email from a girl who had gone with us for one year back in the 90’s. Now in her 30’s, her life was in shambles. But she had this to say: “I always remember your family being nice to me, and I want to do whatever it takes to get back to the way I felt that one week at camp. I think that was the last time I had any peace.”

Antioch Bible Camp at Fall Creek Falls State Park. That’s where you can find our family over the next week. It’s where we’ve spent just about every year of their lives, but they are no longer campers. They serve as staff, because they remember how much it matters. It’s where all three of our children were baptized.

A true ministry indeed. And worth every sweaty minute of it.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

About Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in April of 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. She launched Abbandoned Ministries in 2010, which leads others through her writing and speaking to seek God, as Abba, during times of abandonment. She currently writes monthly for Christian Woman Today, the grief website Open to Hope, and Mamapedia. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at or
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One Response to “Bible Camp: It’s a Ministry”
  1. Hally Franz says:

    It doesn’t sound like it’s for the faint of heart, but what an awesome experience for your family and the other campers and staff. Good for the heart, I am sure!

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