Happy late Independence Day! I hope you’re doing well & had fun with your family for the holiday weekend!! My favorite parts are listening to patriotic songs and making red, white and blue food/desserts, and of course, the fireworks! James and I are settling in, and I’m LOVING life on staff at IHOP! It’s like my heart is a puzzle piece that fits perfectly in what God has for me here in this season; I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be! It’s been challenging (& fun) because I’m stepping into new roles that I haven’t done before that stretch and grow me & I can’t wait to see all that God has in this season!
I’d like to share with you some exciting testimonies about an event we had at IHOP Atlanta last month called Elijah Camp; it’s the kid’s Vacation Bible School that we host every year where we have children for a week and teach them about Jesus! Children came from ages 6-12, from around the area, the IHOP community, and even from a rough area in Atlanta came, for a grand total of 153 little ones! I got to help them register with their parents, interact with the kids and sign them in and out each day, and it was a blessing to be involved! I could tell by how the children acted and the light in their eyes throughout the week that they had encounters with God! It was amazing to see the change in them by the end. Our main prayer room turned into a fun zone because each group had their own “tabernacle” (aka cardboard box fort) that they decorated, played in and met with their groups in. I can still hear them singing the camp song “We are children of a good, good Father; His banner is love; we are His sons & daughters.” That was my favorite part about the camp & how it was set up:the strongest message was that God is a kind Father who loves them, isn’t far off or mad at them–a message a lot of kids don’t get to hear. It came from the camp director’s own testimony & mission statement, that he wants to see kids grow up knowing who God is as a Father. It definitely made an impact! I wish I went to this camp when I was little!
It was an incredible week! The kids learned about missions, how to pray for healing and tell others about Jesus, and above all that they’re loved by God. They were taught simple ways to share the Gospel, about missionaries and that there are people who don’t know about God. Plus, they got to actually practice what they were taught–I got to watch tons of kids gather around a counselor who has scoliosis as they prayed for her to be healed! One of the most exciting parts of the whole camp was that 33 kids total received Jesus as their Savior and made the decision to make Him their Lord!! One child (about 7 years old), shared the Gospel with her neighbor & friend after camp who then gave her life to Christ!! On the last day of Elijah Camp, all the parents came so the children could show them their memory verses, have a small quiet time as a family and meet all the counselors. They had the opportunity as a family to give towards missionaries who would tell people about Jesus in the Middle East and the response was huge! Overall, all the time and effort put into hosting these kids paid off and there was an eternal difference made in their lives!