by Kim Zink,
Longfields Community Church, Ottawa
This past August, Longfields Community Church hosted their first sports camp. We offered a full day, low cost, week long sports program with a goal to reach working families around our property in Barrhaven (a suburb of Ottawa). We also enlisted the help of Scripture Union, who assist churches with sports camps all over Ontario. They organized four student coaches to come stay with us for the week. These coaches provided sports instruction in basketball, floor hockey and soccer. They also brought t-shirts, water bottles, Bibles, devotionals and freezies for all the children.
We had 23 children attend our camp, with over half of the children coming from the neighbourhood. For the devotional times each of the children were given a little Bible. One young boy looked through it and, puzzled, asked if it was a dictionary. His family shared that he had no previous religious instruction. It was a special moment – seeing him hold a Bible for the first time. We had three youth leaders in training at our camp. It was very exciting for the volunteers to see these young teens grow in their leadership and so effectively support the children.
The feedback from parents was very positive. Between the Scripture Union coaches and our own leaders we were able to provide a very positive, personal camp experience for all the children, including those with special needs. We are thankful to the CBOQ and the OBA for supporting our effort and look forward to future opportunities to reach out to children in our neighbourhood