Gord and Beckie Klassen

Program Director / Gem Lake Wilderness Camp
Inner City Youth Alive | Winnipeg, Man.
Home church: Nassau Street Church, Winnipeg, Man.

The summer camp program at Gem Lake Wilderness Camp is done for the season. My staff team is back in the city! I am spending some time here on the island by myself recharging after two months of 17-hour days. During this time I work at my own pace and catch up on all the cleanup and maintenance that I can’t do when the program is running. I also have lots of time to reflect over the summer and all that has happened here. The summer feels as if it flew by in a blur of activity, so it’s great for me to have this time to decompress and remember all that God has done.
Half of our staff came from strong faith backgrounds and the other half are much younger in their faith. As I led our staff devotion time each morning it was great to hear about the connections staff had made with campers – some discussing deep faith issues and others sharing their faith stories while they themselves are in the infancy of their faith journey.
It was an amazing summer of safety. One staff member took a tumble in the rapids and sustained a back injury that slowed her down for much of the summer. In hindsight she realized that she had had so many more meaningful conversations with campers because of it.
Our Mini-church theme this summer was “One Way” and taught about the foundations of faith and that Jesus’ death on the cross is the only way to conquer sin. It was a good starting point for conversations about faith and questions about how to live that out. It was good to hear the stories of campers who gained a better understanding of their faith and of others who were moved toward Christ on their faith journey.
A number of my camp staff asked for prayer as they moved back into the city. They have been part of a very supportive community while at camp and a number have moved ahead greatly in their faith. Several of them mentioned the fear of failure which they had going back. There is a lot of pressure on them to slip back into bad habits and addictions that they conquered while at camp. They have gone back to the city with faith and a strong resolve to do better, but are also very aware of the realities of the home and friend situations that they left behind when coming to camp. Please pray for their success and that we can continue to be a support to them in the city.

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