The COA Story

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Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, have illustrated the difficulties we face as a society in capturing the hearts and salvaging the lives of our young people. So many voices are crying out to them - gangs, radical Islam, glamorized negative portrayals of youth by entertainment media, and more! Organizations like the ACLU work hard to silence the voice of the Christian community in the public arena, including pushing Christian influence out of the school systems. Social programs that reward illegitimacy have in many quarters removed the voice of father from the home. This breakdown of the nuclear family and the secularization of public education make the battle for the souls of American youth all the more difficult.

But we will not give up the fight - we will not let secular and Satanic forces carry the day! We will stay in the battle and fight for the most valuable thing in all the world - the souls of people, especially our youth! Since 1974, Camp Open Arms has tapped a greater power than that of secularization to reach children and youth - the power of the cross of Christ Jesus! On that cross raged a battle for souls, and Jesus won! O, His death may have looked like a defeat, but His resurrection demonstrated that it was really a victory! If the men and women who followed Him after the cross had not known He was truly alive, they would never have faced persecution and death to tell His story. This small contingent of Christ-followers could never have become the worldwide movement it is today without a power from beyond themselves - the power of the cross.

What was it that led the Lindleys to begin this camp ministry 42 years ago? It was the conviction that the message of the cross had the power to change lives for time and eternity. What is it that compels thirty-some Christians to take time off from work and invest in the lives of inner-city youth for a week in the summer? Their own experience impassions them to seek to give the kids what someone once gave them - a chance to respond to the message of the cross. Why do scores and scores of families, individuals, Sunday School classes, and such give generously to support Camp Open Arms? They know that Jesus can change lives and save souls, and they want to invest in people for eternity!

So Alan and Faith and their team will embark on the 42nd season of Camp Open Arms July 13-17 and 20-24. They will be surrounded by a nucleus of veteran workers, along with some young newcomers who will add energy and enthusiasm to the leadership mix. Much planning and work will take place between now and camp time. It is amazing how much gets done up front to make the two weeks of camp as effective and productive as possible. Eastover Retreat Center in Surry County will welcome the COA team, assisting in so many ways, and we are always indebted to them for their help.

Morning by morning during camp, Bible lessons about the cross will challenge young people's hearts. Lively music will seal Biblical lyrics to their minds, helping them long after camp is over to think about the cross. Evening by evening groups will come in and lovingly challenge the campers with the claims of Christ on their lives. Dedicated counselors will share their faith with campers through loving relationships. For a solid week, the world will be shut out, and good and godly voices will cry out to 64 pre-teens and 64 teens. Each camper will return home with a Bible as a resource for life, and some will have received Jesus into their hearts by faith! What a combination - Jesus in the heart, a Bible in the hand! Satan and secularization cannot stand before that combo!

Join the battle with us for the souls of the youth. You can do this in at least two significant ways - help support Camp Open Arms financially with a generous gift to the effort. Look for coupons on page 4 of the newsletter or go to www.prm.info/donate.html. We cannot stress enough the importance of your praying for camp! Satan and his forces do not "go quietly into the night" simply because we cloister the children in the beautiful wilds of Surry County. The battle is on, and it will be won by prayer - prayer in the name of Jesus and the power of the cross!

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