The vision for One Hope Canada, a collection of Bible camp ministries across the Nation, is to “To intentionally equip present and next generation leaders to be Gospel-centered, and to aggressively pursue new ministry strategies that recognize cultural and geographical realities.”
The next generation of leaders, influencers and decision makers will be strengthened and stretched at Bible Camps across Canada this summer. One Hope Canada includes camps in ten provinces and has been engaging Canada with the Gospel for over 90 years.
As a teen, I spent my summers being equipped at one of these camps. Yesterday, I spent a nostalgic Canada Day reminiscing at that Camp’s 85th Anniversary.
As part of the celebration, there was a Canon Ball Fundraiser to support the finishing bathroom project at the camp to compliment the brand new pool. I spent two summers Program Directing there alongside Camp Director Marilyn Kirk. I remember when she began dreaming about the building of a new pool on the campgrounds, because the old waterslide and tiny cement pool needed to be closed down permanently. Luseland Bible Camp is rustic and the proposition of a brand new pool in the middle of the field sounded ludicrous and impossible.
Yesterday, at the celebration, Saskatchewan One Hope field Director Terry Kerr, spoke about Marilyn’s radical determination. Marilyn had a God-sized dream, but she didn’t try moving forward with a dream alone. She worked hard to develop a plan with the camp board, camp staff and One Hope Canada. Then, with all her fiery passion, and all God’s miraculous power, her God sized dream began to take shape.
Denzel Washington writes, “Dreams without goals are just dreams and can ultimately fuel disappointment.” Marilyn had vision, she set realistic goals with her key teams, and she moved forward with resolve.
Goal-setting is good, but it was not the key to Marilyn’s success. A goal becomes particularly powerful when the purpose is not to achieve the goal, but for the goal-setter to grow. One Hope Canada aims to grow Gospel-centered leaders, and the Great Gospel goal is to know God and make Him known. Every goal you make will shape and change you positively or negatively. That’s why it’s important to ask before setting a goal: Will this goal help me look more like Jesus? Will achieving this goal move my family, my community or my nation to know Jesus?
Yeseterday, as I wrapped my body into a canon ball, along with twenty-nine other jumpers, I looked around at the diverse group gathered to plunge. The goal was to build the pool – and it had been done. But the purpose of the pool, and of One Hope Canada, is ultimately to disciple people so they can be change agents for God’s Kingdom. I saw a post this morning written by one of my fellow canon ball jumpers. The jump was a challenge for her, and she had developed courage, and overcome barriers to take the great leap. The goal, the building of the pool, is already producing it’s purpose… for people to be changing and growing to look more like Christ in courage.
As I watched Marilyn observe the canon ball action, I knew it had happened in her too. Through the process, she was given vision by God, made plans, sets goals – and saw the power of God bring it to pass. With men and women like this on the ground leading Canadian Bible camps, One Hope Canada can move forward in the midst of uncertainty and celebrate this Canada Day weekend, knowing that God will continue to bring his vision to be: “To intentionally equip present and next generation leaders to be Gospel-centered” … and he will do so for generations to come.
“Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.” – Psalm 119:90