Posted by: mollyrossiter | March 19, 2009

Mission camps for kids

When the Matthew 25 Ministry Hub was created three years ago, its mission was to serve the neighborhoods in ways they weren’t already being served.


Initially that meant working with the children of the neighborhood and relating and ministering to their parents and families. Since the Cedar River flooded last year, the focus of the ministry has expanded a bit.


For two weeks in July, the Ministry Hub will play host to up to 150 kids in grades 6 through 12 who register for the ministry’s two one-week mission camps. Campers will do more than just help rehabilitate homes and businesses hit by the flood, according to the Rev. Clint Twedt-Ball, one of the ministry hub’s three founders.


“This is part of what Matthew 25 was created to do, but obviously it changed in a big way when the flood came,” he said. “The focus is not just on doing flood recovery but learning about what happens to people during floods and disasters, what happens to government systems. Just as important, they will learn what happens to those the church has a special place for – those who live on the margins. Do they get squeezed out or how do they get cared for?”


Similar camps were scheduled last year for the weeks that followed the June 11-13 flood. One group, from Michigan, brought $10,000 worth of tools with them and donated them to Matthew 25’s new tool lending library — a library in which a small membership fee will make thousands of dollars worth of tools available to those who need them for home projects.


A maximum of 75 students may attend each of the weeklong camps, and groups planning to attend should provide one adult for every five students. Cost for the camp is $200 per person which will help pay for lodging, food, other camp costs and rehabilitation projects.


Although a specific location has not yet been determined, campers will stay at a local church or school, Twedt-Ball said.


He is optimistic that the camps will be full.


“There’s huge interest out there for mission camps,” he said. “From the federal government standpoint it may seem at times like we’ve been forgotten but in the church world we continue to bring in lots of volunteers. People around the country continue to see the need in Cedar Rapids.


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