Camp Ray Bird

An open letter to churches considering involvement with Ray Bird Ministries

Dear Friends in Christ,

Trinity Evangelical Free Church of South Bend has had such a positive relationship with Camp Ray Bird over the past 20 years that we would like tell you about it and encourage you to join in and reap the benefits as well.

The relationship started when Trinity church was founded. One of our charter members happened to be on Ray Birds board of directors and he encouraged the church to start supporting the camp as our first local missions effort. We agreed to do so and have never regretted the decision.

What started with a small financial contribution has grown to be the core motivator of our members to serve in the mission field. Your congregation could easily have the same experience.

Let me tell you how it happens.

Working with the Camp accomplishes two major goals of the Christian Church. First, your members will help bring the message of Christ to a group of kids, some of whom have never heard the gospel message of Jesus. All of the campers live their daily lives in poverty. Most live with only one parent, if any. A few lack moral standards and have not experienced proper discipline. Others lack positive role models and have little hope for the future. Most have never experienced love. They experience all of these in abundance in their week at camp. As a result a large percentage of the kids accept Christ as their Savior. This has a profound effect on them, their families and their community as they learn to live life God's way.

Secondly, at the camp, your congregation has a great opportunity to put their Christianity to work. You and your children are well grounded in the faith and are thus eminently qualified to work with these kids. You can volunteer and use the camp as a missions training ground. Working at the camp will inspire and motivate some of your members to serve in or financially contribute to other mission fields when God calls. These experiences could transform your congregation, making them a missions minded church. The camp is truly a cross cultural missions experience.

It has truly worked this way at Trinity. Many of our adults and youth, after working at the camp, have been inspired to go on to serve in other mission fields. The camp has not been the only influence but for many it was the starting point or the training ground. Recently a young college graduate served a two year term in Mexico, and in September another began serving as a career medical missionary in Nepal. In the past, others in the congregation have served on construction crews, as office workers, as teachers, in evangelic outreach to children and adults, and as Bible translators, etc.

We believe that the benefits your church will derive from supporting and working with Ray Bird Ministries will far outweigh the cost.

Yours in Christ,

Robert Foegley. Missions Chairman