Through starting Camp Infinity, God is teaching me very clearly that HE KNOWS HOW TO COUNT! This was my reaction the other day when we received a scholarship gift for exactly the number of scholarships we had given out earlier that day!
I've been in business most of my life, from selling lemonade alongside the road, mowing lawns and blowing snow off driveways to building software and developing property. But there's something very different about starting a non-profit Gospel ministry like Camp Infinity. Don't get me wrong. No matter what the venture, for-profit business or not-for-profit Gospel ministry, if a person has the right attitude, glory can be brought to God in both types of ventures.
However, there's a significant distinction I've experienced. In a for-profit business, I rely upon my abilities and experiences, albeit God given ones, to be successful. I plan. I scheme. I work hard. I try different methods. But in the end it's easy to sit back and say "nice job self! You persisted and therefore you succeeded."
In a Gospel ministry "business" I'm experiencing something I never have before. You see, I've always been blessed to be on the "giving end of things" not on the "receiving end." Being on the receiving end gives a totally different perspective. :-)
I'd like to share two recent blessings God used to confirm in my heart that I'm not the only one upon whom he has placed a burden for a camp like Ci to be created. The realization of this concept is very faith sustaining and energizing!
Humans are free moral agents. We have the capacity to choose how we invest our talents, time and treasures. As I have watched others want to be a part of Ci, it has been a great demonstration to me of the power of God to align the desires and goals of a group of people to do a job for His glory! From a supportive wife and family, to 10 counselors, 2 STEM teachers, a program director, a child safety director and assistant, and many many others, God is showing me that Ci is not just another business venture that I have cooked up to keep me busy in my post college professor years! ;-) But He is revealing the need for an unprecedented camp like Camp Infinity to a growing host of others. To God be the glory!
To help families with children gifted in science & technology to be able to make the investment in their child's faith and future in STEM, we make available, as God provides, $300 scholarships. We had given out the 11 scholarships the Lord had provided and received 4 additional requests. We decided to go ahead and offer them. This was mid-morning. What a surprise and boost to my soul when we received a $1200 donation that afternoon! Having an analytical mind, I quickly did the math: $1200 / $300 = 4! God had provided exactly the number of scholarships we had given out! I shouted in my soul "God knows how to count!!" Of course, I'm stating the obvious about the Infinite One who created all things and placed within each of us the ability to count and reason and think, but it reminded me that we are also emotional beings. My heart was blessed and encouraged to actually be a first hand witness to God's demonstration to me of His power in connecting people together for HIS GLORY!
Air Hockey Table
The Lord knows that one of my tendencies is to jump into something and overanalyze and over prepare. In the case of this STEM camp, I want to make sure the students receive enough STEM activities. The challenge is to find a balance between learning and having just some good ole' fun. Well through series of events, the Lord has seen fit to remind me that having fun set the stage for more learning. Here's how it all played out.
During spring break, my wife and I enjoyed taking a family from our church to the lake. The house we rented had an air hockey table. As we enjoyed some exciting rounds of "four puck," I could not help but notice the physics and geometry involved in the game. I thought how cool it would be to have two of these for the campers to both enjoy and learn some cool science. So, we looked on that wonderful social trading post called Craig's List and found a couple for sale. We emailed the owners and told them how we would be using the tables. To our amazement, once again, we saw that God was working in the hearts of others to be part of Ci for His glory! One of the owners visited our website and decided to donate the table to us!! What a blessing to be part of something God is doing to allow Camp Infinity to inspire young people to discover wonder and amazement in everything they see in the world around them and to teach them to face each day with an insatiable curiosity that drives them into a closer relationship with the Infinite One who created it all.