On Thursday, June 27th, a group from Genesis Fellowship spent the morning helping Wildside Youth make some final preparations for this year’s Camp Wild program.
Six adults and nine young people volunteered several hours of their day painting, cleaning and setting up three different stations & activity areas for Camp Wild.
But the VBS group from Genesis Fellowship didn’t come just to pitch in. They came to teach their students about the importance of helping ministries and missions groups who spread the Gospel all over the world, including right here in Hagerstown. Pastor Steve Fretz wanted the young people to learn to serve in their own backyard as well as learning to serve people overseas.
Pastor Fretz says, “we recognize that our society has become very ‘self’ oriented – people spend their time pursuing what they like or want or desire, or what they think will make them more comfortable, etc. This has led to an entire generation of people and their children who care more for their own comforts and conveniences than they do for others. Genesis Fellowship has embraced the biblical ideal that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ calls His disciples to display His life and His Gospel in both word and deed … for the Father’s glory.”
At Genesis Fellowship, they believe that their VBS ministry is a great opportunity to reach out to their own community and share the Gospel of Christ with the neighborhood children and their families.
Since their VBS program is a “seed-planting” ministry in their neighborhood, they take time during their VBS to teach the children about the importance of sharing Jesus with others also. This year’s missions emphasis told the children about the millions of kids in India who are working as slaves. Booklets in their language were personalized by every child at VBS, and then sent to the children in India.
But the leaders at Genesis Fellowship didn’t stop with just educating the kids about foreign missions. Pastor Fretz said that in addition to “recognizing the global need for evangelism and ministry, Genesis Fellowship also believes we live in a mission field that is close to home.” They wanted the children to understand that there is a world just outside of their own doors where children live each day without ever knowing of Christ or how much God loves them.
The desire to teach the children about the need to reach the community is how Genesis Fellowship got involved with Camp Wild.
Camp Wild is a program that helps to “sow the seeds” in the hearts of hundreds of children in Hagerstown. Many of these kids are not exposed to the life-changing message of Jesus so this may be one of the only times that some of these kids hear the Gospel. But we all know that once a seed is planted, the Holy Spirit can do miraculous things!
So by helping Camp Wild, the students from Genesis Fellowships VBS program are helping to plant seeds in the hearts of so many local kids. This opportunity of service is not only beneficial for Camp Wild but also for the VBS students who learn that the world does not center around them and that God has called them to help reach the lost, even in their own backyard, for Him. This service to God can help impact their city which could ultimately help change the world.
We are so thankful for the students and leaders of Genesis Fellowship for volunteering at Camp Wild. But we’re not just thankful for their physical service to our youth ministry. We’re thankful that they have such a heart for people that they desire to teach the next generation the importance of winning people, whether old or young, to Christ. They understand the needs of local ministries and they see the mission field, here at home, so clearly.
We hope that the students who helped that day will continue to have a heart for children both here and overseas.
If you are looking for a church with a strong emphasis on missions, please check out Genesis Fellowship in Chambersburg, PA. To learn more about this church go to www.genesisfellowshipchurch.org.