A Glimmer of Hope
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” [Psalm 42:11]
It is an honor and source of pride for me to be able to serve in Camp Hope (situated in a village appropriately named New Hope), and the children and youth from this area. I have now been working here for 4 years and I truly learn something new every day from the kids and young people.
In Camp Hope it is not common for the children to run up and give you a hug the first time they see or meet you; they will simply say ‘hi! what is your name?’ There they will cut short the conversation. However, if you persist with them, playing games and getting involved in activities with them, they soon offer you friendship and even a few hugs! This year the majority of the kids enrolled are very young and it is their first time in camp. Likewise some of the older kids for one reason or another have not been enrolled in camp for many years. Nevertheless their parents have commented that this year they were eager to be signed up.
Such is the case with Edwin Ortiz, a by who in years past did not respond to discipline, and didn’t accept the affection from the leaders, volunteers or directors. During the time he wasn't in camp he even did things to interrupt camp activities. However, this year he was willing and excited to come to camp and insisted that his parents sign him up. Now, Edwin, like the other kids, is always ready to give and receive warm hugs. Edwin is in fifth grade and maths has become his stumbling block. Nevertheless he always asks for help. One of the first days of camp Jason, UPH Director of Communications, came to camp to get to know the kids and help, and he worked with the fifth graders, one of whom was Edwin. At the end of homework time Edwin approached means told me, “I found it difficult to do my homework because I just couldn’t do the math but now thanks to Jason I know I can do it and I can do it correctly without making any mistakes!”
In Edwin’s life, and the lives of each kid, I can see a GLIMMER OF HOPE for their community, and for our country as they rise up as agents of change, always aware that our trust should be in God. We have no need to worry because God knows all of our needs and because when we call out to Him He knows the perfect moment to act and do His work.
As Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.”
Therefore, we hope to continue seeing positive changes in the lives of our children and youth, always putting our plans in the hands of our Creator so that it is He who establishes these glimmers of hope.
Tania Guerra - Director of Camp Hope AfterSchool Program