July 2012 Thank You!
"Stay on your wall." These are the words that Murray State University's College Basketball Coach Steve Prohm used to spur his team on as they entered the NCAA tournament with the best record in the nation. He was quoting Nehemiah. Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king. When he learned that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he asked permission to return home to rebuild the walls. He had a purpose. As he and a group of other men were working on the walls, people continually tried to distract them. Nehemiah's response was, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down." Nehemiah was driven by a passion for Jerusalem and the temple that held him to his purpose.
Melissa, at our 9th-10th grade camp, quoted Coach Prohm and Nehemiah. She led the kids in a discussion about their purposes. Each child, over the course of the week, painted his or her purpose on a brick. Those purposes included "Be Brave," "Stand Up For My Faith," "Be friends with the friendless," and "Stay strong for God." And then each child stood on their wall, to live out that purpose.
The 9th-10th grade campers pulled together to support each other, to cheer each other on during a fourteen mile bike ride, to help each other make a Thanksgiving feast, and to give thoughtfully to each other on Christmas. We challenged them frequently to rise to their purpose. And rise they did.
We have rarely seen a group of teenagers act with such courage and selflessness. As one boy who demonstrated considerable bravery said, "You all help me to have courage. Don't you wish everyone had a Hopetown."
Thank you for your support of this place. God is using Hopetown in the lives of many kids. We ask for your continued prayers for safety and for God's purposes to be fulfilled as we move into our camps with the younger ages. We are honored to be standing on the wall with you.