E4K 2022: A Little Taste of Heaven
By Anne-Marie Coulombe, Reformed Christian Church of Beauce (ERCB) Coordinator
Cue the slow-motion scene with music by Vangelis, “Chariots of Fire.” Moses crosses the red sea and Pharaoh’s army is swallowed up after him. The skit captivates the attention of the children after being told the story of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites in delivering them from the Egyptians. Later the kids would recite, “I will sing unto the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider thrown into the sea. The Lord, my God, my strength, my song, is now become my victory.” (Exodus 15:1-2)
Daily Bible skits were just one of the highly anticipated activities for children attending English for Kids, a week-long English camp for children in St. Georges, Quebec, Canada. This year the camp was held July 4-8. Hosted by the Reformed Christian Church of Beauce, (a reformed Canadian denomination with which the OPC enjoys fraternal relations) the camp was a means of engaging with families in the community and teaching the children biblical truths.
Coordinator Anne-Marie Coulombe shares her thanksgivings and reflections on the camp in her daily recordings of events and prayer requests:
Our first day of camp is complete! We have 42 children and 15 short-term missionaries, eight from the United States (one from Maine, one from Vermont and six from Illinois) and seven from Ontario. There were many positives from the day which went very well overall, even though everything is new for these first-time campers. We give glory to God that the team members are affable and helpful, have various talents for music, teaching and interacting with the kids. We’ve received good feedback from the parents, who report their children were counting down the nights before camp started. The children were calm and we had a beautiful, sunny day!
As the camp day came to a close, our concerns and prayers were for three children in particular who longed to go home early. We wondered if they would return the next day. We pray for warmer weather and safety as we walk to Pomerleau Park, for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of all these children, that the Lord would strengthen the faith of all the missionaries visiting us, and for health as this isout first post-pandemic camp.
We had a sunny second day of camp for most of the day! Praise God; the two little girls who missed their mom a lot came back and I could see that they enjoyed the various activities, even if she had to come and reassure them about lunch time. The girl who wanted to leave the camp will return tomorrow! Amazingly, our camp director, Olivia, had an interesting talk with this mom as she waited for them.
We are working to make a video of the story of the exit from Egypt to send to the families. The filming for this video is a large task! Marilou is managing all this; may God give her wisdom and strength to direct the many actors while filming and changing sets and costumes. Part of the shooting was done tonight, and the other part will be Thursday night. On Wednesday night the actors will have a Bible study given by Paulin and they will be able to relax in Pastor Bedard’s pool.
The church is full of children singing, talking, and playing with joy! Friendships are developing and laughter abounds. God's Word is proclaimed in song, verse, games and skits. The verse of the day was 1 Corinthians 5:7: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
Today, it occurred to me that camp brings us a "little taste of heaven". The church resounds with songs and verses to the glory of God and even in the street, when the children move to Pomerleau Park, they sing the praises of God. Maybe they don't all know what the words mean, but that's okay! And for this week, God gathers his children who did not know each other and makes them work together in joy and harmony... Really, it is a very beautiful week that is coming to an end!
Helper, Lily-Rose Grondin, with a fellow volunteer.
We are so thankful for all our volunteers that made E4K 2022 possible. There were many youth from our church [The Reformed Christian Church of St Georges] that are involved in the camp this year, including: Abigail, who prepared all the crafts with a young lady from Ontario; Philip a counsellor's assistant in the 7-9 year old group; campers Emma, Mathilde, Laure and Clémence; Marilou, Olivia's right hand; Rémi, a counselor's assistant in the 8-10 year old group who worked with the leader, a very dynamic 71-year-old man from Maine; campers David and Elisabeth, the grandchildren of Claire and Pastor Paulin; and Lily-Rose Grondin, our excellent assistant.
From left to right: Kirsten, Elena, Miles, Brian, Liam, and Ryker Belh
In addition, the Behls, a family from Illinois responded to Olivia Durham's request to come and help with the camp. They know Quebec quite well and visit it often, especially Montreal. Kirsten speaks French thanks to her studies and a stay in France. They are also familiar with the ERQ churches of St. Marc, St. Jean, and Repentigny and have been invited by several members of these churches. Kirsten teaches English as a second language online and French in a high school. Brian, her husband, is a pastor.
The whole family is involved in the camp. Parents, Kirsten and Brian, are each responsible for teaching a group of children. Elena and Miles are counselor assistants. Liam is responsible for organizing games at Pomerleau Park. Ryker, the youngest, is a camper.
May God strengthen the faith of all these beautiful young people through their camp experience!