Seeing God Shine!

Seeing God Shine!

Nine years after holding their first Camp Hope, a team of  volunteers from  Aledo United Methodist Church are still going strong as they minister to the community of Oak Hill Mobile Home Park.  Longtime Camp Leader, Trudy Smith, spent a day passing out flyers to residents.  After knocking on one particular door, a young man answered and immediately recognized her. “I know you!  I went to Camp Hope when I was a kid.  Wow, you have been doing this a long time!”    

Trudy has definitely dedicated many years to this program, but she loves Camp Hope and how it brings families together.  “We have watched these children grow up through the years,” Trudy says with excitement.  “I get to see children of all ages reading, playing, and learning life skills.  Moms and dads get to enjoy watching, laughing, and talking.  But it is when everyone sings, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…”, I get to see it all come together.  It’s a beautiful sight to behold.”

Trudy reminisced about the first Camp Hope when most residents did not know their neighbors.  Quickly, they became a community, facing hardships and loss as well as  celebrations through the years.  Today, the neighborhood looks very different. “The pot holes in the streets used to be the size of our cars,” she remembered.  “But we pulled together to petition for changes and have seen big improvements for the neighborhood.” 

At the end of each Camp, the volunteers get in a circle to give thanks and share where they saw God shine.  “There’s a lot of sad and hard things on the news,” says Trudy.  “But at Camp Hope, we get to see and experience joy; we celebrate Jesus; and we remember that God is doing good here on earth.”

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