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Fall Newsletter - The Darfus Family

"A Weekend of Adventure and Faith at Southwest Ministries' Elementary Camp"

{This article will appear in the CCCU “Evangelical Advocate” in a different form.}

From September 22 to 24, Southwest Ministries hosted an exciting weekend of fun and faith at their Elementary Camp. Eighteen campers, with an average age of 11, gathered for a memorable experience, with four newcomers joining the adventure. The weather was perfect, and the children enjoyed being themselves and enjoying the great outdoors.

This camp's theme was all about being a "Happy Camper," and we explored it through four engaging lessons:

1) Making S'mores: No camping trip is complete without the joy of s'mores. From John 6:25-40, the kids discovered that Jesus is the bread of life, making us feel complete.

2) Singing Campfire Songs: Under the starry skies, there's nothing more joyful than singing. From Luke 19:28-40 (The Triumphal Entry), the kids learned the importance of joyfully praising Jesus.

3) Telling Campfire Stories: Gathered around the campfire, it is fun to share stories. From Luke 24:13-32 (On the Road to Emmaus), campers learned that we have the best story ever to tell: Jesus is alive!

4) Keeping the Fire Going: Just like we ensure the campfire stays safe, campers learned that with the promised Holy Spirit, the fire of the good news will never go out (from Acts 2:1-12, The Holy Spirit Comes).

Between these lessons, we spent plenty of time outdoors, playing basketball, volleyball, gaga ball, or 9-square. Anything with a ball was a hit! We even had some wet, knitted sponge-like balloons for added fun. Many campers conquered their fear by climbing a 36-foot-high wall, strapped in safely, of course. Once on top, they zipped across the field, trusting both the Lord and their harness.

As night fell, campers gathered around campfires to make s'mores and gaze at the stars or enjoyed board games at a table. This time was treasured, filled with fun, snacks, and new friendships. Some campers live more than nine hours apart and only get to see each other during camp.

Camp is a special opportunity, especially for children facing less-than-ideal situations, to relax and have fun. These weekends open their hearts and minds to the idea that God made them for a purpose and His love for them never ends. We praise the Lord that many campers felt led to pray the sinner’s prayer for the first time or re-invite Christ into their lives.

Throughout our time together, the Holy Spirit was present, and we're grateful for your prayers and support of this important program. It truly makes a difference, and God's work is evident!


During our Homeland Ministry Assignment this past summer, we did not meet our financial goal to allow us to stay on the field for the full four years we had planned. We trust that God will provide as He has always done. Please pray with us that people would be interested in joining us to fulfill the Great Commission.


We praise God for you! Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement, and support!

Doug & Becky


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