Saturday, June 28, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Seth received this book from Cathy and I'll explain why it is very Seth appropritate by sharing one of our recent conversations.

Seth: Mami, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Mami: I want to be your mami.
Seth: No, I mean do you want to be something like an astronaut, or a farmer, or something like that?
Mami: Well, I guess I want to be a gardener or a photographer maybe. Why, what do you want to be when you grow up? (As if I have to ask, b/c he's been telling me since two or something :)
Seth: I want to be a farmer when I grow up so I can take care of the animals. Mami maybe you can come live with me at my farm
Mami: Yeah, and maybe I can be a gardener at your farm and grow vegetable and things
Seth: Yes, and I can feed the animals.

Princess Selah and the Mascara

Once upon a time, there lived a little princess named Selah. Selah at times forgot she was still a princess and not the queen of the castle. During one of these occasions the princess raided the queen's treasure chest.
What the Princess did not know was that there was a spell for anyone who opened the treasure chest without permission. When Princess Selah greeted her mother the queen the queen noticed the princess' beautiful face had black markings on her lips and nose. Whereby the queen realized what the princess had done. Thankfully the spell was only temporary.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jerry's Dream Camp

Last day group shot
Mr. Laura & Aunt Charlotte proudly wear their shirts

Sydney & "Bob" with "Booshie" & Selah in the background

The Sibling Staff

Director Carp speaking

Group shot

Messy game

Seth the "camper" & his camp buddies

You are probably not able to read what the white shirts on the first pictures on this blog say they read "We build Jerry's Dream Camp. Kiwanis Club of Pleasant Grove."

Jerry Diffee would have been happy to see what happened at Hidden Acres during our third week of camps. Pastor Jerry who passed away over a year ago was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Pleasant Grove and a big part of the tradition of raising funds for inner city kids to attend summer camp. He knew what an impact just a week of camp can have on these kids who would very likely not experience a week of summer camps if not for the generosity of Kiwanis club supporters.

We were very encouraged at the start of camp to see so many parents come and drop off their kids at camp. Usually all of the kids are dropped off at a location in Dallas and bused to Hidden Acres.

I talked to a couple of campers about their camp experience. I asked a young boy pictured above, "What is your favorite part of camp so far?" He said, "everything!" "This is my first camp ever and I love everything about it."

A young lady named Rebecca, (It's easy for me to remember her name)who has attended our camp at least two other times has grown up so much from last summer. We talked about last year's camp and she asked about some of the counselors she missed seeing this year. Then she told me with a twinkle in her eye and a smile that brightened her face "I want to work here when I grow up. I want to be a counselor." I replied, "that would be great! Did you know that Kit Kat (Kate Stevens), Sharkbait (Toby Elery), and BabyE (Amanda Elery) used to be campers and are now on staff?" She nodded and then informed me about how Kate had been attending Hidden Acres since she was in second grade and that she too had wanted to work at Hidden Acres when she was a camper.

I had a follow up conversation with Rebecca and asked her if she was involved at a church. She told me she was and attended with some of her family members. I encouraged her to keep going to church, reading her Bible, and praying. I told her she needed to be strong in the Lord to be a camp leader. She smiled and said yes as if she was up for any challenge to achieve her goal. I watched her as she interacted with the staff and noticed her almost soaking up the love and example of the camp leaders. I saw her basking in the glow from Kit Kat, Baby E, and others. I pray that Rebecca will someday be back to be one of those girls who other girls want to grow up to become.

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world

We recently came across the latest issue of Readers Digest where an article caught our interest. This article (follow this link to read article) is the story of two young girls from Burma who are in refugee camps in Thailand. This article broke our hearts as we had a small glimpse of what some of the campers that attended our 2nd week of camps have experienced in their short lives.

Our second week of camp was by far easier than the 1st. One reason was that we had fewer campers than the first week. Another reason was that we had less troublemaking teenagers and more campers with sweet and gentle personalities.

To me the coolest things about the second camp was that we had more nationalities represented and we got more of a glimpse of serving the world. One of the groups we served were the Karen people from Myanmar. These children were sweet, polite, and shy. One of the girls said that I (Rebeca) looked "Karen". They tried to teach Tim and I a few words in their language which we found phonetically a little hard to learn.

When I look at some of our pictures from camp I can't help but think of the song "red, and yellow, black, and white they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world"

We thank God for the opportunity our staff had to share God's love with these children who come from a past of pain, fear, and losses. We pray that God will give these children a hope and a future in Him.

Please join us as we pray for all of the kids who came to our summer camp. Please pray especially who made professions of faith. As you take time to read this article and learn more about what is happening in Burma please take time to pray for all those people who are right now living with fear and despair in refugee camps around the world.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A message shared at camp

Tim gave me the opportunity to be a speaker yesterday for our Kiwanis Pleasant Grove sponsored camp. There are about 35 children at camp this week. So far the kids are having a blast. They are great kids and we are all so blessed to spend time with them.

The camp theme for camp this year is "Where is Your Treasure?" For where your treasure is there your heart will be also Lk. 12:34. Well going with that theme this is what I shared with the kids.

People: God’s treasure

What can you take with you when you die?

What is eternal? What lasts forever?

Tonight we are talking about shipmates or people treasures?

But why do we need to treasure people?

Why are people important?

Let me introduce you to some people I treasure.
-My husband. And my children

There is Seth, Selah, and Sydney & for some who have been here before you may remember when we called Seth little britches

Well, Seth is our only son & Tim and I love him very much as we do our daughters.

When I think of the love I have for my son, I am reminded of a story I heard a while back that has stuck with me. It is a story about a man who loved God and loved his only son. He loved spending time fishing with his son out on their boat on the ocean and teaching him things especially about God. His son was just a boy about your age maybe, he was a good kid who had asked Jesus to come into his heart when he was little and who liked to go to church with his family. Well, one weekend this boy invited one of his school friends to go fishing with him and his dad out to sea. This young boy did not go to church, and well they wanted to spend time with him have fun and talk to him about Jesus.

But something terrible happened that day. A terrible storm came out of no where and before they could get to safety the boat was hit by a huge wave that pushed everyone out of the boat. With only seconds to spare to save the kids the father had to make the decision of which child to reach out to and rescue. Because of the storm and the situation at hand he could only save one life. Knowing that his son knew Jesus and would go to heaven when he died the father chose to tell his son “Son, I love you and I’ll see you in heaven” as he reached out to take hold of his son’s friend.

That day the boy that was rescued from death learned about God’s unconditional love. He knew that this man had given up his only son’s life to save his.

Wow! You know I look at Seth, and I really don’t know if I could give him up to save another. But, you know who did? God did. God sent his only son; the Bible says to take our place. Can somebody read this verse in a loud voice?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Now, I want you to place very close attention to what I am about to share with you. We are going to cover something very important, something huge, a wonderful thing that will take all your attention, understanding, and imagination. Are you ready?

Did you know that when you do things to people that its like you are doing it to God? If you hit, curse, are angry at people it’s like you are doing it to Jesus. In the same way, when you love, share with others, help people it is also like doing it to Jesus. The Bible Says:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:34, 35.

But how can we truly love people?

How many of you love God? How many of you love your enemies?

Did you know that Jesus teaches us that we need to love everyone like we love ourselves? He said we even need to love our enemies.

Can somebody read the following verse?

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I John 4:7, 8

So this verse is telling us that the only way to truly love people is that we need to be born of God and we need to know God.

When we have God’s love in our heart and we know God we begin to see people the way that He sees them, and begin to love people the way that He loves them.

Do you know how God sees you?

How does God see people?

The Bible says, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6

Do you get that? The Bible says that you are God’s treasured possession. He loves you. He values you. You are precious to him. You are valuable to him. Man, he loves you so much He would give up his only son for you, and he did.

Now, who here has a good imagination and is good at describing things.
Ok. I want you to imagine and describe to me what the most beautiful angel would look like? Ok that is good.

Now let me show you this picture. (Show pic of Kadi at wedding) Did you know that Kit Kat got married right over there not long ago?

You can see how beautiful she looked in her wedding adornments. We all thought she looked beautiful, but you know who thought she was the most gorgeous thing to behold. Yup, Her husband Clint, because he knows her the best of any of us and loves her the most of any of us. He sees her beauty inside and out. Well, imagine with me how Kit Kat will look when she gets to heaven because one day she made the decision to ask Christ to come into her life. Man, imagine all those things that describe the most beautiful of angels. Her wedding dress more amazing, because it is made of real pearls and diamonds and beautiful stones. She glimmers and shines like stars and lightning with a mix of rainbow shimmer. Her hair flows and radiates. In her sparkly eyes you see love, and joy, and happiness, and purity. From her lips is the sweetest music ever heard that sings songs of praise to God. Man, I can’t even describe how glorious she looks.

You know we can try to imagine as hard as we can and not even come close to how awesome she will look when she gets to heaven. But you know what? That is how God sees her when he looks at her, b/c he sees the beauty and purity of his son Jesus in her.

Now the opposite is true if you die in your sins and go to hell, b/c the Bible does talk about a place call hell. The worst monster in the worst nightmare will not compare to how a person looks in that place of suffering and pain.

God does not want anyone to perish and go to that place. He loves all of us just the same and wants us all to spend eternity with Him.

This week your counselors and all the workers here who know Christ as their savior want to share God’s love with you. If you want to be able to love people as best you can. If you want to go to heaven but are not sure if you are going with him. Will you whisper this prayer from the bottom of you heart. After I say Amen, you can stop repeating and I will say a little prayer for you.

If you prayed that prayer we would love for you to tell us so we can share with you how happy we are and so we can help you know what the next step is in your Christian walk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Camps for Refugees At Hidden Acres

Here are a few snapshots from the 1st week of Hidden Acres Summer Camp for Refugees. We had a great two weeks of this already. Please keep us in your prayers as we go into our 3rd week of camps starting tomorrow. Our next camp is one for 40 inner city kids sponsored by Kiwanis Club in Pleasant Grove, Dallas, Texas.

From Tim's Journal 6/17/08

Last week was an incredible week of camps for refugees. I'm encouraged about the work at Hidden Acres when I think of stories like the one of a young man named Abdi. This young 14 year old was not going to be allowed to come to this camp because he was already going to be attending another camp. The leader thought it was unfair for for Abdi to go to two camps when there were others who couldn't even go to one. Abdi begged, and begged, and begged until eventually he was allowed to come. By the end of the week Abdi had accepted Christ into his heart. This story reminds me of the Caananite woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter. The verse says, "she keeps crying out." She even knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord help me! Jesus replied"It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." to which she said, "even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Jesus responded "you have great faith." Persistence. Seeking the truth. God had a purpose for Abdi to be at Hidden Acres for our 1st week of summer camp for refugee children.


Little Hassan, heart hard as stone, so angry, so disturbed, so hateful, yet I must remind myself that without Christ, I'm no more pure than he. I held him for a half hour while he struggled and fought my embrace. Then Coy held him for another hour or more all the while Hassan is using every expletive and hateful thing he could think of. The day was winding down and snack time was here. As Coy held him in the line, he continued to refuse the snack. My mom (who is volunteering her time at HA) mentioned the message from that day which happened to be about Jesus. My mom said, "Do you know Jesus loves you?" "I hate Jesus!" was his response. My mother then responded, "It doesn't matter how much you hate Jesus, He still loves you." She then sat down beside this young boy with anger in his eyes and asked, "would you take this snack?" Without looking at her, he took the snack. This story is more than just about a boy getting his snack. It's about the love of Christ breaking down the walls of hardened hearts. A seed was planted. Now we pray that God will grow the seeds.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Selah

Selah 2 days old

Selah's first Easter

Selah & her big brother Seth

Selah our red head Cathy wannabe

Selah almost 2 having lots of fun at the Rangers game :)

Dear Selah,

I can't believe how fast these two years have gone by. In some ways these years have felt like just a blink of the eyes, but in another way it has seem like forever. It feels like forever in the way that I almost can't remember life without you. You have made an imprint in our hearts and in eternity. You are such a wonderful creation made by a very creative and loving Creator.

If God had asked me to take part in picking the little details that make up Selah, I don't think I could of come up with anything as wonderful as you. You are smart, sweet, silly, and so full of smiles. You are a good sister most of the time. Our problem with being good parents is that you really have a cute and sneeky way of being disobedient and sometimes its hard to discipline you without smiling.

Selah, you know I says this to you quite often and I love the way you respond when I say this: "Selah do you know that I love you, and Papi loves you, and Seth loves you, and Sydney loves you" and then you interrupt and say "And Caaathy loves me." And I say, "Yes, but you know who loves you most of all...Jesus loves you. He made you and He died for you" I love when you smile and repeat with the sweetest of little voices ever heard "Jesus, loves me!?"

So Selah, today on your birthday I thank God for the gift of you. I pray that He will guard your heart and deliver your soul from death, your eyes from tears, and your feet from stumbling as written in Psalm 116:8.

I love you. Te amo. You are so beautiful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Celebrating 5 years of marriage

We celebrated our five year anniversary May 31st, 2008 by going on a date to the Rangers game. Really I guess I probably would have not picked that as the place to celebrate our anniversary, but it really turned out good. ( Tim did take me out for lunch on Monday without the kids and that was nice too. ) The Rangers won! We watched a fireworks show after the game and that was kind of romantic :) I thank God for five wonderful years of marriage. We have been through so much, and it really has flown by.

Here are our little blessing we have received from God. Seth looks upset in this picture not because he was having a bad time at the game, but because he did not want to take a picture. Really, Seth, Selah, and Sydney had a great time, because Cathy & Nicole and other family and friends were there to keep an eye on them and play.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Email sent to our Sunday School Class

Thank you to all who are praying for our ministry with Hidden Acres.

For some of you who may not know the full story, Tim and I recently became officially commissioned as camp missionaries. We will be raising support to work at a Christian Summer Camp in Kaufman, Texas called Hidden Acres.

Things get very hectic in our home around this time with summer camp preparations on the way. Tim has been leading summer camps for the last 6 years as director.

Our first week of camp begins June 9th with training and the 10th the children come in for day camp. Our first week of camp is our summer camp for refugee children. Some of you may have heard Alyssa Marx come speak to our class about refugees who now live in the Dallas area. Well, during this first week we will be leading a camp for about 100 children who have been relocated to Dallas from refugee camps around the world, but primarily children from countries in Africa.

We would like to invite any of you to come and check out our summer camps. We also need volunteers to help in different areas. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, it is actually not to late to sign-up. We can use just about anyone out there, but please pray especially for our highschool and college leaders who spend their time and energy investing into these childrens lives. Pray that God will send some clouds and cool breezes during the day, but no rain from 10-4. Pray for energy for the staff. But primarily pray for God to work in the hearts of our campers, some of which come from muslim families.

Again thank you for the encouragement and prayers.

If any of you would like to receive our newsletter that goes out every other month please let us know by sending us your mailing address.

Blessing to yall,

The Carpenters