How are you at taking on a challenge? If you were a First Nations’ child from a remote village in the Yukon or Northwest Territories, doing the heebie-jeebie for the first time would be only one of the welcome challenges offered at Kamp Klondike, near Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Over the week you would spend at camp, you would learn new things. Some would be related to skills such as archery, stilts, and canoeing. But the most important thing you would learn is that you were really loved. For that week you would be the star, the center of attention, the absolute awesome “king of the mountain”. Most importantly of all, you would learn that you are special to Jesus, that He loved you and died for you, that when you weep—which you often do—He weeps with you.
Kamp Klondike is a small Bible camp with a big mission and a big heart. It is an outreach ministry of Dawson Community Chapel, affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. The church has only fifteen members and about an equal number of affiliates. The camp began as a ministry to the church family. Imagine our surprise when we were challenged to look beyond ourselves and take on the ministry to First Nations’ children from two villages! And not just any two villages: villages which were particularly needy. Served by a missionary from SEND International and one from NCEM, these villages have a high percentage of alcohol and drug abuse, with its attendant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. One of the missionaries said, concerning the 7-9 year olds, that each of them had seen more violence in their lives than all of the staff combined. There is little stability in their home lives—registrations from year to year see guardians change, social workers involved, and single parent “homes” melding or parting.
Kamp Klondike is now in its second decade of ministry to the needs of these villages. The Lord has showered us with blessings. From wall tents to eight cabins, from a tarp over the tables to a kitchen/dining complex, from nowhere to play on a rainy day to a brand new Hallelujah Hall, every challenge we have faced has brought an outpouring of His love. And however over-stressed the local staff feels, one look into the eyes of a hurting child makes it all worthwhile!
We set a challenge to you: we challenge you to share your love of the Lord with needy children in a cross-cultural ministry. It may be a very real challenge and sacrifice on your part: because of our limited resources, we do not have funds to help defray your costs. We would like to have you commit to all three weeks of ministry, but if that is not possible then one or two weeks would at least give more children an opportunity to come to the Lord. This is not an easy ministry, but it is one that brings joy to any who have accepted the challenge. We pray that you will be that special one!