By Nathan White, VBMB Web Minister
Last week nearly 400 children, youth, and adults traveled up the mountain to Eagle Eyrie Conference Center for Missions Connection Celebration (MC2). An intergenerational experience, the camp featured opportunities for missions, discipleship, worship, fellowship, and plain ol’ fun.
Rev. Jonathan Hilliard, pastor of First Baptist Church, Gretna, served as the camp pastor. Each morning, mission workers gathered together at the picnic pavilion where he offered a quick devotion for the day.
8th graders and older then left and traveled to over 30 sites in the Lynchburg area to lead Vacation Bible Schools and do construction work for nonprofits and senior citizens. 7th graders stayed and did work on campus while younger children attended classes and did crafts.
Rev. Luke Smith, pastor of Linden Heights Baptist Church, Staunton, led the adult Bible study each day. Adults then had several options on campus including quilting, hiking, or just resting.
The intergenerational aspect of MC2 drew Rev. Shelby Jones, Minister of Outreach and Mission at Lakeside Baptist Church, Richmond. “Being able to bring our 3 year old son who is being discipled while we get to do missions is amazing.”
Campers had each afternoon off. Eagle Eyrie offered many options for them, including swimming, visiting the ice cream shop, or playing disc golf.
In the evenings, everyone except the smallest children gathered for worship. Bradley Beals, Assistant Worship Leader and Small Groups Coach at Warrenton Baptist Church, helped lead worship.
Visiting missionaries got up on stage and shared about their ministries. Rev. Hilliard offered a challenging and missions-based message each night.
Rev. Jones mentioned that, as a church staff member, “getting a chance to sit and participate without having to think about what is next was wonderful. Church staff need worship time where they can hear Gods word and be pointed to Jesus.”
Meal Packing for Haiti
On Wednesday afternoon, 150 campers gave up some of their free time to pack meals.
Partnering with Lifeline, the campers packaged more than 14,000 meals that will go to Source of Light Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which Virginia Baptists helped construct.
Ron Hall, President/CEO at the Virginia Baptist Foundation, presented a grant to Eagle Eyrie before the meal packing began.
Ron watched the campers with amazement, noting that “they voluntarily gave up their free time to help. They could be swimming right now, but they’re helping pack these meals. Wow.”
Earlier that morning, some of the younger children were given the opportunity to decorate the food boxes. Campers watched a video explaining the process and how the meals are used. “Do for one like you’d want to do for everyone,” the video challenged.
During the meal packing, several young children stood up on crates so they could reach the table. Participants ranged in ages from two to their eighties. Breaking up into teams and spreading out around Dogwood Hall, the actual packing took less than an hour.
“Thank you for your time today to serve the Kingdom,” Rod Miller told them.
Interested in learning more about MC2? Visit Eagle Eyrie’s website.
Meal Packing Slideshow