Across the state, Texas Baptists camps have seen big changes in their usual operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial effects of the pandemic have been tough, but camps have modified programs and implemented new safety measures to keep their campers as safe as possible.
To support these camps during this time, the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) set up the Texas Baptists Camp Relief Fund. This fund aimed to provide much needed financial support to camps in the hopes that they will continue to minister to their campers for years to come. The Foundation received a generous matching gift from the Valley Baptist Missions Education Center to ensure that young lives continue to be transformed through Texas Baptist camps. $612,000 was raised to support 27 encampments across the state.
“I’ve been thrilled to see the original matching gift grow as savvy donors give ‘no preference’ contributions, knowing that their generosity sparks increased gifts to the individual camps. Thanks to this donation matching, donors are able to make an even bigger impact for camps,” Jerry Carlisle, TBMF president, said. “It’s as if 2 Corinthians 9:12 is being lived out as Texas Baptists are ‘supplying the needs of God’s people...overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.’ This is why the Missions Foundation exists!”
To Roberts, keeping the camp open in any capacity possible was an important way to continue making an impact on the lives of the people who stay there.
“So many people have accepted Christ at camp, or have been called to ministry, or meet their spouse. God uses camps. Big life events happen here,” Roberts said. “It’s really important for people to get away from their normal routine. When people get away they can get a new perspective and give God time to speak. People just hear God differently at camp.”
Brad Springer, director of Camp Copass, agreed and thanked everyone who donated to the Camp Relief Fund.
“I want to thank you for giving to the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and enabling our camp, and a lot of other camps, to keep their doors open. I want you to know that your donations have been very well received and very well used…Camp is one of the best investments you can make in Kingdom work, because our camps across the state of Texas are a fertile ground for evangelism, it’s where people come to know Jesus Christ,” Springer said. “If you can get a kid to come to camp for a week, that young person is going to have an encounter with Jesus. What they do with that encounter is between them in God, but we must continue creating an atmosphere that is conducive to that.”