Since Camp LIFE, God has shown us that we had such a greater capacity to love than we ever dreamed. It is remarkable how these precious orphans touched our lives and we will never be the same. Those 50 kids our family ministered to that week have now become a part of each of our lives, and we will forever treasure our summer and time in Zambia.
Rob Holmes, Dallas, TX
It's shown me that all of us can be used by God if we are just willing to stand up and say, "Here I am, Lord, Send me!"
Paul Hancock, Bakersfield, CA
As a dad, it is a blessing to see my children step out in faith to serve other children.
Brandon Lackey, Houston, TX
Camp LIFE is and will likely always be, the single most impactful experience of our lives. What we thought would be a one-week mission trip has become a lifetime ministry for my entire family.
Clifford Hickey, Denver, CO
The Christian education of tens of thousands of kids will impact Zambia in a radical way in the next 50 years. Zambia as a country sees less than 5 percent of its kids graduate from high school, and we will not just be graduating kids from high school. Our kids will be tthe best educated kids in the country, as demonstrated by their test scores. Our kids will have a moral compass guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Tell me that won't change the NEXT 50 years!
Steve Birdwell, Houston, TX
I saw God's chosen children live completely by faith. Because without the worldly distractions, faith is all you have. They have the kind of faith that moves mountains! I saw it in their eyes everyday and now when I close my eyes, I see their faces!
Melissa Utley, Dallas, TX
Camp LIFE has transformed our family. It absolutely changed our world to get to go to Africa as a family. It is an unbelievable experience. It has bonded us in a completely new way and gives us common ground -- a group of vulnerable orphans that we could pray about together.
Todd Brock, Houston, TX
Our family and our experience in traveling to Zambia and being part of Camp LIFE has drawn us closer together across three generations. Our families have been completely transformed. We now have a unity of purpose and prayers in supporting these kids. This ministry has enabled a more active dialogue between us and our children and grandchildren.
Sam Bradshaw, Houston, TX
Throughout my time in Zambia, I have learned the power of prayer. Mark 11:24 "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." Zambians really do believe that God has the power to do anything, and I am proud to say that now I do too. I realized God's mission for me: to love the broken-hearted, just as He loves.
Mary VanLoh, Houston, TX
Every single facet of this Spirit-led ministry half a world away has deeply caputred our hearts.
Laura Pipkin, Houston, TX
God used an orphan boy named Jordan who wanted to hide his face from the world to set a lifetime of purpose in the heart of my son.
Cindy Brinker-Simmons, Dallas, TX
Everything changed when I felt a pull in my heart that led me to Family Legacy and ultimately a family trip to Camp Life last summer. I will never be the same - nor will my family. My faith was strengthened, I was stretched beyond my comfort zone, my family saw and grew closer to Christ - we were on the "frontlines" in ministry. Sure, we are called to minister, serve and share Christ at home and at work, but without question, the Lord used my Camp Life experience to push us out of our comfort zone and caused us to rely on Him completely.
Russ Johnson, Houston, TX
I'm so proud of my grandchildren and my Zambian girls for the work they did in the community today. They cleaned for hours at a home of a woman who had just lost her son. The family was clearly in great need and the girls were able to share the Word of God and be the Hands of Christ.
Anita Jones, Dallas, TX
Today as we went into the compounds, I was reminded of the simplicity of the gospel. So many times at home, I try to find ways around sharing the gospel without being direct. But seeing my kids today share so boldly to anyone and everyone was powerful. I want to live my life on purpose- finding ways to serve everyone I come in contact with and showing my family first-hand what a surrendered life to Jesus looks like.
Cecilia Stoll, Edmond, OK
We came expecting to change the lives of orphans for the better. We did. But we have been changed in the process. Our daughter put her faith in Christ. Our son is going off to college a changed man. My heart has been re-opened to knowing God. One of my boys tapped me on the shoulder at Camp and said, "This week is going to change my life." He should have said, "This week is going to change your life."
Frank Wright, Frisco, TX
One of my dearest friends unexpectedly passed away this year and I haven't known how to find healing from the indescribable pain. God is using these Zambian girls to open up a place in my heart that I didn't even know was numb. Today, when I was called to the front to lead the song, "This Little Light of Mine," everything I had pushed down since Luke's death the Lord brought to the surface and I broke down in tears. Today I finally received closure on losing Luke.
Cayla Chastain, Coppell, TX
I went to the prayer room today with my dad to pray over one of his boys. I've never felt closer to him than I did in that moment. Experiencing camp with my family and especially going to the prayer room with my dad- I now deeply understand that we are not only changing the lives of these kids, but also the lives of the families who come to serve them. Zambia has become a very special part of who we are as a family.
Maggie Pipkin, Houston, TX
Just want to thank you for the very special experience my daughter Claire and I had at Camp Life. I don’t think I have ever experienced an organization that God so clearly has his hand on. Someone asked me yesterday if I got sick or caught anything when I was there. I paused and said yes, I was severely “infected” by 10 Zambian boys and I don’t think I will ever recover!!
Al Sorrels, Dallas, TX
I had hoped that God would use me to impact the children. Once I got out of the way He chose to do that. But what I hadn’t expected was how much He would do to change me during this experience. He softened my heart, made it clear that I was a part of the call to minister to His children around the world. And he showed me just a glimpse of what He has in store for me if I trusted Him with 100% availability.
Allen Sockwell, Austin, TX
As a father, and I say this with all candor, … I have never made a better decision! The experiences we have had in attending Camp Life as a family, have been absolutely wonderful. Linda, Hallie (21), Stephen (22) and I have been blessed in a variety of ways by meeting the men, women and especially the children of Zambia.
Randy West, San Antonio, TX
As we began to understand the enormity of the problems in Zambia, God began to show us that we could be his hands, provide his comfort, and provide some direction to the dozen or so kids we were each privileged to get to know. Our trip to Zambia taught us many things. We are so blessed to live where we live, have the education we have, and to have the ability to develop the talents that God has given us. Zambia created an intense desire to share those talents and money to do what we can do to help these orphans.
Kevin Smith, Dallas, TX
Our trip continues to impact us. We often talk about our boys and girls, and we remember to pray for them often. I find myself often wondering how Wesley or Philimon or Joseph is doing. Our anticipation for our return trip this summer (2012) is great. I changed jobs last fall, and the first question my boys asked me was not, “why?” or “does it pay well?” Their first question was “are we still going to be able to go to Zambia?”
Darrell Taylor, Houston, TX
We find since we have been home that the things of this world do not taste the same. We find our goals to be different – more focused on the eternal. We hunger for God’s word, and are more fervent in our prayers. God laid it on our hearts to raise money for a school for the children we worked with, and He provided the money in an amazing fashion. In helping the Zambians we are not motivated by guilt, but rather the desire to experience God for who He is and glorify Him when He is at work.
Bryan Critchfield, Cypress, TX
Soon after deciding to go to Camp LIFE for our very first time, we learned about many multi-year camp "alumni" people and families. I remember thinking, "are these people OK? I thought this was a once in a lifetime short term mission trip." Just to say that now after our 4th year of Camp LIFE and seeing how this trip is powerful and life changing.....you just need to go, to see what God has in store for you and for the people of Zambia.
Brent Stoltzfus, Lancaster, PA
I have seen miracles happen in the children of Zambia and in the Americans who visit Zambia. I have seen kids and adults changed. I have seen answered prayers. I have seen kids with nothing take the hearts of Americans who have everything.
Cletus Glasener, Southlake, TX
One of the most powerful experiences we have had as a family in Zambia is seeing 14 beautiful children rescued and brought to the Tree of Life Children’s Village in the summer of 2011. In 2007, the theme for Camp Life was Freedom. God spoke to our oldest, Kara, about raising the money to build a house at the Tree of Life. After 4 years, the vision became a reality as we each took the hand of a child and walked them to their new home, Freedom House.
Staci Schroeder, Cypress, TX
My two daughters, who had a deep faith in Jesus Christ, were immediately immersed with their kids. It was so gratifying to see them working and serving the orphans in their group. My wife immediately was in her comfort zone; with a background in the medical field she immediately started accessing various medical problems. I watched her jump into action and took care of many kids. I was amazed at how the Holy Spirit filled my family and gave them the ability to do so much.
Frank Tsuru, Houston, TX
The blessing that is God’s Hand working through Family Legacy to impact the American family in general and the American father in specific is nothing short of profound. As I spent a week and became father to the fatherless, God opened my heart and poured in the love, the sacrifice, and the hope that is Jesus Christ. Giving all credit and Glory to Christ, I can profess I am a new man and my family is a new family.