Today I had the incredible pleasure to witness the church at work. The Rainbow Express camp began this morning as an army of Jesus’ servants began tangibly displaying God’s unconditional love to children and their families from our community.
The church’s website explains, “Rainbow Express is a weeklong day camp sponsored each summer by Matthews UMC Youth Ministries. It is a camp that serves children and youth with special needs and provides support for their families. This is a special week full of energy, fun and joy as we embrace all of God’s children.” This unique camp was born out of Laurie Little’s (the youth director at Matthews UMC for over 20 years who has a son with special needs) passion to serve individuals with special needs.
From young elementary-school-aged “buddies” through teenagers and young adults, all the way up to older adults, servants of all ages spent the first day caring for the campers who were having the time of their lives. I got to enjoy watching the recreation and music stations especially. Smiles and laughter were in overwhelming abundance as life was shared among “all of God’s children.” Just look at what is possible when a local church is willing to resource, equip, and make much of an individual’s God-sized dream!
As I witness the joy on the faces of the campers and their families, I know that this experience is bringing joy to the heart of our God as well. The church may get a bad rep (deservedly so at times) for many affairs, but this ain’t one. Rainbow Express is the type of ministry that changes lives (of campers and the servants). These are the stories that need to be told. This is the opposite of the typical nonsence for which church has become known. This service of love is what can turn the outsider’s view of the church back around to seeing the body of Christ as beneficial to society even if the outsider chooses not to be a part.
Surely Rainbow Express is a picture of the Bride of Christ in all her beauty and splendor.