Houseboats 2019: Not Your Average Summer Camp

By Jonathan Thonglom, Youth Pastor

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

The sound of teens laughing, singing, praying, and worshipping. Playing games, swimming, and riding inflatable rafts. Sitting in the dining the room and talking about life.

This houseboat experience started as off as average annual summer camp program but grew to a lifelong commitment to walk with Jesus Christ and with each other. They began their first day sharing about the pain from their struggles but by the last day of the week they shared about their plan to overcome their struggles.

We laughed, we ate, we slept, we prayed, we worshipped, we surrendered, we cried, we felt Jesus, we committed, and we were made new in Christ. I am so thankful for this opportunity that you allowed me to pour, praise, pray, and partner with the younger generation. 

Here are some quotes from the students:

“I been to other summer houseboats church trips but this one is the first time that I felt that I need and can own my walk of faith after this trip.”

“I wasn’t sure about going to the houseboats trip, but I am so glad that I did, and I want to bring my friends with me next year!”

“I was a casual Christian. I came to church on Sundays but never really thought about God beyond that. Now I want to read my bible every day and pray for my friends and family.”

“Thank you for all that you do for us and making this trip happen, Jonathan.” 

If you’re a parent of the student, grandparent, or part of our church family, thank you. Thank you to you who are reading this. All your prayers and your love for the younger generation allowed 6 out of 8 students to make a choice to commit further in their growth and knowledge of the Gospel and take practical steps to grow their faith in Jesus Christ. 

Coming back from Houseboats, students could not stop telling everyone else in the congregation about the radical experience with Jesus Christ they had and how they are planning to invite all their friends to next year’s trip.

But we need your help! Some of our students were able to go this year because of previous generous donations to our Camp Scholarship Program. Without a continuing flow of generous donations throughout the year, we would not be able to offer this program for next year’s houseboat trip. 

Ways to give to continue changing the younger generation’s lives:

1. Write a check to Shepherd’s Grove Presbyterian Church and in the memo write, “Student Camp Scholarship.”

2. In the offering buckets during church service, write on the envelope, “For Student Camp Scholarship.”

3. Please pray that God would provide the funds for next year’s students and more students would be able to go.

Thank you for planting seeds that will grow and guide many future generations to a relationship with Jesus Christ. You are very important to our church family at Shepherd’s Grove but also you are very important to the younger generation. Thank you for being disciples that are making disciples and being a radically hospitable church where unchurched people love to attend.