The People We're Thankful For
Recently, Kevin and Stacie attended the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association Conference in Kansas City. It was a chance for them to learn and network, and also to worship with other camp directors and staff from across the United States and Canada. On the first night of the conference, a local pastor challenged each of the conference participants to take a note card and write the names of all of the people who had been mentors, leaders, and teachers throughout their faith journey. “Who,” he asked, ” was influential in shaping your faith? In leading you to where you are now? Who challenged you? Who supported you, taught you, guided you?” Each of the participants quickly began filling up their cards with names. When they were finished, the pastor added one last instruction. “Tell them how important they were to you. Write them a letter or call them up on the phone. Let them know that you are thankful.”
This is the season of giving thanks. Most of us will gather together with families and friends this week to celebrate, eat, share, and enjoy being together. We at Camp Wyoming would like to extend the note card challenge to all of you this Thanksgiving. Ask yourself who has been instrumental in your faith journey. Maybe it was a Sunday School teacher. Maybe it was a parent or a spouse. Maybe it was a youth leader, camp counselor, professor, or co-worker. Maybe it was a friend. Make a list of all those people, and then choose one of them, and tell them how much they matter to you. You can write them a letter, call them, or maybe send a card. Perhaps you will be with them this Thanksgiving, and you can share how you feel in person. However you choose to do it, share with that person how they have inspired you, taught you, or shaped your faith. We often don’t thank people enough for the ways that they contribute to our lives.
There is one final piece to this challenge. Keep your note card somewhere where you will see it daily. You could put it next to your bed, tape it up on the bathroom mirror, or tuck it in your wallet. And then, each time you see that card, pray for the people listed there. Pray that God will bless their lives like they have blessed yours, and that God will bring mentors, counselors, and teachers into their lives when they are struggling or need help.
This is a simple way to practice thankfulness this Thanksgiving, and a wonderful way to give back to the people who have blessed you. At Camp Wyoming, we would like to send thanks your way. Thank you to those who faithfully support this ministry, whether it be through your time, your money, or your prayers. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, campers, staff, churches, and community who bless our ministry, lift us up, and help us to continue to share the love of Christ with all who come through our gate. We will be praying for you this Thanksgiving.