Oceanview Community Church - A Story Worth Sharing
Sunday June 10th was our annual “Camp Scholarship Sunday” where children we have given a scholarship to were presented with a certificate on stage and got to shake hands with the Senior Executive Director of Camp Qwanoes, Scott Bailey. We strive to make this a real celebration Sunday including ice cream and fresh strawberries afterwards!
The story part of it is the miraculous growth of the number of Ladysmith kids receiving scholarships. When my family and I arrived at the church 8 ½ years ago, the church was faithfully raising money to help kids get to camp and sending a grand total of 2 kids. The next year my lovely wife Lori took over the program and because we had our oldest daughter in Kindergarten at Ladysmith Primary and were starting to get to know lots of families with young kids, the number of kids receiving a camp scholarship jumped to 12. The church was phenomenally excited that the funds were finally being used and put even more effort towards fundraising. The next year 25 kids received a scholarship.
A Christian businessman from Vancouver had started a private foundation years before, but was too busy to give it the attention it needed as he was running his business. When he retired though, he was able to focus on charitable giving through his private foundation. His adult daughter was attending our church at the time and told him about what we were doing to try and help local kids get to Summer Camp. He had a huge heart to help single parent families get to camp. He called me up and said, “I’ve heard about what you as a church are doing and I would like to contribute.” Camp fees are understandably increasing as food/staffing/equipment costs increase so I said, “Fantastic, are you thinking 2 or 3 kids?” He laughed and said, “Oh no, I’m giving you $5000!” So the next year we jumped up to sending 42 kids. All of this made the church more excited about helping at the garage sale in October, personally giving money to the fund, doing bottle drives, etc.
This year we gave a record 83 children a scholarship. The Christian businessman has increased his giving to $12,000 this year! Now the story here is that it shouldn’t be possible for a local church with an average attendance of 225 to send 83 kids to camp – a figure totaling $20,200. We think it is a miracle of God.