Loaves, Fishes, and Faithfulness

Crystal SylvesterOne of the first memories I have as a 4-year-old was playing in the sand with my friend Lisa. We were at a Christian summer camp where Lisa’s parents were on staff. My mom and dad served as volunteers, as they did every summer.

It was probably a Monday morning before the campers arrived, and my mom was busy in the kitchen making hundreds of cinnamon buns and dozens of loaves of bread and rolls for that week of camp. My dad was somewhere around camp, helping the camp director with maintenance or a building project. I can still hear the kitchen screen door slam behind me as I repeatedly went in and out, from the kitchen to the nearby sand pit.

Our family farm was close to the camp so we spent a lot of time there throughout the years. On Sundays when the week of camp was over, my parents would have the camp counsellors and staff come to our farm and after being fed an amazing meal they would spend a few hours just relaxing at our house. Even as a child, I knew that those hours of respite meant the world to the staff.

As I think back to those days and how my parents lived their entire lives, they remind me of the boy from John 6:1-13, where Jesus feeds the five thousand. I’m sure when that boy left his house that morning with his little picnic of 5 small loaves of bread and two small fish, he never imagined that Jesus would use what he had brought to feed thousands of people. That young boy didn’t have much, but what he did have he willingly shared, and Jesus did the rest.

I’m sure my parents never imagined that their offerings of service – baking bread, mowing grass and caring for camp staff – would make that much of a difference. But Jesus used their gifts, their abilities and their time, to help impact thousands of children and people at that camp over the years. And one of the best things is that my siblings and I were able to have front row seats to their lives of faithful service, where we learned how to love and care for others.

Every weekend I have a front-row seat to see some amazing people serve kids in DiscoveryLand. I can’t help but think that they feel a profound sense of fulfillment because they know they’re making a difference in the lives of kids and families. It is so rewarding for me to see our volunteer leaders connecting with others as they grow in their faith, their skills and their abilities.

Jesus doesn’t ask us to do great things. He just asks us to be faithful by giving Him our loaves and fishes – our gifts, talents and time – and He will do the rest.

Written by Crystal Sylvester, the Children’s Ministry Pastor. Curious about the ways you can help in DiscoveryLand during our weekend services, Easter, or even Camps this summer? Fill out this form!

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