Hope Heals Team (Nauvoo, AL) - July 19-28, 2019
Our team will travel to Hope Heals Camp in Nauvoo, Alabama. Hope Heals Camp is a ministry of Hope Heals, a ministry designed to minister to individuals and families that are affected by disabilities. Our students will spend a week at camp, serving in a number of different capacities. Some students will be ‘compassionate companions’ to children attending camp, and some will be ‘runners’, helping wherever help is needed. The camp is designed to give these precious children a camp experience that they might not otherwise receive because of their disability. Additionally, the camp is designed to give the parents or caretaker a chance to relax for the week, while others love and care for their children.
Day 1 (July 19, 2019)
732 miles...Tucson to Abilene, TX. Thanking the Lord for a very smooth and safe commute today. We’re camping at the KOA tonight. Tomorrow we’ll go another 630 miles to Memphis. Tomorrow evening we’ll have the privilege of serving a meal to the men at the Calvary Rescue Men’s Shelter in downtown Memphis, as well as leading them in a chapel service. Students are awesome...thanks for your prayers. Keep them coming!
Day 2 (July 20, 2019)
630 more miles to get us from Abilene to Memphis. This evening we were blessed to lead the men at the Calvary Rescue Mission in a chapel service. This place is really, really special. After chapel we headed to Graceland campground, which is where we are for the night. I guess some dude named Elvis made this place famous. We enjoyed some late night Memphis BBQ...what a great day. Tomorrow morning we’ll worship at a church in downtown Memphis, before driving the final 200 miles to Hope Heals Camp. Thanks for your prayers. It’s been pretty special so far. More tomorrow.
Day 3 (June 21, 2019)
Our team was able to worship this morning at at a small church in downtown Memphis that meets in a school gymnasium. After church we drove the final 200 miles here to Nauvoo, Alabama and Camp Hope Heals. Our students went through some training and orientation, as well as received their assignments for the week. Our day ended with a special communion service. The campers and their families arrive tomorrow. This is truly a special place. We are so excited to get started tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!
Day 4 (July 22, 2019)
The campers and their families arrived today, greeted by an incredible cheer line. Our students have all been assigned various tasks...some are working directly with the families, and others are helping with the logistical side of camp. 3 of our young men have been given the role of ‘wheel chair pushers’ for the entire week. What a beautiful picture of serving with the same attitude of Christ. Tomorrow will be the first full day of camp. It’s been so special already...so many smiles, tears, and moments of seeing the redemption of Christ in the midst of hard suffering. Thanks for your prayers. More tomorrow.
Day 5 (June 23, 2019)
Today was the first full day at camp. There is simply too much to try and recap so I’ll just share two significant things...two of our team members are serving a 19 year old camper who lives with autism and epilepsy, and is non-verbal. We’ve talked as a team about the significance of serving someone for a week who you can’t communicate with, and the powerful reminder of the power of someone’s presence. Being present and near counts for so much. A second moment from today was this evening’s talent show. One boy’s talent was being able to walk completely across the stage with the help of a walker. It’s a moment none of us will ever forget.
Included in this post is also a short video clip of another young man singing along to a worship song. There were no dry eyes in the room by the end of it. This place feels a little bit like heaven on earth. The love and joy of Christ abound. Thanks for your prayers...we are so very grateful for them.
Day 6 (July 24, 2019)
Another incredible day here at Hope Heals. Our students are doing an amazing job of serving these incredible families. We are hearing story after story of hardship and pain, and yet on the other side of every story is hope in Christ. The Lord has brought to mind Hebrews 6:19 so often... “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain”. Tomorrow is the last full day of camp. I don’t think anyone wants it to end. Thanks for your prayers....we feel so privileged to be able to share in this.
Day 7 (July 25, 2019)
What an incredible day we had here at Hope Heals Camp. The morning and afternoon were spent doing the usual rotations. This evening we participated in the Luke 14 banquet. The parable in Luke 14 reminds us that everyone has a seat at the table. Those affected by, or living with a disability are often a forgotten people group in a world that is not designed for them. Tonight however, everyone had a seat at the table. It was so special. The day ended with an amazing dance party. The campers shined with joy. It was one of the best moments of the week. Tomorrow morning we’ll say goodbye to these special families and then begin our trip back to Tucson. We’ll leave here forever changed. Beauty from ashes... it’s been a sacred week. Thank you to those who gave and those who prayed. We are forever grateful.
Day 8 (July 26, 2019)
We wrapped up our time at Hope Heals Camp this morning with quite a few emotional goodbyes. Many of our students exchanged contact information with their “new families”. It’s been incredible to see the deep and life-long friendships that have been formed. What an incredible week we had. We’ve knocked off the first 350 miles of our trek home, and are settled into our camp in LittleRock for the night, where we shared in a worship time and celebrated a few birthdays. Tomorrow we’ll go to Lubbock, TX. Thanks for your prayers. Our hearts are full as we head home.
"Many of God’s richest blessings to me have come about through my wife pushing me toward new things. This past week at Hope Heals Camp is no exception. What started a year ago with Kendrah discovering the incredible ministry of Jay and Katherine Wolf and Hope Heals led to a group of 30 of us making the trip to Nauvoo, Alabama to serve some of the best people you’ll ever meet in your life. What a good and gracious God to allow me to experience such divine moments in life". - Pastor Rob Davis