These two sentences are the two ways one could understand the double meaning in the Romanian title of the father and children camp organized this summer by EGM Romania. The Romanian title is “Pun’te cu tata!”
In Romania, every pastor teaches about the important responsibility that rests on a father’s shoulders to be priests in their homes and teach their children God’s word. Many Christian fathers are doing their best, but still face many obstacles. From the generation gap, to the cruel reality of long days sacrificed at work to provide for the family, there is very little time left for a father to enjoy the relationship with his children. Even when fathers make the time to teach their children, they feel that the only spiritual “help” they get on how to be a dad is the good old “guilt & shame” program.
Since Deuteronomy 6, the Bible passage that inspires so much of the Every Generation Ministries model, was intended for both parents and the entire community, we believe the EGM Model Children Worker principles should be the same for parents.
With this and many other good reasons in mind, EGM Romania organized this special father and children camp for the first time this summer (June 24-29, 2014). We had 22 Christian men who participated with their children (28 children all together).
Father and Children Camp Brought Families Together in Christ
Fathers and children had a lot of quality time spent together when the focus of each dad’s attention was 100% his child(ren). We spent one day in the adventure park on high rope courses and zip lines. Another day we hiked in the mountains and discovered together the beauty of God’s creation. We played football together, lots of outdoor activities and games, serious crafts involving nails, wood, hammers, leather, and other dad stuff, did treasure hunts in the woods, and had tons of fun.
The best part of the camp was the “family” time. After a “game” together with the group (also known as the experiential activity), each father went to a quiet place with his child(ren). With the help of EGM materials and encouragement from early morning devotionals, fathers shared Bible stories with their children, followed by meaningful discussion and the opportunity to start responding to God based on the truth discovered in the Bible.
We followed the story of David. Fathers and children alike learned that we can trust God even in impossible situations, that we can be balanced in the way we see ourselves, that we can be honest with family and friends, and that we can have patience and trust God’s timing.
It was a challenge for each father and his child(ren), but we each left the camp with a footbridge that we built to last. It’s our prayer that the bonds built at this father and children camp will help us continue to communicate with our children, share God’s word with them, encourage honest and meaningful conversations about the truth in our real lives, and see transformation taking place through our response.
Praise the LORD!
– Alex Bruda
Central Europe Director, Every Generation Ministries
P.S. Here’s a great video the EGM Romania team made from the Father and Children Camp!