Team members buzzed around Mills Home in Thomasville making final preparations for one of North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry’s (NCBAM) newest initiatives––Camp BAM.
Schedules were printed, t-shirts sorted, and Little Cottage room keys were waiting. Lowes delivered lumber, screws, and concrete that would turn into needed wheelchair ramps. All was in order for what became a life-changing week of service.
Planning for Camp BAM started in late 2020 with a myriad of uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. The camp was designed to be an intergenerational mission week where volunteers show a heart to serve senior adults through safety repair projects. Planning continued as the NCBAM team trusted God to make clear the best path. By spring 2021, all things were coming together.
Project evaluations lined up perfectly and meal donations poured in from all across the state. Leaders from Impact Community Youth Group in Stanly County and FBC Concord were recruiting
volunteers for the first Camp BAM.
Even with all the promising excitement whirling around, no one knew how big God’s plans for the week were. The focus remained on the tangible good that was going to be done. Aging adults
who have been waiting patiently for wheelchair ramps, handrails, and smoke alarms were finally going to be served.
As leaders found committed volunteers, the planning team began to see how good God’s better can be, and glimpses into the hearts of the volunteers who were giving five days of their summer to serve strangers were revealed. God showed Himself through their compassion.
“I stood on the lawn of a senior receiving a handrail in awe of what
God was doing,” NCBAM director Sandy Gregory said. “All of us found it difficult to put into words how intentionally God was working in the lives of the volunteers.”
Everyone has since returned home and seniors across three counties have safer homes. Nineteen projects were completed and 45 individuals were served. But 50 volunteers’ lives were also changed. One pastor was heard to say that God was been made personal to these volunteers.
Camp BAM provides the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus while volunteers of all ages are challenged to discover their purpose through a relationship with God.
By Samantha Allred, NCBAM North Central Regional Director