Face painting, dressing up with jewelry, bean bag tic-tac-toe, and a bonfire were all part of community outreach in Sioux Falls, S.D., when Shalom Christian Reformed Church ran its annual Camp Mercy.
And it wasn’t just for the benefit of the community. Amy Kooistra and her daughter Hannah ran “Good-lookin’,” where kids could have their face painted and dress up with jewelry. Amy wanted her daughter involved in running Camp Mercy. “Encouraging kids to share the gospel with others at a young age will help them conquer insecurities about evangelism in the future.”
DeAnna Anema is the children’s director at Shalom CRC. She said there were about 85 people involved in putting on this year's event, which drew about 35 kids from the community with their parents.
“We passed out over 1,600 invitations to our church neighborhood and posted it in multiple areas in order to get the community to come through our doors,” she said. “Ultimately God is the one who decides who will walk through our doors. But even if we get one family who wants to start their walk in faith, then we as a church have done our job.
“God wants us all to ‘go and make disciples of all nations,’ and what better way to do that than in our own community?”