DADCAMP is a ministry dedicated to giving dads and their kids special moments to build a stronger relationship and connection. It is a mixture of teaching, silly games and moments of reflection together. DADCAMP recently went international when they brought their powerful program here to La Esperanza.
The theme of the DADCAMP program was "You Have What It Takes". But I have to admit we weren't always sure we had what it took to host this event! Planning and getting the project off the ground posed some unique challenges to our brand new ministry here.
We realized early on that we'd need the help of the local churches to prepare the property where the DADCAMP team would stay overnight and where the activities of the day would take place. But we struggled getting them to invest time and money into the project. By the time the scheduled work day at the El Tejar property rolled around, we had convinced ourselves that we’d be scrubbing bathrooms and arranging beds all by ourselves. But we underestimated our partnerships and our God. Over 20 pastors and church leaders showed up from all over the region to help prepare the property for the event. Even more astounding, they brought the financial help promised. Churches that couldn’t give money, gave resources. Water bottles came from one tiny church, chairs from another. If we had seen no other benefit from DADCAMP, the blessing of seeing us come together to accomplish the work would have been worth all the effort! But, of course, God gave us more than we asked for.
We faced our biggest obstacle getting dads and their children to sign up. We knew this was an opportunity to reach out to families outside the church. But in an impoverished community where parents are disengaged with their kids, the priority is just survival. So we spent the weeks leading up to the event at two local schools (one public and one private). We got the students excited with some silly games and invited them to come with their dads. Sadly, the kids confirmed what we'd feared. Most families did not have a male presence in the household. We encouraged them to invite neighbors, teachers, friends, uncles and grandpas in the hopes that we could help them strengthen theses relationships. But just two days before the camp, we had only two confirmed participants. To say we were discouraged would be an understatement. We even thought about canceling the camp altogether. In the end, we decided to have a little faith.
It's funny that every time we think we don't have what it takes to do ministry in Honduras, God shows us that we have the only thing it takes―Him. Over 75 children, adults and volunteers spent the day playing, learning and growing together at DADCAMP.