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SKMB On Missions Together – August 16, 2023

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Redberry Bible Camp Update

Thank you from Redberry Bible Camp!

At the time of writing this we are about a quarter of the way through the camp season, and I just need to start by saying Thank You!

As a result of your faithful prayers, generous gifts of support, and sending us so many amazing volunteers, we are off to a fabulous start to the summer!

Even before the summer began, we were humbled by the generosity of so many who stepped up to provide for the camp both financially and in volunteer labour. The results being a completely refurbished fence for our lakefront horse pasture and a wonderful new sleeping and cooking shelter for Boys Outback!

Thanks to you and your faithful support we’ve been able to host over 160 kids at the camp so far this summer and each one of them has had the opportunity to hear about and experience the love of Jesus. We have been blessed with some gifted speakers and an excellent team of cabin leaders and support staff who have done an amazing job of expressing that love. I don’t know how many of you have experienced working for a summer at camp but this is my first summer from this vantage point. I am humbled and amazed by the hard working, servant-hearted individuals who consistently give of themselves to show the love of Jesus to these campers. Please continue to pray for our camp staff & volunteers for the health and energy to keep blessing the campers.

We anticipated that we would have lower camper numbers this year but as we looked at projections in April and May we realized we’d have a bit more room in our camps then we had anticipated. However, because of the lower numbers, along with the tremendous generosity of an individual who started our camper sponsorship fund, we have been able to bless the new immigrant Ukrainian community. Over the course of the summer, we will be hosting nearly 40 Ukrainian kids that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to experience camp! These campers have already been a fun addition to the camp, and we look forward to the many more we will be hosting over the summer! If you would like to contribute this camper sponsorship fund, you can do so donating on our website or by e-transfer at:  and designating the donation to “Camper Sponsorships”.
Please continue to pray for the camp. We are acutely aware of the importance of your continued support and prayers. Here are some of the specific requests we have for you as you think of the camp. Please Pray for:

  • Protection for campers, staff, and the camp.
  • Our camp staff, volunteers and speakers: pray for energy to continue the good work.
  • The ability to communicate despite the language barrier with several of our Ukrainian campers who do not yet speak English.
  • Staffing positions: we have a few positions in the kitchen and cabins that still need to be filled.
  • Provision: we have been blessed by so many generous supporters, however, with a significantly lowernumber of campers this year, we will depend on that generosity to meet our budgets.
  • Our Foundations leadership program: Our first group saw 19 new young leaders but our second program starting in August still has only 4 youngleaders signed up. These are the future leaders of Redberry so we would love to see that number double or even triple.

There truly is so much to be thankful for already and we as a team are blessed everyday by the campers, the staff, and all of you. Thank you for your deep love and support for Redberry Bible Camp.

Dave Carey

Executive Director, Redberry Bible Camp

Becoming the Best Bad Guys

Last month we looked at the reality of the post-Christian world we find ourselves in now. We have gone from a place of acceptance to being the weird guys to now being considered the bad guys of society. As leaders in the church, our task is to ask a question that Stephen McAlpine asks in his book, Being the Bad Guys, “How can we be the best possible bad guys” in this cultural moment? Or, to look at it from a different angle, how can we, as leaders, best equip our people to be faithful followers of Jesus in this cultural moment? Obviously, this is a vast topic, but here are a couple of short thoughts.

First, we desperately need non-anxious leaders. This cultural change, for many of us, can cause anxiety. As Christianity is pushed to the outskirts of culture, as we see our beliefs become less and less welcome in culture, it can cause anxiety within us, and this anxiety comes out in various ways. For example, it can come out in a desire to fight against culture or in a call to adapt to culture. The issue is this anxiety is contagious, it has the power to spread through small groups, churches and even through leadership, and as it spreads, it can hijack the church’s mission and vision.

As anxiety rises amid cultural changes, we need leaders who don’t get sucked into the anxiety but can lead through it. Our non-anxious presence in our leadership will give us the authority to lead our people and churches through these cultural changes.

Second, we must be committed to a gospel response when treated unjustly. In 1 Peter, Peter calls the church not to repay evil with evil but to repay evil with blessing. This isn’t our natural reaction. When one of my kids harms their sibling, the response always seems to be revenge. The question we need to consider now is, how will we respond when we don’t get that promotion because we are followers of Jesus? How will we respond when we are lied about or gossiped about? How will we respond when we are called hateful or evil?

The work of discipleship is to rewire us to gospel response. One that’s marked by love, grace, and a commitment to doing good despite the hatred we face. Why? Peter reminds his readers that as the gospel oozes out of us, people will see that the mud flung against us won’t stick. He says, “When you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ will be put to shame.” In other words, it will be a witness to the work of Jesus in and through us.

Finally, we desperately need the family of God. I don’t know much about boxing, but I have watched a few Rocky movies (so I am basically an expert). There is something important in boxing to having the right people in your corner to help you as you get beat up. These people in your corner are there to encourage you, care for you, and coach you.

As we go out into the ring of culture and take a few punches for our faith, how important is it to have a family around us to encourage us, preach the gospel, and coach us? The Christian faith is a team sport, a community project, and as we face this new cultural reality, we will need a healthy gospel community. As leaders, are we investing time and energy in creating a deep gospel community in our churches?

Luke Etelamaki,
SKMB Church Multiplication Team (CMT)