Who Is My Neighbor (East Bay Camp)

When we find out during Sunday morning worship that a neighbor needs help, it’s much easier to pull together a team to immediately respond.  That’s what happened on Sunday, June 18, when one of our members, Doug Fujimoto, who is a staff person at East Bay Camp got word that an early morning storm had caused major damage to the camp which was expecting campers to arrive in just a few short hours.

Doug texted his mom, Leann, who told Randy and I what had happened just prior to the 9:00 worship service.  We were able to ask for help and even go in shifts to the camp, chainsaws and gloves in hand, to help with the cleanup.  Nearly 2 dozen Calvary folks, on this Father’s Day Sunday,  on short notice, joined the East Bay staff, in cleaning massive amounts of branches, limbs, trees, etc., so that the campers could enjoy their week.  In fact, there were enough Calvary folks to help that the camp staff was able to move to their jobs in preparing for the children rather than spending their time with clean up.

Steve and Debby Paullin decided it might be good to take their truck to the camp and she said it was good that they did that:  they hauled away 3 very full loads of branches, etc.

Leann Fujimoto described it well, “The whole experience was neat because we met people from the church that we didn’t know before.   There were also people from several generations there, and that was cool to see everyone working together towards a common goal.  Fathers and sons working together on Father's Day was pretty special.   Fellowship can come in many forms!  For me personally,  I love being part of a church that responds so quickly to people in need- no matter what that need may  be...I have read the red letter version of the Bible many times, and it seems like this is what Jesus teaches us to do:  serving others and meeting their needs.”

East Bay Camp is one of the Illinois Great Rivers’ conference camps located just north of Bloomington/Normal.  Not only does it provide camps for all ages throughout the summer, but many retreats and other events are held throughout the year at the camp.  In fact, the Great Banquet Community, many of whom are Calvary folks, has their weekends at East Bay.

When the people of God can respond to a need in order for others to learn about Jesus, that’s when we get to serve our neighbor in a way that we can see immediate results.  That doesn’t happen often…...we usually plant seeds and often don’t know what they produce.  Occasionally, God allows us to see the fruit of our labors…..that’s always fun!

Well done, good and faithful servants!

About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC