Twenty pairs of eyes eagerly watching; hands waving in the air in order to have an urgent question answered; fingers rapidly writing notes from the speaker’s talk.
This is what you would have seen if you had visited Camp Joshua, our student leadership camp held over the recent Spring Break. This Camp may be one of the most encouraging activities that adults can observe: seeing for their very eyes the next generation excitedly preparing to become pro-life leaders in their communities.
This four-day Camp has transformed hundreds of students, who come sometimes as nominal pro-lifers but go home with the knowledge and a zeal to change their communities. The Campers hear from experts from various pro-life fields; tour the Capitol and hear from pro-life legislators; and go on a field trip to downtown Portland to use their newly-acquired apologetic skills with random strangers! How would YOU like to walk up to complete strangers and ask them if you could take a survey with them about abortion?
Many Camp graduates have started pro-life clubs on their campuses. Others have gone into the medical field, the political field, journalism, pro-life work. All have used their newly-acquired skill of pro-life apologetics to make classroom speeches and talk one-on-one with their peers.
Just when we think we have seen it all, we saw a “first” at this year’s Camp…something that encouraged us even more than ever! On the Camp’s second night, Campers heard from a panel of women who shared their abortion experience, the pain that followed, and the spiritual and emotional healing they received through “Save One”, a post-abortion healing program here in Salem which each of them had attended.
The following night after a session dealing with how to handle some money, one young girl had an idea, which was enthusiastically followed by the entire group: take a collection and give to a pro-life group! After a great discussion, they voted to give the collection to Save One. These Campers emptied their pockets and came up with a handsome collection to donate to Save One to help women overcome the pain and grief abortion leaves in a woman’s heart! It was truly exciting to see these students taking action in the pro-life movement before they had even left camp!