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A Family's Transformation

05.27.16 | Outreach | by Lori Glanzer

A Family's Transformation

    Through financial donations, Outreach Camp Scholarship Fund is able to send more than 600 inner-city children and youth to summer camp each year.

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    Every year HPUMC sends hundreds of inner-city children and youth to summer camp. This summer, over 675 kids will pack their bags and head out for a week to build relationships, have fun, and learn that we are eternally loved by God who offers new life to those who trust in Him. We invite you to consider sponsoring a child or youth to enjoy this life-enriching experience.

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    The Macks are a family that you just don’t forget. In 1998 I met Bryan Mack and his mother, Doris. Bryan had just turned 12 and lived with his single mom in the Fair Park area just south of Dallas. Doris was working two to three jobs just to make ends meet.  

    Bryan was energetic and always moving. Doris was “that mom” who unconditionally supported Bryan in whatever he enjoyed. He loved camps and Doris found every avenue to keep him busy during long summer days. In the summer of 1998, our partnership and the current infrastructure for the HPUMC Outreach Camp Ministry began.

    Bryan went to camp with me that first summer and for five years after that. Doris began going to camp in 2000 as an adult leader as my right hand woman. Bryan graduated from Madison High School, went to college for a while, and joined the Air Force. Every time I would see Bryan, which was often, he would talk about returning to camp as an adult leader just as his mother had been doing for years.

    Over the next couple of years, Bryan got married and had a daughter named Arianna. By 22, his marriage ended and he was back in Dallas with Arianna. The next spring, Bryan went to get Arianna one night only to discover his apartment was empty. His daughter was nowhere to be found. Calls went unanswered and he and Doris franticly searched for her. Arianna's mother moved her to a new city and after two weeks of searching Bryan was finally able to reunite with his daughter.

    It was that summer that Bryan returned to camp with me as one of my adult leaders. The distance from Arianna has been hard on the Macks; they have Arianna every summer for a month, every other Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break.

    Last summer was stellar. Arianna was nine and eligible to go to camp with us for the first time. It was an incredible thing to witness three generations, all together being blessed by one ministry; praying together, eating together, watching Arianna grow in her faith and enjoying the one thing they all love - camp!  

    Arianna loves camp because she gets to do things she’s never done before. She has learned to not be afraid and to try new things. Camp has helped her through the year because when she misses Bryan, she says, “It won’t be long and I will get to go to camp with my Daddy and my Grandmamma, try new things, and see my camp friends…who can say they go to camp with their Daddy?”

    With that response, I burst into tears. What we see, hear, and witness in the young sweet lives of our campers is amazing. The relationships I have built because of this ministry are priceless. Arianna leaves for camp June 8th. Bryan, Doris, and I will be right there with her.

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