For Tamati, the concept of a loving father was one he struggled with for many years.
His own experience of fathers was far from loving. It was an experience marred by alcohol-fuelled violence.
Thanks to your support, Tamati has discovered a father who loves him unconditionally – it’s changed his life.
With his parents’ marriage falling apart, 12-year old Tamati was invited by GENTS Camp Director, Dan Foster, to attend his first SU QLD GENTS camp.
Dan first launched GENTS camp for boys in grades’ 8, 9 and 10 in 2003, with the vision to present the Christian message in way young men could connect with.
“The purpose of the camp is to develop the boys’ understanding of being a faithful Christian man.
“It’s a deliberate response to the statistic that says 75% of boys who grow up in the church will abandon it before their 21st birthday and most of them will never come back,” Dan shares.
With the help of countless leaders and volunteers GENTS camp has grown from 18 campers in 2003 to hundreds today.
“GENTS is an opportunity for these boys to come out of their shells. Their parents tell us, they’re blown away by the changes they see,” says GENTS Camp Director, Matt McCulloch.
This is why financial support for the SU QLD Camping ministry is so important.
“I know that there are many ways that we could spend money as individuals, but camps is something where you see boys’ lives change for God,” says Matt.
Tamati is one young man who has experienced that life-transforming moment on camp.
“I always struggled with how God could be a good father. I was really fighting with this concept. But the leaders we had on GENTS are just these great, strong male role models that I never had growing up. I saw the hope in their eyes and I wanted that. That’s why on my second GENTS Camp I gave my life to Christ.
“I’m so grateful to SU camps and GENTS. It’s changed my life,” he says.
We are excited to partner with you as we expand our camping ministry to positively impact more young lives. If you would like to donate to SU QLD’s camping ministry and see young people’s lives changed visit suqld.org.au/donate.