Living Water Ministries is dedicated to sharing the gospel with all of God’s children. We’re passionate about it, and we’re passionate about removing obstacles for children to attend our programs. By the end of our 2018 summer season we project to have awarded over $160,000.00 in scholarships since 2015! We need your help to replenish our fun that now awards nearly $50,000.00 a year in scholarships annually.
Living Water Ministries is an organization that has historically served youth from Michigan, but we’ve been increasing in our impact on a national level. Through our Bridge Builders program (faith formation, leadership development, and anti-racism training), our partner program called MYLA (Multicultural Youth Leadership Academy), Road Trip Adventures (our mission trip program) and our hotel-based events we have drawn youth to our programs from 13 states! The LWM scholarship fund helps us remove obstacles for many of these youth by assisting with travel expenses and registration fees.
Camp has always been a place that has cultivated leaders for the church and the world. Campers sometimes return as summer staff who then sometimes continue on to become leaders like pastors, youth workers, teachers, social workers, paramedics, nurses, and beyond. The programs we offer focus on drawing out the gifts of our participants so they might discover their own leadership potential.
Over the years this leadership continuum has primarily been available to youth who are white. As we racially diversify our camper base we are creating access to this continuum for youth of color and we are seeing the results. The scholarship fund helps us create that access for campers that have historically been excluded from participation in this continuum and serves as an engine for diverse leadership cultivation.
The bold outreach approach of Living Water Ministries is yielding some real results when it comes to our population of campers and our staff. Through the scholarship approach we’ve adopted, and the intentional partnerships with outside organizations, we have formed we are curating very diverse communities of campers. At Living Water Ministries we believe these diverse communities better reflect the Kingdom of God.
It has always been true that camp kills stereotypes. At the end of each camp week there is a harmony among campers. A shared love for one another that is a reflection of Christ’s love for us. There are no more jocks or nerds. There are only siblings in Christ. Campers learn that they are valued for who they are and relax into being their true selves.
The immersive experience of camp also kills stereotypes we have about people who look different than us, or act different than us. After living with a person for a week, campers are able to destroy stereotypes they may have had and truly see each of their fellow campers as children of God. This has always been a powerful truth of the camp experience but has a very profound layer when it comes to dismantling preconceived notions and stereotypes across these lines.
While the bulk of our campers come for more traditional programs, our Bridge Builders program (leadership development and anti-racism training) and our partner program called MYLA (Multicultural Youth Leadership Academy) are blazing new trails in outdoor ministry in ways that are extremely innovative. In particular, Bridge Builders has received a great deal of recognition from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2015 we received a sizable grant to expand the program nationally. In 2016 we received the Innovative Program Award for Bridge Builders from the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Network. In 2017 we were invited to Washington D.C. to present to the national church about Bridge Builders as part of their national celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.