by Valerie Morby Posted Aug 3, 2021
“Do not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
That’s the vision Woods Associate Director and East Texas Rally Week Coordinator Ben ‘Digs’ Gasaway is carrying into Week 11, also known as Rally Week, when we’ll be welcoming five outreach programs to Pine Cove: Mercy Street and Eyes on Me in Central Texas, and STARS, the Mentoring Alliance, and For the Nations in East Texas.
“We’re partnering with these ministries to give these kids an unbelievable camp experience,” says Ben, “but also hopefully equipping our ministry partners to have deeper, more meaningful relationships through the mechanism of camp.”
Rally Week campers can expect the same Christ-centered and others-focused serious fun all Pine Cove campers experience during the summer.
“I think others-focused is particularly the vision here,” Ben continues. “We’re partnering with these three ministries, and these three ministries are bringing kids from their community, that they’re discipling, that they’re providing for, and bringing them to come enjoy a week of Pine Cove.”
Ben ‘Digs’ Gasaway
We’re especially excited for these Rally Week campers to come to Pine Cove because many of them would likely be unable to attend camp otherwise. Thankfully, we’ve got some incredible partners who help make this happen!
“Rally Week is only made possible through the generosity of some of our closest donors who specifically desire to see underprivileged youth have an opportunity to attend Pine Cove,” explains Chief Development Officer Zack ‘Checkout’ Aspegren. “Oftentimes their family or their children have attended Pine Cove, so they see the value of it and they believe that all kids should have that same experience. And so they give specific gifts so that Rally Week can take place. Obviously we’re grateful for those folks as Rally Week is extremely important to us and it wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Ej ‘Pops’ Hibbler, Central Texas Rally Week Coordinator and Ridge Associate Director, is looking forward to seeing the Pine Cove summer staff serve the campers from Mercy Street and Eyes on Me.
“I’m really excited about people interacting with folks that they haven’t before,” he says. “And I want everyone’s friendship circle to look like heaven. That’s really what I desire. To get a chance to show people that, ‘Hey, everybody’s on an equal playing field as a believer, we strip off all the statuses…’ I can’t wait to do that with our staff.”
Ej ‘Pops’ Hibbler
With Rally Week just days away, there’s plenty of prayer requests that we invite you to cover alongside us.
First, be in prayer for our summer staffers!
“We want our summer staff to realize, ‘Even though I am tired and I have been just pouring myself out for a month and a half or three months, the work of the Kingdom isn’t finished until I’m called home,’” Ben expresses. “‘And so I’m going to be faithful today to continue to do the work that the Lord has put in front of me and not grow weary of doing good and trusting His promises: that I will reap if I don’t give up because He’s with me and for me. He wants to use this week to empower and equip these awesome ministries, and thank God that we have the resources of Pine Cove to do such a cool thing.”
“My hope is that these counselors and staff don’t change who they are in order to interact with people who don’t look like them or act like them,” Ej shares, “but they will be able to take these characteristics and take these unique abilities that God has given them and pursue more people because our world is broken and it needs some healing. And it starts with the people here at Pine Cove that are working with these kids who can say, ‘Hey, I can make the same difference outside of camp.’”
Second, pray for our ministry partners!
“I’m praying specifically for our ministry partners, that they would be empowered and equipped for their ministry context, by our partnership,” Ben explains.
“Pray for the rejuvenation of the chaperones that are coming with kids,” Ej adds, “because the reason why we call it Rally Week is simply this: they are doing this 9, 10, 11 months out of the year and we get a chance to have them come and retreat for a bit. Be kids, and be a family. And then we send them back out.”
Finally, join us in praying for our Rally Week campers!
“Salvation is the number one thing for me,” Ej says. “Pray that the Holy Spirit would come and seal these kids for the day of redemption.”
It’s a sentiment that Ben echoes strongly.
“Pray that many kids would put their faith in Jesus for the first time because of Rally Week,” he shares. “That they would understand their need for a Savior, that they would understand the sufficiency of Christ, and that He’s not just some unreachable, unattainable being—He is the God of the universe, but He intimately knows them and loves them and cares for them. And they can put their trust in Him.”
We couldn’t be more excited for Rally Week. Over 300 campers—150 in East Texas and 170 in Central Texas—will be on Pine Cove property next week, and we know the Lord is going to move mightily! We implore you to join us in prayer today and every day as we prepare to minister to these amazing kids and chaperones.
“The best way for you to partner with us is just pray every day that God would do really cool stuff through our ministry partnerships,” Ben says. “That He would accomplish much and bring a lot of people from death to life. That He would be glorified and magnified as we do one last week of camp with Galatians 6:9-10 vision, that we would not grow weary and we would trust that His promises are true and that we will reap if we don’t give up.”