Summer Fun is Just the Beginning3 min read

Bibles, bubbles, and bikes; Christ, crafts, and computers; friends, food, and fun was the camping experience Gifts For All God’s Children (GFAGC) gave 200 kids this summer. East Bethlehem, Detroit hosted the ninety-two families that were represented and 40 of them were newcomers! Volunteers numbered 160 coming from 4 states in order to share the love of Jesus with these children. Forty of those volunteers came through Camp Restore-Detroit; they were church groups from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana.

The Connecting Kids to Christ (CKC) summer camp had the focus of “Superheroes of the Bible.” This gave the campers a reality check that the Word of God is relevant and powerful. But that’s not all. At each of the 5 camps, children enjoyed activities that included worship, prayer, art, games, field trips, and bikes for tykes. One of the biggest hits of the camp was a daily visit to the computer lab to compete against themselves in a new online program of math and literacy. Believe it or not, the campers loved choosing their own academic skills to practice, keeping their minds sharp for their soon return to school. But none will regret the fall lineup that Gifts For All God’s Children (GFAGC) provides at East Bethlehem. That’s because these campers will reunite for Sunday School, a backpack jamboree, CKC Tutoring, a Harvest party and an adopt-a-child program for Christmas.

The Christmas program gets underway soon. The GFAGC Christmas store opens in late October to set up their Adopt and Shop opportunity for volunteers. Each “shopper” receives a list with a child’s first name, age, sizes, and needs. They walk through the store and find just the right gift that the Lord provides and puts it into their shopping bag. They take that to the wrapping department where other volunteers add the finishing touches to the gifts. Those gifts are bagged and tagged according to families. Then they are sent to a room where they will be sorted for delivery. These gifts will arrive just in time for a Christmas service where families will attend and pick up their treasures. This will make their celebration of the birth of Christ a wonderful family memory.

You can be part of changing a child’s life, and your own, by volunteering for one of the many GFAGC events or programs. Email GFAGC and you’ll receive an E-newsletter that will keep you informed of upcoming events and how you can help. Write Patti at:


On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you for including our family in the church activities. My kids enjoy going to the programs. I personally enjoy these events because it gave our family something to do for the summer.

I find that this church is friendly, kind and loving and they really care about youth. E. Bethlehem has all nationalities and this is an experience I love my kids to have.

Thanks so much,

Joyce B.


Dear E. Bethlehem,

This is what I think of VBS as a kid … I think it’s great that they do … art, gym, computer and music … It’s great because I get to learn about Jesus and math … I like the free field trips like the Tiger’s game and Belle Isle.

The people are always joyful and are there are clean bathrooms all day and every day … I like that they are prepared for another day of VBS.

Your friend,


Photo courtesy of Gifts For All God’s Children

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About the Author

Susan Gawencki is a retired Detroit Public School teacher and serves as the Curriculum Director of CKC Tutoring.

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