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This month we want to tell you more about tCamp Restore Detroit for Children and Families, recipients of an $100,000 grant from Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) in the 2019–2021 biennium.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.Psalm 127:3

Camp Restore New Orleans has been a beacon in the city of New Orleans for many years, providing hope, restoration and care to the people affected by hurricane Katrina. The devastation caused by that hurricane is very similar to what is seen when driving through some of the streets of Detroit today. It’s clear there has also been a disaster there, with ruins similar to that of New Orleans. Detroit residents call their economic disaster “a hurricane without water.” Families live in areas where adjacent yards, sidewalks and building foundations sometimes can’t be seen due to the overgrowth of weeds and debris. With low population numbers and declining real estate values, it is difficult for the city to provide services that many of us take for granted. Camp Restore Detroit (CRD) was created as a ministry of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, an LCMS church located in the middle of the disaster-ridden Ninth Precinct.

A Mt. Calvary member reads Bible stories to children participating in a VBS outreach event.

In May 2017, the first “campers” (volunteers) began arriving. They partnered with local community leaders to restore hope to this area while being fed and housed at Mt. Calvary. The volunteers have cleared hundreds of lots, boarded up countless houses and served at nursing homes, food banks and sport centers as they worked with local leaders. Watching God work through these people has been powerful. An uplifting, cooperative relationship has been established among Camp Restore personnel, Mt. Calvary members, and people in the community.

Children play at a playground built on the lots of three abandoned houses.

With the encouragement of the city of Detroit, CRD purchased, at a minimal cost, lots adjacent to the church, which included two abandoned houses. Camp Restore Detroit has requested funds to help renovate these houses into Christ-centered community outreach centers and community gardens, where lives of children and families can be changed. This mission grant will provide funds to transform these abandoned houses in the community into places where families, children and other adults can enjoy hearing the Gospel in a safe setting, while engaging in personal growth activities that bring joy, creativity, education and hope back into their lives.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. For more information on each month’s mission focus, visit Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 AM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.