The following story has been written by Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, a church in the Arden Arcade community that serves the neighborhood and schools of Arden Manor through Impact Outreach.

Almost every time a child in Arden Manor is out of school—iMPACT Outreach is open for business. iMPACT is a ministry of The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Sacramento and we’ve served the Arden Manor community since 1997.

Aside from our weekly programs (Girls of Grace and Sons of Thunder), Shepherd’s Field Community Garden, and our monthly Resume Café Youth Job Training program, we offer: Quarterly Outreach Camps during holiday breaks and a longer 8-week camp during the summer.

Here’s a peek into our recent Easter Camp.

We were open during Holy Week (M-Th; 9am-1pm) for a total of 16-hours. During that time, we served up to 75 youth daily with the oversight of a 5-person ministry team. Kids and youth were fed both breakfast and lunch, offered a variety of sports and craft activities– and a simple (but impactful) 15-minute daily message.

So how did the Holy Spirit show-up. Let me explain.

A young lady named Sara from Good Shepherd’s IKON Youth group was excited to serve at iMPACT for the first time– but privately expected a Vacation Bible School experience. You know VBS, where each activity is carefully planned out, where kids go from rotation to rotation, and where all the volunteers are thoroughly trained.

Well, Camp iMPACT is not a VBS. In fact, we intentionally run our camps in a “free form” style for a couple of reasons:
1. The focus is on building relationships;
2. The campers get to choose what they want to do;
3. And the community youth are in training and actively help run the camps (they are in charge and wear walkie-talkies!).

Holy Spirit Moment #1: Sara’s conversation with a new camper while at the craft table. It was a tearful moment when the camper (a sweet little Iraqi refugee girl) shared with Sara that their family had to leave their baby sister behind in Canada with another family when they came to Sacramento.

Holy Spirit Moment #2: An 11th grade iMPACT youth named Teddy was asked by the church IKON Youth group to participate in the camp ministry skit.

Later, I asked Teddy: “What do you think about all of this combining of church youth with iMPACT youth.”

Teddy replied: “Well, it seems like what we’ve got here now is a hybrid.”

That is correct Teddy… and what great insight. It’s a hybrid that’s a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Praise Be to God.

With gratitude,

Amy E. Smith,
Impact Outreach Director