25th Anniversary – S.M.I.T.E. Camp – May 29, 2003
“…there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children…” (Nehemiah 2:10)
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Years ago the Spirit moved in a special service upon a special man,
The Preacher said, “Whom shall we send and who will go for us.”
A successful businessman said, “I don’t know how, but I know I can.”
With a surrendered life and a willing spirit, God began something glorious.
All over this nation and in some foreign lands,
On streets and lanes, up and down the highways and byways,
God has used this man along with other willing hands,
To pull from the darkness of sin, those without God’s heavenly rays.
God’s ways are not our ways and many stumble because of doubt
His call comes to different people in many different ways,
But how could any know that God would touch him and send him out,
Seeking the welfare of the children for the rest of his days.
It started with a Children’s Church and a worn out bus,
Simply working and seeking little ones to love,
Paving the way of duty for so many of the rest of us,
To find God’s will and a like calling from above.
That humble work blossomed and grew,
Obeying God and doing what he could,
Offering the lost a chance to begin anew,
Reaching to those that no one else would.
I remember the day I heard about this crazy man,
Something unexplainable happened on that fateful day,
One nut met another and a lifetime friendship began,
There have been critics, but God has been with us all the way.
This nut for Jesus one day got a brain storm from out of the blue,
Find a way to increase the work and allow God to use him,
To train select teens to seek the welfare of the children too,
All work and no play was the cry, but oh how God did use them.
Over the past twenty five blessed years,
There is no way to express all that God has done,
Through hard work, pain and many tears,
He has determined to finish what was long ago begun.
What we all know as a camp called S.M.I.T.E.,
Despite all the labor and religious opposition,
Is responsible for setting many on the road that is right,
And has proven that it is this man’s sacred mission.
It has touched and changed so many young lives to date,
Unchanged by time or the opinion of others,
What God has done and continues is nothing short of great,
I’m proud to know that we are brothers.
You see, this is not a new experience for me,
I remember the old International bus way back then,
And a man that saw what others could not see,
Fairs and festivals, God working in the Devil’s den.
Showing movies and Preaching the Gospel to the lost,
Doing what some said could and should not be done,
Going where God led, willing to pay the cost,
Faithfully following God and determining his race to run.
Seeking the welfare of the children may not seem like much to us,
It’s a work with little appreciation or earthly reward,
But seeking the lost gives him a heart that is like Jesus,
And waiting in heaven is the crown of a faithful steward.
On this day we recognize and honor a faithful servant of God,
That has run well and been to others what God wanted him to be,
And has stood by the stuff and in the will of God always trod,
I know there is a greater reward ahead, his W.D. Degree.
We love him and want to give him his due,
But he has not traveled all this way alone,
There is another that has been faithful too,
A loving and supporting wife, even when he was gone.
Working behind the scenes, carrying much of the load,
Enduring what not many others would be willing to do,
Smiling and suffering as they traveled down the road,
Let us not forget her and honor this dear lady too,
Aunt Vicki is more than just Uncle Jerry’s wife,
She cooked meals, blessed their home, and raised the babies,
She is the mate God gave him to complete his life,
Just as God’s Word says, “Her price is far above rubies.”
We are all thankful for these two and their Godly lives,
One with a crooked finger and a super short fuse,
While this preacher looks forward to Lucy’s final demise,
I know that God in His mercy, even that dumb puppet will use.
I believe I speak for all when I say “we love you”
And we are thankful for all God has chosen to do,
With those that are willing see it all through.
God help us all be able to say, “we were faithful too.”