Hear No Evil, Mary Hamilton Available on Amazon
Interview with Zeke:
You have quite a talent for drawing. Have you always illustrated your sermons?
I’ve always enjoyed sketching and drawing. But I didn’t start illustrating my sermons until I became director here at Rustic Knolls. Keeping kids’ attention during my evening talks wasn’t easy. I thought back to when my daughters were little. We’d talk about Bible stories and they loved it when I drew the lions that Daniel spent the night with, or the ark with the animals. I figured if it worked for them, maybe it would work for teenage campers.
What led you to accept the job of director of Rustic Knolls Bible Camp?
I pastored a church for many years and saw how difficult it was to keep kids involved in the church. There are so many things pulling them away, things that didn’t exist when I was growing up. I grew interested in camps as a way to get them away from all their electronics and artificial entertainment for a few days so they can really focus on who they are and who God is and how those two ideas can fit together. Being director of Rustic Knolls Bible Camp has been a dream come true.
What do you see is the greatest need for kids today?
Stability. Security. So many families are crumbling and splintering and the kids don’t have a sense of belonging to a definite family group because that group keeps changing. If kids lose that sense of identity that tells them who they are and where they came from, they’ll go looking for it in the wrong places. Kids need parents who are committed to each other first, and then are committed to the kids.
How does Rustic Knolls try to meet those needs?
Kids come to camp with a lot of baggage, and I’m not talking about their suitcases. All the problems they’re dealing with at home come to camp with them, influencing how they interact with others, how they see themselves, how they respond to God. We try to learn what they’re struggling with and show them a different perspective, a godly perspective, so they can develop better ways of managing those struggles when they go back home.
With all the other things available to kids these days, from sports programs to arts and science, what do you think Bible camps offer that’s unique for kids?
Personally, I need a vacation every so often to get away from the rush and the demands of daily life. When I don’t have to deal with my own responsibilities each day, I usually get a clearer picture of where I want to go, what I want to accomplish. Sometimes those goals and desires get lost in the urgency of the daily grind. Kids need the same thing. They need a break from the daily stresses and problems of growing up. Bible camp offers a chance to see the big picture and reset their dreams, their goals. At Bible camp, they learn God values them for who they are, not what they can do or how they look. Even though it’s hard from them to disconnect for a week, it’s good for them to get away from the noise and listen for God’s still small voice.
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series. She started out writing articles for magazines, and a Christmas play, Homespun Angel. Her faith is a strong influence in her life and writing. When she’s not writing, Mary loves the outdoors and nature, as well as opening her home to youth Bible studies, pancake suppers and breakfast with her special recipe waffles. She and her husband live near Houston, TX, within range of her three grown children.
How to connect with Mary