“God’s Backyard Bible Camp,” Standard Publishing’s Vacation Bible School program for 2013, features Beth Guckenberger, cofounder of Back2Back Ministries. The “Backyard Bible Camp” includes separate VBS programs for day (“Under the Sun”) or evening (“Under the Stars”), and will carry a mission emphasis, which is where Back2Back Ministries comes in.
We asked Beth to share some thoughts about Back2Back Ministries.
It was 15 years ago that we started to share with a few friends and family our “whisper calling” to move to Mexico. This was met with mixed reactions. Some thought we were shortsighted or ill-equipped (they were right). Some wondered why we didn’t have training in language or Bible school (both of these would have been helpful). But here’s what I know now . . . it wasn’t dependent on us. God had been working with orphans in Mexico long before he invited us into that storyline, and it was always God—not our plan, skills, gifts, resources, passion, or ideas—that held it all together. We can read in God’s book about hundreds of other ill-equipped characters: prophets who couldn’t speak clearly, kings who were mere boys, women with sordid pasts. God knew those types of people were the most likely to ask for help and to reach out, because they knew they couldn’t do it alone.
I am asked all the time, “Where do you see Back2Back Ministries in 10 years?” It can be so tempting to try to impress the person who is asking. My flesh cries out to say something . . . the biggest thing that comes to mind. But here’s the truth: I have no idea where Back2Back will be in 10 years. I shouldn’t know, and pretending to know (as if I had a map of the future or a Magic 8 Ball) just puts me in a place where only God belongs. Vision ultimately is listening to the Lord and taking the next step. That’s what a mission is, listening to the Commander and following his plan. He writes the best stories. Anything I might make up wouldn’t compare to all he has in store . . . all the subplots, aftershocks, and bonus material. He is the Author and we merely are the vessels. That’s mission. And that’s where Back2Back’s story lies.
Daily video segments during “God’s Backyard Bible Camp” will feature Beth. In these segments, Beth will take children to Mexico to meet a young orphaned boy named Joel, who learned he was not forgotten. Kids will see and begin to understand God’s bigger world beyond their backyard, and they will be inspired to help.