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  • Baptist Beacon

A cord of three strands

ROSCOMMON, MI – “We are going to do tug of war!” belts out Ray Howell, founding servant of Kicking Bear Camps, “Boys against the girls!” This was a special year at Roscommon’s Centershot/Kicking Bear camp, because Ray Howell was bringing his joyful exuberance to Bambi Lake Camp in Roscommon, MI and Aaron Scheer was bringing his Genesis “Wordless Bow” to share its special story with the camps participants. This would be the fifth year that Roscommon Baptist had sponsored the event supported by the two organizations. “The camp has become much more fun since Kicking Bear Camps have joined us,” says Michael Ritchie, the event’s organizer and board member of Centershot Ministries. “Ray has been commissioned by God to be a big brother to all these kids and they just love being with him.”

The two day camp included: 3-D archery, archery tag, tomahawk throwing, crossbow shooting, swimming, Tug of war, minnows and sharks, relay races of all kinds, a marshmallow fight with 50 bags of marshmallows, and culminating in Aaron sharing the gospel message by using the Genesis “Wordless bow”. Fireworks ended the busy day with lights out at 11 pm. Saturday started off early with breakfast and a NASP/Centershot outdoor tournament. Lunch and awards followed the tourney and a baptism was planned for those who were saved through the ministry of the word.

“We are seeing a clear pattern around the country: revival is happening in churches, communities and families through the sport of archery. Kicking Bear draws families in, the vehicle is the Genesis bow and Centershot Ministries encourages families into discipleship at the local church level,” says Centershot Ministries Director Aaron Scheer. Ray Howell agrees. “Like Moses delivered the people of Israel with a shepherd’s staff, God is doing the same thing with a bow and arrow.”

The Tug of war began between the boys and the girls with the boys narrowly beating the girls in 2 straight matches. “You know, we had one of our ropes let loose one time, there were so many kids pulling in opposite directions” Ray told Ritchie. “Now we have a 2-5/8” ropes 100 foot long just to make sure it never happens again.” The world is pulling families apart these days and it is up to God’s church to bring them together. The three-fold cord the Holy Spirit used this weekend was Kicking Bear Camps, the Genesis Bow and a Centershot Church that has made Christ the target of their lives. The commitment cards after the evening message showed that 12 young people gave their hearts to Jesus and 11 rededicated their lives to him. Five young people and a grandmother committed to baptism.

“One woman that brought her daughter and grandson to the camp told me that Eli (grandson) went home and told his mom he got saved and baptized. He had the biggest smile on his face” said Ritchie. Ritchie had the privilege of baptizing Grandma and grandson the next day at Roscommon Baptist Church’s morning service. “Jo-Jo, her daughter, also wants to be baptized in two weeks so that her friend can be there.” Kicking Bear’s motto is “Put a bow in the hands of a kid and win them and their family to the Lord.” A mentor, a bow, a kid and the Lord is a cord not easily broken!

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

I would personally like to thank the BSCM and the staff for supporting us in our events. At Roscommon Baptist we do our best as a small church to fulfill the great commission. We think a great commission church is a church that supports the Cooperative Program, and our state and mission offerings. As a cord of many strands the body of Christ is stronger and more able to see the world won for Him!



Michael and Laurie Ritchie have been members of Roscommon Baptist Church since 1983. They were baptized in Bambi Lake July 3rd that same year. They have 2 grown children Jacob (Kaleigh) and Sarah Ritchie and are grandparents to Lucas who Mike says is the best child born since Jesus!


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