Both Greg and his son Mitch were in a season of change when they came to Christ in the Smokies Passage to Manhood Camp this past summer. Greg had been retired but was now rehired in educational leadership, and Mitch, while established in his career, was heading to graduate school soon. The opportunity to be around other fathers and sons in order to collectively share their experiences as believers drew Greg to the camp, in addition to wanting his son to be around other Christian men.
Even though Greg instigated the retreat for the two of them, he still felt vulnerable as they prepared to attend. “Ultimately I wanted my son to grow closer to Christ, but I also wanted him to see and FEEL my love for him—much like Christ loves us,” Greg shares. He wanted his son to “grow closer to Christ and be open to receiving the Holy Spirit and God’s love for us in his life. And be more dependent on Christ in his daily life.”
As they left camp, Greg recalls feeling simultaneously emotionally exhausted and exhilarated. “It was something I deeply wanted for my son and ultimately allowed me to share my faith and vulnerabilities with my son, meeting him on a different level emotionally than prior to camp,” he explains.
Since returning home after camp, the two men have a weekly “pep talk,” which varies from talking about a sermon or message from an online service, to how God is working in their lives, to their need for prayer and faith in their daily walks.
Greg expresses gratitude for CITS and the experience of attending Passage to Manhood Camp with his son, especially in having “the opportunity to share various things about my life, my walk, my shortcomings, and my love for my son in a variety of ways.”