No Rejection: Pastor Steven Carter Visits Camp Felix
One of the most beautiful things about Camp Felix is that our campers are given the unique opportunity to leave behind their difficult circumstances and gain independence, make new friends and explore the natural world at our campus in Putnam Valley, New York.
Camp Felix allows our children, so many of whom work with social workers, therapists, special educators and lawyers throughout the year, to just be children. And in addition to this, they get to be part of a community and family that understands them and cares about their well-being.
As part of this mission to provide inspiring opportunities for children in the foster care system, our campers received a special visit from Pastor Steven Carter of Mount Ararat Baptist Church, on August 17th.
Pastor Steven Carter, an adoptee himself, is the author of "Resurrection From Rejection: Healing from 7 Areas of Rejection In Your Life," a book which details his feelings of rejection after finally learning about his adoption at 13 years old. He also serves as the Senior Pastor of the Mount Ararat Church in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and the Master of Divinity Degree in Theology from Duke University School of Divinity in Durham, North Carolina.
Before his visit, Pastor Steven expressed that he was "Looking forward to an exciting time as I seek to encourage them to continue to strive for success in spite of obstacles in life." And encourage he surely did!
During his time at Camp Felix, Pastor Steven Carter spoke with campers and then allowed them to ask questions, some of which included:
"How did you feel when you found out you were adopted?"
"Do you ever want to meet your biological parents?"
"What made you succeed after feeling rejected?"
Pastor Steven acknowledged that these are some of the very questions he found himself considering for so many years, struggling to find a sense of purpose and fulfillment despite personal accomplishments. It is truly powerful for our children to be in a safe space where they feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable about their thoughts and feelings, especially about their personal circumstances. They appreciated this opportunity so much that they didn't want the conversation to end!
In the photo above, Pastor Steven takes a selfie with our campers behind him raising their "No Rejection" wristbands up, a beautiful sentiment for our campers to hold onto even after their days at camp have finished.
After his visit, Pastor Carter posted on his Instagram account (@stevencarterny), "Words cannot express how I am feeling right now...very moving. Wish I could have stayed longer."
A special bond was truly created that day.
We sincerely hope that he will visit us again next summer!