Today we have the privilege of speaking with Barbara Ann Baranowski, who wrote the story “Gone Camping” for Grandparenting Through Obstacles. God gave Barbara the creative idea of having Nana Camps for her grandkids. What she thought would probably be a one-time experience has now been blessing her grandchildren for many, many years. Below is a picture of Barbara and her grandkids from a recent Nana Camp.
GTO: Barbara, why did you choose to share the story you did for our book?
Barbara: I shared my story of providing a grandparenting “camp” because I think it addresses two issues that grandparents face: how, as grandparents, we can share our faith legacy, and how long-distance grandparents can participate in the faith development of their grandchildren.
Grandparents, whether living near or far, can use the suggestions to engage the grandchildren in deepening relationships with themselves and God through Bible studies and shared activities.
GTO: We agree that your camps are a great way of doing all those things! What are you hoping that are readers will take away from your story?
Barbara: I hope that the readers will be inspired to share their faith legacy with their grandchildren through the ideas and suggestions. We are all different in the way we pass on our faith in God to our grandchildren, but perhaps the story I have shared will give them inspiration and a way that they had not thought of to personalize their story and faith for their own grandchildren, especially if they live away from them.
GTO: Barbara, what can you tell our readers to encourage them to not give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?
Barbara: The Bible reminds in us Proverbs 22:6 that we are to “train a child in the way in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV). If we are obedient to the Word and follow the instruction of training our children and grandchildren as God instructs, we have hope for their future. Without sharing the Lord with them (whether from us or others), they have little hope for eventual spiritual joy and happiness or the promise of eternal life with God. We must do our part, pray, and let the Lord do His.
Children are a gift that may not show every aspect of a gift’s beauty now, but with the Lord’s touch, every beautiful aspect reflected through Him will be uncovered. Prayer is the key to answers for the lives of our grandchildren. Many a praying grandparent has made the difference.
GTO: You are absolutely right about that…where would most of us be today without that praying grandparent in our lives? And, that’s something that every grandparent can do. What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values into their grandchildren?
Barbara: God did not leave grandparents out of His Word. As Christian Grandparents, we are told clearly to be intentional. Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after that.” And Psalm 71:18 reminds us, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (NIV).
So, if God felt our importance in sharing with the generations to come, we must understand that our part is crucial. It is a great privilege and honor to know that God still has great plans for us and for our mission as grandparents.
GTO: That is very good advice, Barbara. Thank you so much for joining us here today.
And, I know we still have more to talk about, so we’ll be continuing our discussion with Barbara next Thursday. Hope to see you back then!