“Because of attachment, visual impairment, and making our home in Africa, I never imagined Daniel would have a traditional summer camp experience. Through the Lord’s work in him and in this place, he got the chance.”
-Sara Matheny, Daniel’s Mom
The Matheny Family met Daniel at age three. They were hoping to adopt, and quickly fell in love with his sweet nature and resilient spirit.
Daniel was born in Burkina Faso and developed blindness early on due to lack of care and abandonment. His story pulled at their hearts and left them wanting to do more.
The Mathenys spent several years in Burkina Faso helping orphaned children find families. By age 10, Daniel and his family of six, returned to the United States.
Even though they had been halfway around the world together, they were still anxious about Daniel taking the next step to independence.
That’s when they heard about Camp Barnabas.
For the Mathenys, Camp Barnabas provided a place where Daniel could grow more in his independence while having a fantastic time interacting with people who listened and could meet his needs.
“After hearing his stories and seeing the absolute love of the volunteers for these kids, I was lucky to make it back to the car before crying,” said Sara. Phillip, Daniel’s father, agreed.
“Camper arrival felt like a family reunion, even though it was our first time. It was a huge welcome and there was a sense of being seen, and of being acknowledged both for Daniel and for our whole family. The energy was amazing.”
Daniel loved it, too.
“He couldn’t stop talking about the water slides and Splashapalooza party!” said Daniel’s dad. “We plan on coming back every year we can.”