Here at camp, we are always thinking about themes, games, object lessons and ways to help young people to remember simple truths. One of the ways we do this is by using one to two words for the theme so that it’s easy to remember. Our summer theme in 2023 was “Mission: Logos”, our Teen Retreat was “Foundations”, the theme for our upcoming Camping Conference is “Planted” and our Summer 2024 theme is “Hallelujah”. It helps to use the word as a focus for everything else that’s done through the year. Though I haven’t always been consistent, I have tried to focus on one word each year for myself and my wife has done the same. In early December, I had the chance to speak at our home church, Calvary Bible Church while our church is searching for a pastor. The message I spoke on was “Living a Life that Impacts Others”. Taken from Acts 8 and using my mother as an example, I looked at the life of Phillip and how he was sensitive to God’s leading in his life to impact the Ethiopian
Eunuch and many others. Coming out of one year and into another, we often look at the past year and reflect. Coming into 2024, I wanted to reflect on my word “IMPACT”, the impact my own life has had on others and on my own family. I also wanted to reflect on the impact that camp ministry has had and the impact that you all have had in praying and supporting us at New Life Bible Camp. The camp’s vision statement says “ Where God’s Word Impacts Each Camper”. It is my desire that God’s Word would continue to impact my life so that I can in turn continue to impact others lives for Christ. What is the eternal impact that your life will have on those that you come into contact with? We pray that you will ask yourself that question and allow your life to be used by God.
This past fall, I had the opportunity to speak for the annual Fall Teen Retreat. The theme was “Foundations” and I spoke on the changing culture that today’s teens experience and how God’s Word does not change to accommodate whatever a person wants to believe. The teens were challenged on how they can stand firm in today’s world to not accept the narrative being fed to them but trusting in God’s perfect Word. We are thankful for the 57 people who attended this event and for the encouragement that many teens experienced. We continued to be busy through the fall and winter months as we held a number of Hosted Retreats, our annual Turkey Bowl—which raised about $16,000 for the camp, and planning for our 2024 summer camp program. This involved designing and developing the summer camp brochure, setting up the registration site, and continuing to host groups here on a weekly basis.
I was honored to write the Foreword for a book that a close friend of ours (Ron Weber) wrote entitled “A Servant Heart”. Ron & Kathleen Weber are the missionaries that we worked with in Brazil for many years. Ron has written two other books and we were excited to get the copy of his third book in the mail. It is indeed our prayer that we would have a Servant Heart as we minister here at camp.
We are excited to announce that another full-time staff person was hired at New Life. Abby Donaldson will be joining us soon when she completes raising money for her support. For the last 23 years, Chris has been responsible for the kitchen in addition to administration, technology, and speaking. Abby will be taking over the kitchen this summer and beyond, giving me a bit more flexibility to focus on some other passions through the year. One of those passions that I have done in the past was leading mission trips with local churches. We are planning on leading a trip to Nairobi, Kenya this December to work with a camp there (Camp Zion). One of the leaders there at the camp (Hanes), was on our summer staff in 2015-2016 , working in the kitchen. She also attended the same Bible College in Puerto Rico that Johanna attended. We look forward to seeing what God will accomplish through this trip and giving people an opportunity to serve in an overseas experience.
The boys are doing well also. Joses is now in 4th grade and is very active and enjoys playing the piano. Eran is in 2nd grade and is learning the Ukulele. Johanna continues to be busy homeschooling our boys and being involved in church and volunteering here at camp when she can. The boys are always excited whenever they have the opportunity to come to camp and help serve the guests that are here.
We are praying that God will use our lives to impact people this year and are thankful for the impact that each of you have had in praying and giving of support over the years. Though we may not get to see many of you in person, we are reminded regularly of your support and feel humbled to have you join us in this way. We ask that you continue to pray for us this year. We look forward to sharing with you again what the Lord will do.