Spirit led and Spirit filled camp

PrayerGod has been intentional in the way He has been leading me and how I then lead kids camp. Over the past few years He has moved me from being intensely focused on the details of running camp to being intensely focused on providing opportunity for kids to connect with God in a real and personal way. Being obedient to that leading has truly opened the doors for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of everyone at camp.

Two years ago our week of camp piloted a different way of allowing kids to respond to God through several response areas that appealed to not only the audible learners but also to the visual, and tactile learners. We saw amazing things happening as kids were now open to hearing God’s voice in different ways. Last year we continued to educate both the kids and chaperones in the benefits of response areas and again the Holy Spirit touched hearts and lives.

This year God impressed on me to take on a different role than I had previously filled and become more actively involved in the altar time as the Holy Spirit allowed me to be used to speak His truth and help lead the kids into the throne room of God. Over the past two years I was in awe at what God was doing and I couldn’t fathom how it could get any better, but it did and there was no question that the Holy Spirit was in charge of what was happening each and every day.

If you want to be touched by the openness of the kids at camp just take a look at one of our times of worship during the week of camp.

A bit on the Wildside!!

campwild4Is kids camp ever anything less than wild? Camp generally allows kids to operate a bit on the wild side and we, which included myself, Caleb and Tanner, were about to get a taste of inner city kids on the wild side. Adrian Black, youth leader at The Hope Center in Hagerstown was the master mind and we were there to give him a hand. From the moment we arrived there was activity; bounds of it as the kids were playing basketball, ping pong, video games and make shift volleyball.

Teens and young adults from local churches had rallied together to both guide and maintain some semblance of order. I was actually surprised at how well they did and how positively the kids responded to the rules that were shared at the very beginning of the week.

So let’s throw that together with small group time, a service to talk about Jesus, lunch, a short ride to the outdoor campgrounds and an afternoon of letting loose playing in the creek, ziplining, snacks and activities to learn more about the country of Africa and you have a full day of Camp Wild.

I suspect the staff was more tired at the end of the day than the kids but they came back each day to do it all over again. Not only did we get a glimpse into the lives of these kids but for many this was the first time they had ever been exposed to the person of Jesus and what He offers. What a privilege to share the love of Jesus and the hope that He freely gives. We are trusting that seeds have been planted and these kids will return for the weekly ministry of Wildside Youth Ministries.

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NEW in 2016! Leadership Camp

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Leadership Experience for 5th – 7th Graders

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a kid flying down a zip line!! Look mom, no hands!! Harnesses, helmets, ropes and heights. We provide the safety, you provide the courage. When faced with difficulties, peer pressure and possible danger do you back down or do you have the courage to face those fears? As adults we may still be struggling with that question. Wouldn’t it be great if someone had come into our lives to help us figure that out when we were kids?

Several years ago God gave me a desire to provide a training camp for kids that would help them develop their leadership potential. But it wasn’t enough to develop the skills, He wanted me to help kids see how they could use those skills to influence people and guide them to a relationship with Jesus.

Leadership is fun, exciting, challenging and sometimes frustrating but it’s always worth it when you have had a hand in leading someone to Jesus. It is my heart to empower kids to use their God-given gifts and talents, couple them with skills that can be learned and then send them out to impact the kingdom of God.

This past summer, with the help of Valley Forge student intern Rebecca Chambers, that desire became a reality. Rebecca and I worked together to take the concept and bring it to reality. We started looking for a location that offered both low and high ropes courses as well as games/initiatives and challenge courses that would emphasize team work and leadership skills. Cedar Ridge Adventures in Williamsport Maryland offered all of the elements that we were looking for in an adventure camp. After 8 months of planning and collaborating we have scheduled our first camp for April 8-10, 2016 and are accepting applications from students currently in 5th – 7th grade.

I may not know fully what God has in store for this camp but I do know that He will speak into the lives of kids and provide them with the power and courage they need to complete the work which He has started until all come to the knowledge of His saving grace. Keep the camp staff and those that will be attending in your prayers as we anticipate God doing great things in staff and campers alike.

If you’d like more information on the camp take a look through the iRock Adventures Handbook and check out our page containing even more Resources and Forms

 

Meet the Interns

caleb_tannerThis summer our ministry had two amazing additions to the team. We were joined by Caleb and Tanner, both from Harrisonburg Virginia. Within two weeks following high school graduation, Tanner joined us with his guitar, bike, and a suitcase in tow. As we acclimated to an additional person in the house we were reminded of the energy a teenager brings. Peace and quiet were no more although having the house filled with guitar music and conversations navigating life’s emotional and social challenges provided insight to the issues our young people are facing every day. Caleb joined us a week later. Perhaps a bit more reserved he also found his guitar to be a source of comfort and reflection as he too navigated thoughts of the future as he ended his junior year of college and joined us. Two different personalities yet they balanced each other.
After identifying the gifts and talents that each intern brought to the summer ministry they were immediately thrust into the summer camp mode. I was impressed at their focus and ability to reach into the hearts of the kids and live out their faith walk as an example of Jesus’s love. The value they brought to the kingdom work can not be measured. They have changed me, our ministry and have set into motion plans for expanding internship opportunities for more students in the upcoming years. Keep Caleb and Tanner in your prayers as they continue their studies and as they continue to influence the direction of future internships as a vital part of our ministry.

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2016 Trip Being Planned to Mormon Community

In October 2014, I attended a conference that gathered together Missionaries that have made the United States their mission field. During that time I met two couples from Utah who were reaching out to the mormon community. As we were talking I felt compelled to ask if they would like for me to seek God and try to bring together a team of people to come and pour some time and energy into their newly forming church. mega-sports-camp-huddleAs we talked further, I discovered the enormous task God had given them. Their church is located in Utah County, the cultural hub of the Mormon religion.  It is where Brigham Young University is, it’s where the Missionary Training Center is– where the Latter Day Saints church trains and sends out its 56,000 missionaries worldwide– and this is where Mormon couples come from all over the country to raise their families in a Mormon environment that underpins what they believe & what they are teaching their families.

Orem is 97% mormon and here are missionaries J.D. and Angela right in the middle. In the same way that Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) the Elleman’s believe that it takes more than just telling people about the love of God, it takes getting close enough to people to show them God’s love in tangible ways.

MegaSportsCampLogoOur ministry would love to come alongside of them and show that same message of Jesus and His love through the use of MEGA Sports Camp but we need your involvement and commitment to reaching the children in Utah. We are looking for 15-20 people, ages 10+, to serve alongside the local church to coordinate and operate sports camp while building relationships with the kids.

Follow this link to take you to a page with more detail and information on how you can become part of this team. We are believing God to form the perfect team to show Jesus to this community.

Homes of Hope Heads to Minnesota

iRock Minnesota 2012_467In 2012, we took a team of 9 for our first visit to White Earth AG and Rice Lake Area Fellowship on the White Earth Chippewa Reservation. There we met Pastor Tim and Tammy Brown and instantly fell in love with them and the people they loved. Our purpose in going was to show the love of Jesus in real and practical ways through a camp for the kids. We prayed, played, served and made new friends along the way.

3 years later, we have decided to return to help with a much needed renovation project to one of the church buildings that is currently being used to distribute food and clothing to families in need. While renovations are being made, part of the team will be conducting a day camp for the kids.

The smiling faces alone are reason enough to pack your bags and come along with the team. We will be leaving on July 4th and returning on the 11th. If you are interested in joining us and would like more detail about the trip you can visit our Mission trip page or contact iRock Ministries, Missionary Terry Williams. Applications and the initial payment for the trip are due April 24, 2015. Act now to assure your spot on the team.

Inviting the neighborhood kids to camp

2015 trips planned

2015 trips

Trips planned for 2015.

CONTACT US for availability BEFORE promoting to your team!

  1. Clear Spring Maryland, Camp Wannahockalugie; June 21-27
  2. White Earth Chippewa Reservation, Minnesota, Renovations and Kids Camp; July 4-11
  3. Church Plant in Lehi (Named after a mormon prophet) Utah, Kids Sports Camp; July 26 – August 2

Through Family Mission Trips we provide an opportunity for kids (Ages 10-15) to experience the mission field in their own backyard. Through collaborative efforts, we pair up a mission field here in the United States with a team of kids and adults that desire to reach the lost. Kids and adults can then work together giving people hope through the message of Jesus’s love and forgiveness.

We believe that by putting kids on the mission field at an early age we can help instill in them a heart of compassion for others. We also believe that kids can begin to recognize their potential for reaching those who don’t know Jesus through the use of their unique gifts and talents.

Kolton, a Lakota indian, experienced the gospel message through a kid mission team and as a result made a decision to follow Jesus. As he asked forgiveness he wept and shared that he had never been told that someone loved him. The kids on this team shared the love of Jesus with Kolton and was instrumental in bringing him to Jesus.

If you would like to have a Family mission team visit your ministry field or would like more information on how you can be part of a family mission team feel free to contact us so that we can partner together to bring the gospel to children everywhere.

Serve South Dakota team to Rosebud Reservation
No Limitz team to Keyser West Virginia


Wendy Toone; New Life Assembly of God Farmville VA
 – “Thank you for your leadership and planning for our trip to Rosebud. It was great and eye opening. It was such a blessing to be able to work with these children and share Christ and His love with them. I have been telling everyone about my trip since I have gotten back home. I hope I will be able to do another trip in the future. Again, thank you for all that you did; it was much appreciated. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made for this trip. You are truly inspiring.”

Debbie Gillispie; Faith Community Church, Mt. Airy MD – ONE SEED can start a garden. ONE SMILE can life a spirit. ONE CANDLE can light a room. ONE CONVERSATION can start a friendship. ONE PERSON can make all the difference. “Thank you for making a way for us to spread the seed of the gospel”

Is Summer Just a Memory?

campNow that the majority of people are facing colder weather, what better time to share the warmth of God’s love. God has been doing some remarkable things and sometimes it’s difficult to catch my breath, so let me take a few minutes to recap the summer for you.

  • 36 people from 6 different churches, ranging in age 9 to 58, comprising 3 mission teams, headed to Arizona, Virginia and Maryland to share love and labor.
  • We conducted sports camp and a kids weeklong camp. The teams distributed school backpacks, helped with two community outreaches and performed renovations on a home in Arizona and 2 common rooms at the Peninsula Dream Center.
  • A monetary investment in the kingdom totaled $24,720.
  • The teams also provided employment for 6 people during 2 of the trips.
  • If that weren’t enough, God worked in the hearts of people and we saw 78 first time salvations, 14 water baptisms and 12 Holy Spirit baptisms.

God was working on so many layers during these trips it was awe inspiring to watch. I watched individual’s worldview change as they experienced new cultures. I saw inclusive teams become all inclusive of the new people they met on the teams.father_son I watched youth groups draw closer together and I saw relationships built between team members and the people they met on location. Perhaps some of the most touching moments I was allowed to watch were the relationships that were growing between father and son. As I watched them pray together and share the day’s events or as I watched them work and play side by side, I couldn’t help but think of the relationship that Father God wants with each of us. He wants to be part of our everyday lives. He wants to hear about our challenges, concerns, heartaches and needs as much as he wants to hear about our successes, joys and dreams. When we allow Father God to truly be our father, then we will see our lives become FULL!

baptismTeam members weren’t the only ones to feel the presence and power of God over the summer. One of the most powerful moments for me was the day we took camp to the river side and baptized 14 children in water. Each person chose who they wanted to perform the baptism. Some chose their pastor or a parent but for me seeing some of the kids choose a teen team member to baptize them, now that was special. As the entire camp stood on the bank and watched, 13 children and 1 adult made their way into the water where they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What a sweet spirit next to that river. What must it have been like or felt like when John baptized Jesus in a river as the people stood on the bank and watched?

Though summer is behind us, who we have become was impacted by the remarkable moments and memories we experienced. This past summer changed lives for eternity and that is something that can NOT be forgotten.

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Finish the Race

I have been consumed with planning for the upcoming summer ministry opportunities. The amount of details can be overwhelming and I’m thankful that I do have an administrative streak in my personality. But that being said, the details do get exhausting and it would be easy to just throw up my hands and say “enough is enough, that detail can go by the wayside”.

After a 14 hour day in the office yesterday, I made it a priority to get out today for a run and some running prayer time.ben running I was 3.25 miles into the run with .75 miles yet to go and I said, “I’ve had enough. I’m texting my husband to come get me”. Now that in itself would be a miracle because I don’t generally get cell signal here but I sent the following text message regardless, “Come get me. End of road”. At that point my phone went dead. There was no more battery. Was that a sign from God. Was I also done? How would my husband know what road? I hadn’t told him my route. I couldn’t call or text any further details. I sat down hoping beyond hope that he had received my text but I had my doubts so I did the only thing I could in the current situation. I got up and began walking, up the .75 mile incline to our house. This is the same hill that my kids would ride down on their bikes to go to their grandparents house and then call us to come pick them and their bikes up so that they wouldn’t have to pedal or push their bikes back home. I kept telling myself, “I can finish this. I can make it to the house”.  12 minutes later I was in the driveway and pretty proud of myself for pushing on and finishing the run, even if the last .75 miles was walking. I had finished the race.

Acts 20:24 says, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” This summer for me is about finishing the race and completing the task that Jesus has given me – the task of sharing the gospel with kids. The details can be overwhelming and exhausting but they are part of the task. No race is easy and not all tasks come without effort and challenges. I am honored that Jesus has given me the task of sharing the love and forgiveness of Jesus with children and I will run the race until He has told me that I am finished.

 

Credit for the runner in the pictures goes to a good friend, Ben Emmons. He’s not only a marathon runner but a spiritual runner and is impacting lives for eternity.

Encourage a Missionary Today

Stephen Covey wrote in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

When a person receives encouragement they move forward in who God has called them to be and what He has called them to do. Hebrews 3:13 says,

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

In my opinion there is nothing greater than the encouragement that comes from a child. It is pure and expressed from a heart that is learning to think and value others above themselves.

boy writingTeach the children in your lives to encourage someone today. Give them a post card that is addressed and stamped to a missionary that you or your church supports. Let them know that everyone struggles with temptation and sin, even teachers and pastors and missionaries. There are no “Super Christians” and everyone needs encouragement to live for God. Ask them to write a note of encouragement to the missionaries that these post cards have been addressed to. Encourage them to write a note of encouragement and sign only with “someone who cares” or “a friend in Christ” or something that lets them know someone is praying for them.

Option: If you are asking your children’s class to do this as a group, have them write the cards, collect them and have the church office add the postage and mail so that you can monitor what was written before mailing.

Today they could make a difference in someone’s life. Don’t miss giving this opportunity to a child!