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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I Have Cancer. Please Pray!

I feel as if I fell off the social grid from June through September.

For a children’s missionary the summer months are the busiest. God did great things! We rejoiced with a minimum of 121 first time decisions to follow Jesus, 8 baptisms in the Holy Spirit, 12 children called to ministry, 28 healings and countless lives changed for eternity. In all that was done over the summer I can only credit Jesus with the transforming power I saw working in the lives of kids.

The following story will give you an idea of what God was doing in the heat and humidity of these four months.

It was the beginning of the fourth week of kids camps. God had really spoken to my heart as I traveled the hour and half to Gore VA. This was the year to focus on the fact that “Jesus Saves”. The staff had been oriented, preparations were complete and we anxiously awaited the arrival of more than 250 campers and chaperones. As each church arrived, kids were greeted, chaperones given instructions and Jesus was invited to be part of all that happened that week.

Right before service, I was handed a letter, written on the back of a Sunday School paper, and it read,

As I read the letter tears came to my eyes and I was hit hard with the reality that Isaiah, more than anything needed the healing power of Jesus. As I shared this letter with Josh, the other director, I could see the wheels turning. The next thing I heard was let’s call Isaiah and have the entire camp pray for him over the phone. And that we did.

Two weeks later, while ministering on the Chippewa Reservation in Minnesota, I receive an email from Isaiah’s children’s pastor. Here’s what it said, “First off, his mother told me that when we called him from camp and had the whole camp pray for him, there was a nurse (an unbeliever) taking Isaiah’s vitals while we were praying. The nurse began crying and told Isaiah’s mother that that was the most beautiful thing she had ever witnessed! God used the prayers of children to touch this woman’s heart!!!

Second, Isaiah went in for a PET Scan yesterday…they couldn’t find any evidence of cancer in this chest, lungs, etc. The only thing they saw was that his spleen was enlarged and looked like it had a spot. The doctors were going to run another scan on Monday, but today they decided to go ahead and scan the area again…they couldn’t find anything!!! They have declared him cancer free!!! The spleen is still enlarged, but no cancer!! As a precaution, the doctors want Isaiah to have 2 more chemo treatments…but, we’re believing that God will complete the healing so that he won’t have anymore treatments.

Please share this with your kids and keep him and his family in your prayers!

Can you say…….GLORY!!!! Blessings, LaDona”

Isaiah continues to be cancer free. As I’m traveling I take every opportunity to share Isaiah’s testimony. We need to be reminded that God not only hears but also answers our prayers and the prayers of children.

Isaiah is not the only kid that faces difficulties, struggles, hardships and yes, death. We can’t forget that adult issues are becoming more and more prevalent in the lives of children. We MUST pray for children and through the knowledge of Jesus, give them hope and a future. Thank you for being part of our ministry. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for your words of encouragement. But most importantly thank you for sharing Jesus with others.


Our Family is Growing

Since our last newsletter we have seen some exciting changes in our family.
In April our first grandson arrived. With much anticipation, Nathan Jack came into the world bringing joy and happiness to his parents, Russ and Frances. Needless to say we are very proud  grandparents and anticipate each visit with excitement. Each day Nate grows cuter and stronger. We look forward to teaching him about Jesus

Amongst these major events in our family we have been able to invest in our church families. We have been able to visit and minister at 6 churches, help with 2 Easter services, teach on Mother’s Day, attend 3 missions conferences and conduct 2 training sessions at the NACMC (North American Children’s Ministries Conference) Each gave us opportunity to pour into the lives of children and the people that minister to them on a weekly basis.
Serving as BGMC coordinator for the Potomac District, I was able to help prepare and mail 315 bright yellow Buddy buckets to every church in our district encouraging giving to missions through Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC).

Just recently I was part of a summer long lunch program for low-income families. This week I was able to help as the team served lunch, led a craft and spent time with the kids.
With sculpting balloons and pump in hand, it was with great excitement that I was able to make and teach kids how to twist a variety of balloon sculptures. On the last day I presented each child a balloon cross letting them know that Jesus loves them. Though it may seem like a small act of kindness it is showing the love of Jesus through service and time committed to bringing hope to families.
Now we turn our attention to a summer filled with kids camps. Our first camp is the beginning of July as we prepare for Camp Wannahockalugie, a day camp in Hagerstown, followed by 3 weeks of district kids camp and then a trip to the Sioux reservation in South Dakota to conduct a sports camp, serve meals, share ministry and help as needed with home improvements on the reservation.
Please be in prayer that as we plant and water the seed that God himself will make it grow and that many children will be added to His family this summer.

Camp Wannahockalugie

Wondering where the name came from? Mount Wannahockaloogie is the mystical monument inside the dentist’s office fish tank in Finding Nemo (2003) on which Nemo is initiated into the dentist’s fish tank.
“Nemo, newcomer of orange and white, you have been called forth to the top of Mt. Wannahockaloogie to join in the fraternal bonds of… tankhood.”

Spelled slightly different, Camp Wannahockalugie, won’t be taking place in a fish tank but rather in the West End of Hagerstown MD, July 7th through 10th.

I’ll be working with LIFE House West and NO LIMITZ youth group to conduct a 4 day long camp for the community kids. Arriving at 9:00 am and departing at 5:00 pm each day the campers will be involved in off-site activities such as swimming, karate, a visit to city park and Wacky Water Day. They will also attend daily sessions such as crafts, music, recreation and Bible study. NO LIMITZ youth team will be leading the sessions, acting as chaperones for each group and helping to serve breakfast and lunch each day.

It is the desire of LIFE House West, the host church, that the community will be ministered to through this camp and that this week would be an extension of Jesus’s amazing love.

Join us in prayer that God will be preparing the hearts of the kids that will be attending that they will be open to the gospel and that their families will be touched by the love and the caring spirits of the people that will be ministering to the kids that week. We are expecting eternal change to take place in the lives of kids during Camp Wannahockalugie.

Eternal Differences? You Can Help!

Six straight weeks of kids camp, two United States missions trips and 126 souls later I’m humbled how God chose to use me this summer. As I sit down to share what God did in the lives of children over the past four months I continue to think, ‘what more can I do to reach the children that have yet to know Jesus?’ God opened the doors for me to minister to children throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In the 3,700 miles I traveled, I led 126 children in first time decisions to follow Jesus.
clownsThe summer started in Appalachia where I partnered with Pastor TJ Wolfe from Warwick AG. We trained and prepared a team to go into Oak Hill West Virginia where we did street ministry and then held a three day evangelistic outreach for the children in that area. Over 26 children invited Jesus into their lives that week.
COHNext I headed to Dallas Pennsylvania where I spent a week at Camp Orchard Hill as the guest speaker. Using “Deeply Rooted” as the theme, I challenged the campers to evaluate their personal relationship with Jesus and to grow deeper in their faith. 76 children gave their hearts to Jesus and many others fell deeper in love with Him. When testimonies were shared one girl stood up and said, “Before coming to camp I really didn’t know Jesus and didn’t care but today I want everyone to know that I know Him and want to live for Him forever.” One of the boys stood and shared, “Now I know that Jesus will provide for me and I don‚Äôt need to worry about things.” The most touching was a girl that said, “I’ve learned that I can still have happiness even though my dad just died.” There are children here in the United States that are hurting and need the hope and love that only Jesus gives.
KeyserThe summer was rounded off with five more weeks of kids camp and then I headed to Keyser WV with a team from 1st AG in Harrisonburg VA led by Trevor Whetzel. We had been invited to participate in a city wide outreach and minister to the children. All of our efforts were rewarded with 24 children making decisions to follow Jesus.
There are many more children to be reached. I want to continue to prepare people, train teams and minister to these children but we need your help. We’ve raised 28% of our budget. To remain on the mission field we’re asking you to invest in our ministry through a monthly Faith Promise. We are making an eternal difference in the lives of children, now you can help.
Click on our Donate page for instructions how you can partner with us. Please prayerfully consider investing in the lives of children through our ministry!