Posts Categorized: Stories of Ministry

Meet Juve Muniz

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Kindling, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

JuveIf you’ve ever eaten in our dining hall during a weekend retreat or a family camp, you’ll most likely have met Juve Muniz. Juve is undisputedly the most commended staff member on our conference/retreat evaluations. Juve’s infectious personality and sense of humor are incredible blessings not only to our guests and conferees but to all of us on the staff. His gift of hospitality along with his heart for people are evident to all those who meet him. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Juve to talk about his life and story.

Juve was born in Chicago and lived there until entering 3rd grade when his family moved to Mexico. He lived in Mexico until he returned to the U.S. at the age of 20.

Juve shared with me about a very impactful day in 1994,

“When I was in my early 30’s I had gone for a run with a friend and suddenly an unknown cerebral aneurysm ruptured. The doctors later learned I was born with a weakened area in my brain. This accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury that would change my life forever.”

Before Juve’s injury he was in the customer & food service industry. He managed several restaurants: Winchell’s Donuts, Fresh Choice and Uno Mas. This may be one of the reasons Juve feels so at home in our food service ministry as a server.

“After my injury, I lived at the Assisted Living Project, a home for people with major injuries. The woman who managed the house connected me to Mount Hermon where her husband worked. I began my work in the dining room. I became a Christ follower after I began working at Mount Hermon.”

How is God using your gifts at Mount Hermon?

“My gift is service. I believe that God is with me when I’m serving and people see Him in me. God has given me a
good sense of humor and I enjoy making people happy.”

What are some of your passions outside of Mount Hermon?

“I walk a lot, everywhere really, since I don’t drive. I ride the bus for transportation and make friends along
the way, I’m very likeable. I do a lot of games and puzzles to continue to strengthen my memory.”

What’s new on the horizon for you in your area of ministry?

“I know I want to continue to stay at Mount Hermon and do what I’m doing. I believe in myself and what I do here.”

I want to share with you a beautiful story Juve shared with me:
“I came to the Reception desk one afternoon and asked if I could get a copy of the evaluations from the most recent family camp. The receptionist was curious as to why. I told her I wanted to send it to my mother so she could see what people said about me and my work—so she would be proud of me. I wanted her to be proud of me. She went to retrieve the evaluations she had printed but was gone a long time and I wondered what had happened. It all made sense when she returned and gave me the forms. She’d taken the time to highlight each one of the comments about me!”

I asked Juve if it made his mother proud and he said, “Very!”

I did some research of my own from our Fall Women’s Retreat and here’s
just a small sampling.

“Juve put a smile on my face”

“Juve, so friendly, such great service”

“Juve – coffee guy – loved him!”

“Juve – cheerful server”

“Our server, Juve, was like an ambassador, positive, welcoming, thanking us for coming, smiling & warm.”

“Juve – outstanding!!”

Juve truly exemplifies the words Jesus spoke in Matthew,

The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11–12 (NIV) 

Transformed Relationships Through Team Building

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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The transformational power of “team building” comes through our staff inviting and encouraging people to take risks, both physical and emotional.

With one recent group it became clear through our morning of trust–based field activities that, while the group was high functioning, there were relationship issues lurking below the surface.

During the preparatory talk for the Sequoia Adventure Course, we explained the purpose of the activity – find something challenging, take a small step outside your comfort zone, and then step back in. Stepping out too far will disrupt your attentiveness to learning, making it difficult to get back into “the zone.”

Finishing the final safety check, I heard a whimper. I turned and saw Denise on the first platform, gripping the tree and crying softly. “Are you okay,” I asked. She responded, “I went too far out of my comfort zone!”

I crossed over to her, and, as we discussed her options, she decided to continue. Her body and brain were screaming at her to stop, but she kept working through her fear. Her greatest concern was that her co–workers were seeing her cry. As I guided her through the course she revealed more of her concern: one particular co–worker was hard on her at work, and she feared the humiliation she would experience to be seen crying.

Once we reached the last activity I ushered her back to the ground. I then watched as that particular co–worker made his way off the course, came up beside us and, without a word, offered Denise a hug. In that moment, Denise risked being vulnerable, and her co–worker used that opportunity to be supportive and gracious. In that moment their relationship was transformed.

By creating a safe place where all types of people can try out right relationships in a supportive environment, Mount Hermon’s Team Building programs create a space where transformation is possible.

Read more about Team Building

Masterpiece Restored

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

 

Camp Hope is a ministry that brings hope and healing to hundreds of children and teens who have been impacted by domestic violence each year.

Kidder Creek is one of many camps that partner with the Alliance for Hope International, (born out of the Family Justice Center movement), to provide a safe and loving environment for these kids, many of them victims of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of family members.

The impact Camp Hope has in the life of a child is remarkable and indisputable. At Kidder Creek, we want to build on the platform of trust and openness created at Camp Hope, and invite campers back to take the next step in learning to know and trust Jesus, the source of all hope.

Each year since we began this partnership, we have had campers return to Ranch Camp, Timberline Classic or High Adventure programs.

Following is an email we received from Casey Gwinn, President of the Alliance for Hope International in July:

Dear Carol,

Thank you for your help in getting Sophie to Kidder Creek last week. Sophie first came to Camp HOPE two years ago, and for the last two years has come to Kidder Creek on a Mount Hermon campership.

This year she came to know Jesus personally.

Sophie wrote this to me today:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I loved camp this year and it is all because of you.
I became a masterpiece restored by Jesus. 🙂
I learned how to worship God at the campfire
and loved singing the theme song over and over —
Create in a me a clean heart.
I promise I will never forget it.

Carol, thank you for all your help in getting Sophie registered at the last minute. It mattered in the context of eternity.

—Casey
To protect privacy, “Sophie” is used as a pseudonym.

Read more about Camp Hope

Our Favorite Place on Earth

Posted by & filed under Guest Groups, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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Every year, a theme verse is displayed on the large redwood plank hanging in the auditorium. Back in 2002, it read: “God is our refuge and strength” –Psalm 46:1

That was the year we first came to Mount Hermon with First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley on our annual All Church Conference. As a young married couple from Cal, busy with our careers and becoming new parents, our marriage and family unexpectedly came under attack. But God knew what we needed, and led us to a safe haven, into the sanctuary woods that is the magical Mount Hermon.

We come every Memorial Day weekend with our church retreat, a tradition for more than 65 years! Spending time at Mount Hermon with our congregation each year has been a blessing to our family and a great time of fellowship, learning, reflecting and retreating with hundreds of our First Pres friends.

For years, we noticed the friendly and hardworking staff serving our big guest group from Berkeley. Then when we started coming to the summer family camps and sending our kids to Redwood and Ponderosa, we soon realized that the programs and people of Mount Hermon were top notch and truly amazing!

This Heavenly place is where we come and feel safe, secure and strengthened by God, who always shows up in the big redwood trees, the gentle streams of water, the powerful worship music, the sound Biblical teaching, through the loving service of the staff, the laughter and joy of people, with peace and beauty abounding everywhere!

Since our first time here 13 years ago, we have found “refuge and strength” every year and have each grown spiritually stronger and closer together as a family. It is always a blessing to be with God here at Mount Hermon and meet so many wonderful folks from around the world right here in our favorite place on earth!

Permission to Be Men Made in God’s Image

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

5DMIICC_20141011_0069-webIn 2001, as an introduction to his new book “Wild at Heart,” John Eldredge wrote:

“Dear Lord, do we really need another book for men? Nope. We need something else. We need permission. Permission to be what we are … men made in God’s image.”

John’s Ransomed Heart Ministries then began The Wild at Heart Boot Camps, based on the scriptural foundation of what it means to be a Christian man. The weekend is a quest into the recovery of the masculine soul. It is an honest, no holding back trek into the deep passions and desires of a man’s heart, into the healing of wounds he has taken in life, into the realm of fatherhood, marriage, sex, and a greater understanding of the Lord’s passion for us to live as men.

In 2007, a group of eight men, greatly impacted by the Boot Camp experience started a Wild at Heart Boot Camp here at Mount Hermon with the blessing of Ransomed Heart Ministry. Thirty men showed up, eight of them being the lay leaders teaching the program. In 2010 we decided to co–labor together with the vision to grow this important event here at Mount Hermon. In 2012 we moved to two conferences a year, and now each weekend is sold out with 200+ men in attendance. As part of the Allies Network for Ransomed Heart Ministries, our events are posted on their website. Through the transparent messages of presenters and attendees, epic movie clips, quiet reflection, and optional recreational activities, the men find themselves challenged and reconnecting with the heart of God. The common feedback is, “it was the most transformational weekend of my life.”

Our next challenge is find more room as demand exceeds availability. It’s exciting to see a generation of men seeking hard after God and a privilege to be a part of it.

Where Does Your Treasure Lie?

Posted by & filed under LOG, Outdoor Science, Stories of Ministry.

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Eight of our Outdoor Science School team members spent the month of August near Beijing, China impacting children in a transformational way by teaching them about creation, and by living lives consecrated to Christ. This year’s theme asked the question, “Where is your treasure?” This prompt provided ample opportunity for fun activities as well as deeper exploration for campers, Chinese volunteers, and our own team.

Jared, one of our naturalists, watched as, after lavishly creating a treasure box, a sixth grade girl began her journal activity where she was prompted to examine what “treasure” was for her. The question had a deep impact as she realized her treasure wouldn’t fit in a box —her treasure was her parents! In an eloquent speech at closing ceremony, she laid out her heart, asking to spend more time with her parents and inviting them to see her as treasure as well.

Stephanie, also a naturalist, led the first–grade campers on a night hike. Describing the solar system, Stephanie explained that if the earth was located even a few degrees closer to or further from the sun, it would either burn up or freeze. The kids were amazed at how the earth fit perfectly for life to thrive and wondered how that could happen. A little girl in the group spoke up and said, “It’s because of Jesus!” Stephanie encouraged her to say more. The child explained to her friends how a creator God made sure the earth was in the perfect spot.

The campers aren’t the only ones who experience transformational moments. Our team drew very close to the interpreters that make it possible for us to do ministry in China. These volunteers, mostly college–aged new believers, work very hard! As we work together to teach science classes and execute all the fun activities of a week of camp, they look up to our naturalists as teachers and role models.

On the last night together our team wanted to demonstrate how we, too, treasured these friendships. After reading the John 13 passage where Jesus washed his disciple’s feet, the Mount Hermon staff, one by one, washed the feet of the interpreters that had so diligently served us. Our interpreters had responses much like Peter had to Jesus, however as they processed what had happened, they began to say things like, “Wow, Jesus did this for His disciples!” and “If you are willing to do this for us, then we need to be willing to do this too!” It was deep and profound treasured moment.

I think Jesus said it best when He instructed His followers to put their treasures in heaven. Treasures can come unexpectedly, intentionally, and powerfully when we realize that all of life is a mission toward transformation. It is transformative to our life perspectives when we realize real treasures are the relationships that we have. This journey of discovery doesn’t end just because we are back in the States. It’s a never ending question we are still asking ourselves and each other, “Where are you finding your treasure?”

Keeping it Real

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

I arrived at Mount Hermon the beginning of May and have since been learning all I can about this special place. As a new leader I have enjoyed discovering our storied history, viewing our present vibrancy, and dreaming the hope of an even brighter future.

As we move toward 2016 and beyond I want to share some realities that I see facing us at this time:

  • We have experienced three years of transition as our beloved leader of twenty–one years—Roger Williams—valiantly fought cancer and eventually went to be with the Lord. He is missed and his absence is felt.
  • Our staff, Board of Directors and Trustees should be commended for a job “above–and–beyond” during this time of transition as they have carried the torch and burden well.
  • Our Felton Meadow project continues to experience “speed bumps” that are hindering us from proceeding at this time. Be in prayer.
  • We are facing significant financial challenges with numerous infrastructure needs that are both complex and vast.
  • Breaking in a new leader (me) brings a steep learning curve for us all.
  • We are living in an ever–changing culture that desperately needs to meet Jesus but doesn’t want religion. Maybe a camp can help.
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With these realities also comes this reality: At Mount Hermon God continues to do a great work of refreshing, renewing and transforming lives in Him. Here are the realities of the work of God that I regularly see:

  • Heaven will be more populated due to people of all ages giving their lives to Jesus Christ at our five camping locations. Lives Transformed. Praise God!
  • Marriages are being strengthened and made healthier.
  • People are growing closer to God through walks in the forest, concerts, personal contemplation, reading of God’s Word and prayer.
  • People are personally challenged as they are swinging from trees, riding down mountains, hiking long distances and zipping from tremendous heights.
  • Fractured families are beginning the process of long–needed mending.
  • Staff members are being shaped in their character and work development while enjoying being part of a vibrant ministry.
  • Military families are blessed by rare times together due to generous gifts of loving people.
  • People hear God’s Word preached with strength and conviction, bringing needed personal change.
  • People laugh, overeat, gain new friends (and weight), and can’t wait to return!

Mount Hermon is quite a place, a place like no other! Here’s another important reality: Mount Hermon’s mission has remained the same since its origin 110 years ago. Our stated mission is…

…to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior, teach the authoritative Word of God, and serve His church in our nation and throughout the world.

How many 110 year old Christian institutions can claim that the mission in which they started is still the mission they are presently on? Mount Hermon can, and will continue to do so. To God be the glory!

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Not Just For Kids

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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At the end of summer, in that space before fall commences, Redwood Camp is still and quiet. After 10 solid weeks of summer camp, it’s noticeably tranquil. These are times I have come to treasure greatly. Not because camp is over, though a break is always nice. It’s an opportunity for me to reflect on all that’s happened here on these 7 acres, tucked under the canopy of the Redwoods, nestled near two converging creeks and a waterfall. I ponder this past summer, and the past year, in fact even the past six summers I have served as director. And then, of course, Redwood’s history goes much deeper than that, and I’m filled with awe and wonder at all that has happened here at Redwood Camp—lives transformed.

Like a giant redwood, there are rings and rings of lives that have taken root for those who have passed under these “ever–living” trees. The Redwoods are story tellers, and as I walk around campus I hear the stories in the rustling of their needles and the creaking of their limbs as they sway in the breeze.

This fall we are breaking ground a new recreation pavilion at Redwood Camp. This covered gym and game room, open to the surrounding beauty, will enhance our ability to meet the needs of our campers and guests year round.

To accommodate the construction we have moved all weekend events to Ponderosa Lodge for the coming year. This required shifting some dates slightly, with our Moms & Sons retreat moved from the fall. Ponderosa Lodge is a great venue with lots of options for activities and a slightly larger capacity. I know it will provide a great temporary home for our Parent/Child retreats and Junior Getaways.

I invite you to join us with your son or daughter this year. I’m excited to announce that we are bringing back our Dads & Sons retreat! So, please mark your calendars, spread the word, grab some friends and join us for a fun and memory–making retreat with your child!

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Still not convinced? Here’s what you can expect from a parent/child retreat:

 

Pace and flow of the weekend—not too structured, not too free, but just right

“The timing + flow was great—mix of free time + structured time as well as some time w/just the moms alone was great.” —Parent

Connection—with other moms, parent to child, and God

“Devotions. Loved the opportunity to do fun, daring adventures as a family! I enjoyed the crazy dancing/worship times. And loved the Saturday a.m. talk with just speaker and moms.” —Parent

Spiritual impact—lives transformed.

“My daughter wants to start joining me during my morning devotional times to have her own devotionals. Our church is reading through the NT this year, and she’s going to join in because of our discussion of Psalm 19 this weekend.” —Parent

“Yes! This is our special place to encapsulate and celebrate how much we love each other and God!” —Parent

What kids say was their favorite part—the honest truth

“Being with my mom and making memories”

“Honestly, EVERYTHING! But, I really enjoyed spending time with my mom and learning about God.”

“Being with mom + knowing nobody would judge if you hold hands.”

What moms had to say was the biggest impact—equally as important

“Lighting the fire of God in my daughter! We bought her a big girl Bible!”

“Watching my daughter be herself.”


Four 2016 Parent/child Weekends

(All held at Ponderosa Lodge)

Dads & Sons
February 19–21, 2016
Moms & Sons
February 26–28, 2016
Moms & Daughters 1
April 22–24, 2016
Moms & Daughters 2
April 29–May 1, 2016

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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I was just a young man in the spring of 1995 when my good friend Henriette encouraged me to apply for Mount Hermon summer staff.

She had recently served on the Conference Center Housekeeping staff and shared with me how much that experience impacted her life and her walk with Jesus. That was all it took for me, so I applied and began the most amazing journey of learning what it means to serve Jesus.

When I consider all I’ve learned over the years, I realize how many foundational pieces were missing in my teens. Where was my source of wisdom and who was I looking to for guidance in those years? If only I could have been mentored by godly leaders, and had my attention turned to serving others and not myself. That could have spared me, my family, and many others a lot of pain, grief and squandered time. Thankfully, through God’s love and mercy He has redeemed that time over the years walking with Him. Now I’m really passionate about focusing my attention on supporting ministries like our Youth Intensive Programs here at Mount Hermon. These are programs that meet teens at that key time in life and encourage them to stay strong in their faith and their journey with God through mentoring, discipleship, and through serving others.

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This summer the Band of Brothers program was launched focusing on developing young guys on the path to godly manhood—becoming men after God’s own heart. At the same time the Echo program had a similar but distinct objective to come alongside teens—both guys and girls, and lead them into the resounding life of abiding in Jesus. What these two youth intensives also shared was a focus on serving others. With bright eyes and huge enthusiasm, these teens picked up buckets of cleaning supplies every day and set out to provide housekeeping services for our Family Camp guests. You would have to see if for yourself to believe it. The joy, the fun, the laughter, and the seriousness of doing a quality job—as they went about cleaning the bedrooms and bathrooms of total strangers. It was the unmistakable mark of a follower of Jesus. That community of youth campers and college–aged summer staff brought so much vibrant and positive energy to our Accommodations Department that it’s difficult to capture in words. 2015 was a turning–point summer in Accommodations as God assembled His people, both young and older, to link arms and to serve others together.

“You really learn how to be a Christian man through this program.”
—Alex, Band of Brothers

Around the time I joined staff in 1995 and Henriette had moved on into full time career work, the Housekeeping summer staff crew was fading away with the changing times.

Twenty years later we couldn’t be more excited at Mount Hermon to witness the beginning of a new era where God is not only blessing the return of an inspiring summer staff team, but adding even more depth of ministry with the introduction of high school–aged campers – all joining the seasoned year–round staff in serving His people behind the scenes, and all in the Spirit and Joy of Jesus Christ!

 

An Eternal Investment

Posted by & filed under General, Kindling, Staff News, Stories of Ministry.

 

As my first summer as President/CEO comes to a close I am deeply grateful to God for His work in this special and unique place known as Mount Hermon. Individuals have been refreshed, marriages renewed, families reconnected, and lives transformed. Glory to God for the great things He has done!

Throughout the summer I have had numerous conversations with people who have told me why they love Mount Hermon and have chosen to invest financially in this place. I have heard the following themes reverberating as to why people give to Mount Hermon:


“We support Mount Hermon because it’s a place where people’s lives are forever changed.”


“Mount Hermon is where we’ve grown the most spiritually and we want to pass this on to the next generation. We give because we desire for our children and grandchildren to continue going to Mount Hermon long after we have departed from this earth.”


“We are legacy oriented and investing in Mount Hermon makes an eternal difference.”


Victory Circle testimonies tell it all!

In a day when our culture goes against the grain of biblical truth, what Mount Hermon stands for and provides is more important than ever. Your prayers and investment in this ministry are making an eternal difference, and I want to say a huge “thank you” for your faithful support and love of the Lord and His work at Mount Hermon. What you do matters, and I want you to know that you are greatly appreciated!

Read more about Mike’s Journey

Band of Brothers: Leading Young Men One Step Closer to Christ

Posted by & filed under Associates, Kindling, Stories of Ministry, Youth.

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Leading students one step closer to Jesus: this is the vision that drives all of Mount Hermon Youth and Young Adult programs. This is true regardless of whether the programs are at the Conference Center or Ponderosa Lodge and regardless of whether the programs last a weekend, a week, or two weeks.

This summer we started a new two–week intensive program for guys in high school (juniors, seniors and graduated seniors) called Band of Brothers. Band of Brothers was created to lead young men one step closer to Jesus by teaching them what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. During the two weeks they spent together, these guys were immersed in Scripture as they learned four main character traits of a godly man: humility, love, wisdom and freedom. They lived together, ate together and went on adventures together, they prayed together and studied the Bible together, all with the goal of integrating these character traits in their lives. Furthermore, Band of Brothers taught these young men that they can’t walk this journey alone. They left the program knowing the importance of having the influence of other godly men
in their lives.

Here’s what a few students had to say about their experience this summer:

Alex said,

“You really get to know the people in the house and you really bond. You see that there are other boys your age that are struggling with their faith and struggling with what it means to be a man in today’s society. You really learn how to be a Christian man.”

Noah was initially skeptical about the program.

 “I’m not going to lie. I really tried to hate it in the beginning… but this program was anything but negative. Every aspect had some form of character and made me feel a lot better as a person. When I stepped into it there was no aspect that I didn’t like from the very beginning.”


Lastly, Caleb was asked if he would recommend this camp to other guys and he said,

 “For sure! If you are a young man seeking to be a wise man, a free man, a loving man and a humble man, you should certainly do Band of Brothers.”

BandofBrothers_insert2015 was the first summer of what will be many summers helping young men cross the threshold from adolescence into manhood. If you know of any students who will be juniors, seniors or graduated seniors in high school, let them know about this program. Spaces for 2016 are going to fill up fast!

 

 

 

Learn more about Band of Brothers

From Mount Hermon to Camp HOPE: “We do it because it matters”

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Stories of Ministry.

Karianne-HeaderKarianne Gwinn (seated, far right) started in the dining room and is now the Camp HOPE Director. Photo courtesy of Camp HOPE California.

Some of my very earliest memories of life were at Mount Hermon where my family attended the Insight for Living conferences when I was a wee babe.  Mount Hermon has always been a place of peace and joy for me—from the quintessential smell to the light bursting through the Redwoods.  In 2009 when my grandpa passed away, we attended his memorial service at Mount Hermon and the door opened for a life-changing experience as a summer staffer in the dining room serving conferees.

After having counseled at Ponderosa Lodge and then staff counseling at the conference center, I am still involved deeply in Mount Hermon’s ministry through Camp HOPE at Kidder Creek.  Each camper comes with a Family Justice Center somewhere on the West Coast.  Family Justice Centers provide services of all kinds to domestic violence survivors and their kids.  All of our campers have been exposed to either domestic violence or child abuse and many have, unfortunately, experienced physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse firsthand.

Continued from Staff Alumni Letter

Last year we started a special program at Kidder Creek called Camp HOPE. Camp HOPE is a values-based camp that focuses on character traits, positive self-talk, and experiential learning for kids who come from homes that have experienced family violence. For the past two summers I have had the privilege of serving as the Camp HOPE Director.

This most recent summer we focused on different phrases every day like, “I am becoming my best self” and “My future is brighter than my past.”  Throughout the week, I regularly heard kids proclaiming those truths over themselves and their cabin mates.  What a powerful thing!  One of the most unique things about Camp HOPE is having secular non-profits paired with a faith-based camp.  What a privilege to work alongside summer staffers who love Jesus deeply and show that love through their actions and the way they treat campers as well as the FJC site coordinators and Assistant Counselors.

Our campers often arrive carrying more pain than any person should ever have to experience.  They are warriors.  They are pillars of strength.  They are resilient.  They are soft hearts under the hardest of shells.  They are kids.  They are made in the image of God.  Every time we see a child conquer a fear, believe in him or herself, or forgive an abuser, we are reminded all over again why we do the hard work of loving when it takes everything we have and speaking truth into the hearts of the campers.  And we do it because it matters.  It matters today and tomorrow.  It matters in the context of eternity.

Over 100 Military Families Have Come to Family Camp…FOR FREE!

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Giving, Stories of Ministry.

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One of my favorite parts of working as the Family Camp Registrar has been registering military through our Military Campership Program. This program is for active-duty military who are about to ship out or are just coming home, and fully funds the military family to come to a week of Family Camp. No need to worry about the finances, just pack up, and drive to Mount Hermon for a week of fun, food, family bonding and rejuvenation. Over a 100 military families have come through this program in the last four years.

I have seen the power of a week of Family Camp in my own life. My journey at Mount Hermon began in 1989 as a four-year-old Day Camper. In college, after many years of Family Camps, I had the opportunity to become a summer staffer. I worked two summers starting in 2009 and when I graduated in 2010 I was offered a full time job as the Family Camp registrar.

Continued from Staff Alumni Newsletter

In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to sit with some of the military families at lunch and hear about their life as a military wife, missing their husbands, raising their children. Or I would sit with a husband and wife and hear about what an amazing week of camp they had, finding their family bond again after being away from each other. This was what I came to work at Mount Hermon for: seeing God move through the simplest act of a family coming to camp.

This past summer we had a military couple that did not show up at check in. We called to check on them only to find out the husband has PTSD. It had affected his memory and he forgot when to come. When I called the wife the next morning she was in tears thinking they would never be able to come once they had missed their week. I told her it would not be a problem for them to come the following Sunday. I promised it would not be an issue and all we wanted was for them to be at camp this summer! They came to camp the following week and I was lucky enough to meet them and shake the husband’s hand, welcoming them to camp and praying for a great week. I may have worked behind the desk but it means the world to know that I had a hand in bringing peace to a family who may have needed it more than I will ever know.

We are so grateful for Megan’s years of service to our Family Camp guests, particularly those who are active-duty military.

These military camperships (averaging $2,500 per family) are funded entirely by the support of generous donors. Would you join us in helping to sponsor a military family to come to a week of Family Camp?

Give to Military Camperships

 

Family Camp is Underway!

Posted by & filed under Alumni, General, Stories of Ministry.

This summer, thousands of campers have already come to experience an incredible week of Family Camp at the Conference Center. Families come from literally all over the country because they know that when they are here, they will encounter Jesus and experience life transformation.

Continued from Alumni Newsletter:

This summer our theme verse comes from Psalm 145:18, “The Lord is near to all who call on him.” Each day families explore a different aspect of the significance of God’s nearness to us. On Monday they learn that God is indeed close to each and every one of us. Because of his omnipresent nature, he is literally all around us! On Tuesday they see how we can have confidence in knowing that he is close. On Thursday families look at the Lord’s Prayer and how we can draw even nearer to our God and Father by talking with him. Finally on Friday, they learn about God’s affection for and desire to be near to us, looking at the stories of Jesus letting the children come to him, and later healing a man of leprosy.

Each day families enjoy an inter-generational time in the Auditorium that includes a skit emphasizing the day’s theme. This year we are in the medieval kingdom of Hermalot, where Lady Helena, the kingdom’s historian, is desperately trying to whip the kingdom into shape for the arrival of the King. She doesn’t realize that the whole time the king is much nearer than she thinks. He is dressed as a peasant and spending his time helping the people of the kingdom rather than spending his time in the castle.

Our hope and prayer is that families will walk away not only understanding that God is near to them, but truly experiencing his nearness. Please join us in praying for the thousands of family campers that are still to come over the next 6 weeks!

A Life Transformed

Posted by & filed under Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

In 2011 Sherry and Laurana Hancock came to Family Camp for a much needed time of encouragement as recipients of a military campership while husband and dad, Brian, was deployed in Afghanistan. In 2012, and since, they have returned as a family.

I’m Brian Hancock, Captain in the United States Army and a recent veteran of Afghanistan.

HANCOCK_BRIAN--military-photoThe military did what they could to try to put me back on track, but that wasn’t successful. After seeing me this way for several months, my loving wife suggested that we try the spiritual program here at Mount Hermon. I was pretty skeptical. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that God really existed anymore, after the terrible things I had seen in Afghanistan. I was willing to be optimistic. I asked how much it would cost. She said, “Free!” and stole my last objection to coming to Mount Hermon, so we packed up the whole family and came down here for Family Camp.

“Your donation I am firmly convinced, saved my life, saved my marriage and I am so grateful”

Within about two hours of arriving, I realized that this was a special place. It was, in every possible way, different from what I had experienced in Afghanistan. It was clear to me that this was a magical, spiritual place where there could possibly be real healing for me. I was pretty stand–off–ish at first. I didn’t really join in the worship that was happening. In fact, my wife had to drag me over a couple of times. I was still worried that there were bad guys behind every redwood. After a few days of meeting people, many of which were fellow soldiers who had had similar experiences and were also on military camperships, I came to realize that you can get through this. The fantastic pastors and instructors here, like Sherwood Carthen (rest his soul) inspired me every night.

A little bit about my situation before I got to Mount Hermon. I was fighting at the Pakistan border in one of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan. We were attacked every single day, sometimes several times a day. That was a very difficult time. I didn’t have phone or internet to Skype often. We didn’t have the ability to stay in touch with my wife, Sherry, or my daughter, Laurana. You can imagine how difficult things must have been for them at home.

I shielded them, as most soldiers do, from the things that were happening, but eventually something happened that I could not keep from them. After serving overseas for eleven months, I was wounded one month before I was scheduled to return home. The rest of the unit went home, were reunited with the families. I was sent to a wounded warrior unit. I didn’t get to see my family or friends or continue my life for several months due to my injury.

I’m sure you can imagine that my faith in just about everything, including spiritually, had really been shattered in that distant land. When I got home and had time to interact with civilians, nothing really mattered to me. Nothing I did seemed important. I just didn’t care about immediate life activities. Everything seemed surreal and in slow motion. I spent most of my time reclusive like a hermit. When I was out, I was always looking for snipers and how I was going to be attacked.

Something started to happen for me.

B.-Hancock-family-photoThat dead heart in me began to awaken again. That spiritual section that had been cut off, that physical section where I had been wounded and was shutting down, that mental component where nothing mattered and my will had drained away from me…I began to feel something again. I began to be able to speak to people face–to–face again. I began to be able to appreciate my family again. By the end of that one week, I was attending the sessions, sitting inside, listening to the Word, singing songs of worship, able to walk around trusting the people here.
This was the first real opportunity to live in Christian community in a Biblical sense that I had ever experienced. I knew that when I left, over time, I would be okay. That all started it for me again.

I returned to work. I was able again to continue part of my life in normalcy as well as getting the medical help that I needed to begin turning everything around. It has been a few years now, and a few Mount Hermons later and I am FAR down the road to recovery. I’m at the point now where I am looking for who I can drag here kicking and screaming…for other soldiers I can bring here to see what this place can do for them and their relationships with one another and with God. I am very thankful for that.

I would like to close with a word to my sponsor. It was free for us because someone out there donated the money for us to come. Nothing is truly free in life. Behind every opportunity there is some Good Samaritan who makes that opportunity happen for soldiers like me. I will never meet you. I don’t know who you are. Your donation, I am firmly convinced, saved my life, saved my marriage and I am so grateful. I hope one day with Jesus guiding me, I will be more like you and make the same donation to save another soldier’s life. Thank you!

Reflections from the New Guy

Posted by & filed under General, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

John Jenks is the Associate Director of Advancement Outreach  and is the newest member of the Advancement Team.

head-JohnLives Transformed! This is our mission, hope, and dream for our ministry together at Mount Hermon. Since joining the Mount Hermon Staff last summer it has been my joy to connect with people like you who are part of the Mount Hermon community.

I often ask, “How has God touched your life through His ministry at Mount Hermon?” The response has been a chorus of praises that have included…

“I met Jesus Christ at Mount Hermon and began a new life with him.” “I saw God change my child’s heart through their week at Redwood Camp.”

“My summer on staff changed my life and took my faith to a deeper place.” “God healed our marriage through the couples’ conference at Mount Hermon. God’s grace flowing through Mount Hermon saved our marriage.”

“I believe my son’s summer on staff at Ponderosa was the most significant faith experience he has ever had.”

“I accepted Christ as a child at Mount Hermon and then grew in Christ as I returned over and over again for the past 70 years.”

“I sensed God calling me to be a pastor at Mount Hermon.”

“God brought healing and freedom into my heart and life at Mount Hermon.”

So, my Mount Hermon friends, be encouraged! Your prayers, financial gifts and support are making a present and eternal difference! One of my biggest “Take–Aways” from my first six months on staff is this: Lives transformed….It’s happening, really!

Kidder Creek Makes a Lasting Impact

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Kidder Creek, Stories of Ministry.

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In elementary school, I was invited to join a friend of mine at Kidder Creek’s ranch camp. Driving the three hours from Chico to Etna, I became more and more nervous. When my parents dropped me off, I didn’t want to stay. There were tears and much second guessing. I mustered the courage to stay and from the first night on, things got better and better. My counselor’s name was Jon and he talked me through the Gospel in a way that made sense to me. He took the time to listen and answer questions that I had. At the end of that week, I had taken several steps closer to Jesus but I wasn’t quite ready to commit my life.

(Continued From Staff Alumni Email)

When my parents arrived to pick me up, the fearful boy they had dropped off on Sunday begged them to let him stay for one more week. At timberline high adventure the following week, my counselor again was Jon. Midway through the second week, I gave my life to the Lord around the campfire.  From then on, I returned to camp as often as I could. In high school, I started guiding rafts for guest groups and in college I served on summer staff all but one summer. After graduating, I took an intern position as the Kidder Creek program director for two years and after a 3 year break, I returned to full time staff in 2013 as the Kidder Creek Associate Director.

Reflecting on those summers has shown me God’s consistent faithfulness in my life.  Many of the biggest blessings in my life can be traced back to my time at Kidder Creek.  Many of my most powerful and impacting spiritual experiences were on the kidder creek grounds. In nature, His Word still comes alive in brand new ways.  In community, some of my best friends are those with whom I’ve shared a summer. Looking back confirms God’s ability to change a life at camp and looking forward gives me hope for the impact we can have on each and every camper who we serve.

I give the Lord thanks and praise for the opportunity to foster this experience in future campers’ lives and summer staff communities and I look forward to the how He will continue to transform my life and the lives of others through the ministry of camp in His creation!

Associates Make a Huge Difference

Posted by & filed under Associates, Giving, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

head-KerryOne of the top joy experiences here is watching people’s lives being transformed in a way only Jesus can do. Lives Transformed–that’s Mount Hermon’s mission. A precious couple, whose lives were transformed here 50 years ago, just wrote that they have very intentionally chosen to become Mount Hermon Associates. They are compelled to help others receive the same blessing they received here.

What a delight to share their enthusiastic letter.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to be part of the Mount Hermon Associates with this gift of $500 and would like to be added to your list, using the funds wherever they are needed.

We have been physically and emotionally connected to Mount Hermon since the 50’s. We have not lived in the area for 50 years but the San Lorenzo Valley will always be home. (I went to camp in 1958.) My husband, grandson and I went to family camp for the first time this July, while our two granddaughters went to Redwood and Ponderosa. It took us 50 years to bring our lives full circle, beginning and ending at Mount Hermon, but we made it. It was an amazing experience for all of us.

Our three grandchildren are part of a blended family now since our son died. Mount Hermon youth camps have been their only spiritual influence towards God, and their camp experience has been vital to them for emotional healing and spiritual growth. YOU ARE “IT” FOR THEM. That’s why it is so important for us to get them there for the next few years. Our participation in giving to camp is so that other children will be blessed like ours have.

Thank you to everyone on your staff for making a stay at Mount Hermon so special and fulfilling. Especially to the camp counselors who pour their hearts and energy out to the youth in order to impact them towards our Lord and Savior forever, as they did for me 55 years ago. It is because of what Mount Hermon did for me at age 11 that makes me who and what I am today!

It blesses us so much to know we can be connected to Mount Hermon as Associates after all these years.”

Our Associates family is just that, a family, and they make a huge difference. Their prayers and selfless giving are the Lord’s provision that keeps Mount Hermon’s doors open, so God–ordained appointments like these can happen every day.


Could you write a similar testimony about the place Mount Hermon holds in your heart?

If you’d like to be part of this special group of people, please take that next step and call me at 831.430.1237 or write me at kerry.phibbs@mounthermon.org.

And if you’re already an Associate, thank you!

Staff Alumnus Continues to Make Lasting Impact

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Stories of Ministry.

Scotty G and Family

 

There are many staff whose work at Mount Hermon leaves a lasting impact. Scott Gullick, or “Scotty G,” as he was affectionately known by his staff, is no exception. Scotty served at Ponderosa Lodge for 7 years in a variety of roles. Starting as a counselor at Ponderosa, he began an internship after college and finally transitioned into a full-time position leading the youth department. Scotty thrived leading a team of summer staffers in sharing the love of Jesus with thousands of Jr. High and High School students.

Scotty’s love for camp ministry is so apparent. His time working at Mount Hermon taught him the value of stepping away from everyday life and making time to spend with God and with others. He loves the way that camp allows for all relationships to thrive, both our relationships with God and with those around us. God used his time at Mount Hermon to clarify his calling in life.

Continued from Staff Alumni Email…

Scotty studied engineering at Cal Poly, but his time spent working with youth at Mount Hermon revealed a passion for working with students and young adults and for helping them succeed. Getting to work with students from a variety of backgrounds, especially those who come from low-income areas, was especially impactful and eventually led him to his current job.

Scott now lives with his wife and two daughters in Oakland and serves as the Director of Corporate Engagement for Year Up, a non-profit that works to close the opportunity divide by helping young adults with drive, potential, and skills to find jobs in Silicon Valley. Year Up takes young adults who lack access to jobs due to their socio-economic situation and gives them skills in business communications and technology. Then, Scotty works with businesses throughout the Bay Area to assess their needs and place those in the program into internships. After their internship is done, they have all the skills and training that they need to land an awesome job! His position also allows him to mentor and advise the young adults with whom he works, a skill that he used so well in his leadership roles at Mount Hermon. Scotty’s work continues to inspire us all, and we are so grateful to have him as a part of our Staff Alumni family!

Despite no longer serving on staff, the Gullick’s involvement at Mount Hermon has not ended. Each year they attend their church’s annual family camp on Memorial Day. Scott and Annie have also made a financial commitment to Mount Hermon by becoming Associates. They deeply believe in what Mount Hermon is doing to impact the lives of families, adults, and young people, and as their two daughters grow up, they hope that they will continue to be impacted by the ministry of Mount Hermon.

Do you know of other Staff Alumni that are continuing to leave and make lasting impacts after their time at Mount Hermon? Tell us their name and story below. We’d love to do a feature on them.

Mount Hermon Summer in Review

Posted by & filed under Kidder Creek, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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What an amazing summer at Mount Hermon! It is humbling to look back and see how God was at work this summer in the lives of over 10,000 people who participated in a Mount Hermon camp.

This summer was spiritually and programmatically spectacular. Here’s a look at what took place at Mount Hermon this summer and some of the camper responses (in italics).

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Redwood Camp

This summer Redwood Campers entered the world of Redwood Laboratories where they encountered Dr. VonLichtenstein, DogBot and her greatest invention ULA, the Ultimate Living Assistant. With the lessons centered around the life of Peter and seeing how his encounters with Jesus made him a new creation, not only did the daily skits point campers back to the lessons of each day, but the activities, teachable moments and JAM Sessions (Jesus and Me) all focused on this central point.

“We will always be forgiven no matter what you do.  Even if you do something bad like Peter. If God forgives you then you can know that you can forgive your friends.”

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Ponderosa Lodge

Ponderosa Lodge was turned into The Carnival of Fools, introducing the Magnificent Acts of God. With a curriculum based on 2 Peter 1:9, campers were immersed in understanding that they, as followers of Christ, have been set apart. The world may see us as fools, because we were not made for this world. We were made for something bigger and greater than what this world can ever offer.

“For me, the Carnival represented us being a holy nation set apart not just because you are different but because you are being different for the right reasons. You are different because you know this God who absolutely loves you.”

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Conference Center Family Camp

This summer four daily themes emerged as all of Family Camp attendees explored what it means to be known, accepted, forgiven, and beloved by God. Each area of Family Camp explored these themes inside of the contextual theme of The Mystery Remains, a Noir Detective story that turned Conference Center in to the thriving city of Hermopolis.

“Mount Hermon was so great, one of the best weeks of my life! I grew closer to God and learned that he accepts me just as I am and I don’t need to try to fit in.”

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Kidder Creek

Kidder Creek has the unique opportunity to minister to not only those who participate in the programs of Kidder Creek, but also to those who come with Camp Hope, an outreach ministry to kids who have experienced domestic violence. Kidder’s theme this summer was, “Never Lost, Never Alone.” Focusing on the life of Peter, daily themes set in a jungle context walked campers through how when you are in a relationship with Christ no matter how scary “the jungle” can be, we’ll never be lost and we’ll never be alone.

“This summer I learned a lot about never being lost and never being alone. I realize that God’s always here with me.”

Praise God for the work he did in the lives of families and campers this summer! 

Summer Staff Make a Difference

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Kindling, Stories of Ministry.

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Each year approximately 250 young adults commit to spend their summers as a part of our full-time ministry team. The experience of working in community literally seven days a week to accomplish a common mission is life-changing for those who make this commitment.

Parents from each camp write about the tremendous impact counselors have on their kids. “Both of my kids talk about the amazing, unconditional love they feel while at camp from their counselors,” a mother wrote. “I heard my daughter telling a friend, ‘just imagine a place where you felt 100 percent loved and accepted…that’s Pondy.’”

A Redwood mom writes, “My son’s counselor was loads of fun and very uplifting and kind. He encouraged them to seek God in their daily lives.” She described how the counselor carried her son in his arms to the nurse’s office late one night and the impact that gesture had on him (and her).

Our theme for summer staff this year was “All In,” which called our staff to pour out everything, holding nothing back, serving as the conduit of God’s love for our campers. The word “ALL” was an acronym for the words Abide, Love and Lead. We sought the Scriptures together, meditating on what it means to Abide in  Christ, so that we can Love each other in community, enabling us to Lead campers one step closer to Jesus.

If you are a staff alum, you know the profound impact a summer of camp ministry can have on your life, too.

Cierra Bardowell, a counselor and worship leader in the family camp youth program says, “It’s so evident to see that every staff member has their own interactions with God that they can take away and use as a light to the world and a light to the people they come into contact with later on.”

Clayton Eddleman, a.k.a. Lunchbox, worked as a Day Camp counselor and returns to school intending to  prepare for a career in youth ministry. He sums up well what many know to be true: “Iron sharpens iron, and when we’re here with other staff members, we’re constantly being challenged and challenging others to be a better version of ourselves for Christ. This has been one of the best experiences!”

The Gift of Camp

Posted by & filed under Giving, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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Each summer we hear testimonies from families whose lives are transformed as a result of God meeting them here at Mount Hermon. The following is from a family blessed through a military campership. Military camperships are just one part of our Give Camp 331 program, bringing families and individuals to camp who would be unable to attend without this loving gift. As one military camper told us:

“We are privileged recipients of a military campership and we want to say ‘thanks.’ I just spent a year in Iraq. Living with the eroding effect of that environment and the broken lives it leaves, you don’t know the impact until you come back. Having the opportunity to come to Mount Hermon to be refreshed and reconnect with genuine generosity and compassion in this environment was truly amazing. It is a humbling experience to be recipients of such generosity. 

When I called Dave Burns to ask about the program there was no sanitizing process. ‘You came from the war; come on up.’ It was like the father of the prodigal son. I called Mount Hermon and their arms were open.

The spirit of Christ resonated through the staff and everyone we met. I pinched myself at night…is this for real… is there a commercial being filmed or something? It’s an incredible experience. Hopefully, we’ll be here years from now and my son will be telling the story. 

Thank you to all the donors! We’re going to give back because we have received so much. If you’ve ever wondered where your money goes—it impacted our lives. So thank you, we deeply appreciate it.” 

Thank you for supporting Give Camp 331. It transforms lives!

Kerry Phibbs is the Associate Director of Donor Relations and is passionate about what Give Camp 331 does in the lives of people. Be a part of changing lives. Email: kerry.phibbs@mounthermon.org 

Something To Celebrate

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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Ministry at Mount Hermon is a broadly-flowing intersection of the mighty hand of God at work among our guests and our staff. God’s faithfulness here is a continual win/win, as seen again with a recent guest group.

Alma Heights Christian High School was at Ponderosa Lodge, September 3—6. Serving them all week was such a blessing to me. God worked in my heart and moved mightily in the hearts of the kids. One Chinese foreign exchange student became a believer. An agnostic, his heart was softened and God won him over. Each year we’re seeing one of these international students meet Christ!

One camper stated, “Worshiping God became easier.” Coming out of hurt, heaviness, pain and struggling, he was set free from what had encumbered him. This is huge! How many know what that feels like?

Also, a young lady was confronted by a student with anger issues. Using hurtful names he began treating her unfairly. She felt led to apologize for any way she’d hurt him, and God used that to soften his heart. He responded to God and submitted to receiving prayer, something he’d never done. God worked mightily, using that humble girl. She’d never been used like that. It was tangible and it drew her closer to the Lord, encouraging her faith. Others were watching – and giving testimony: “I reunited with Jesus.” “I got closer to God.” “I learned more about Jesus and became a Christian.”

This is so exciting happening in our midst! People are meeting Jesus. This is definitely something to celebrate!

Shami Benjamin is the Conference Services Coordinator for Ponderosa Lodge and Redwood Camp. Her care for our guests and attention to detail provides spaces for life-transforming experiences.

Kidder Creek Hosts Camp Hope

Posted by & filed under Kidder Creek, LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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Eleven-year-old Alex came to Kidder Creek this summer on medication for depression and aggression. He had been hospitalized for mental health issues after experiencing severe child abuse and witnessing his father beat his mother. But Alex came as part of Camp HOPE, a new partnership between Mount Hermon and Camp HOPE California. Alex said after camp it was the best week of his life. “Rafting, horseback riding and ‘having friends’” were his favorite activities in a life-changing week for a boy with deep mental, emotional and spiritual challenges.

Casey and Beth Gwinn started Camp HOPE in 2003—the first specialized camping program in the country focused on children exposed to domestic violence. Casey and Beth’s roots with Mount Hermon go deep. Casey is the son of former Mount Hermon Executive Director Bill Gwinn (1957–1978). Beth is the daughter of Howie and Marilyn Stevenson, part of the summer program team of Mount Hermon between 1953- 1999. Casey’s vision for Camp HOPE began during his time as the elected San Diego City Attorney, after creating the San Diego Family Justice Center, a unique Center where all the services for victims of domestic violence and their children are located under one roof.

“We need to be Jesus before we say ‘Jesus’ if we really want to build relationships with children who have experienced so much trauma and abuse in their lives.” 

This summer Mount Hermon partnered with Camp HOPE and saw more than 375 children and youth counselors from Family Justice Centers across California and Idaho come to Kidder Creek to find hope and healing through love, acceptance, and adventure. Most of the children had never been out of their neighborhoods. Many had never seen a horse, been on a raft, or experienced anything like the magic of Kidder Creek.

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Pete Morrill, Kidder Creek’s Director, shared the vision for Camp HOPE from the beginning, “We need to be Jesus before we say ‘Jesus’ if we really want to build relationships with children who have experienced so much trauma and abuse in their lives.” “These children need to be loved and cared for before we can expect to see them find faith and true transformation,” said Beth Gwinn early in the summer.

By all measures, Camp HOPE shows amazing promise in addressing the needs of children who face such long odds in their lives. Children exposed to domestic violence are more than ten times more likely to grow up to repeat the violence and abuse than children never exposed to violence. And the vast majority of all adult inmates in California prisons today grew up in homes with some mix of child abuse, domestic violence, drugs, and alcohol. Casey says it best, “We can love them at eleven or we can lock them up at seventeen.” Alex was one of many children who felt the love of Kidder Creek and Camp HOPE staff members this summer. Pete Morrill sums up the new partnership, “Every dollar we raised for this vision made a difference in a life. For so many hurting children, Camp HOPE is a divine appointment that will matter in the context of eternity.”

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Casey Gwinn is the son of former Mount Hermon Executive Director Bill Gwinn (1957- 1978). His passion for children exposed to domestic violence, and his passion for Mount Hermon, brought Camp Hope to Kidder Creek this summer. 

A Summer Filled With Grace

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.

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This summer of ministry may be among the most dramatic in Mount Hermon’s history. Each week hit the mark, revealing to families the very life of Christ, and bringing to life the truth of our Family Camp theme: “Sunk Without Grace!” The Lord honored His Word as all summer people attentively “fixed their eyes on Jesus.”

People come to Mount Hermon confident their souls will be impacted with life-changing biblical Truth, and each week delivered deep, personal connections with the God of Grace. There were “only-God” moments of eye-opening, soul-satisfying understanding of our God who loves to love, who lives to redeem, and who works to complete us in His Son. People confessed and relinquished to Jesus areas of personal unbelief. Lives transformed—indeed!

Especially gratifying was young people sharing a clear understanding of grace learned at Day Camp—like Joshua: “This week I learned from the prodigal son and the older son how we grow closer to God. Both missed what God wanted, but God gave them grace. That’s how I got lifted up, getting grace.” And Jason: “First of all Mom and Dad, I’m so thankful you brought me here. I’ve had a great time. I’ve learned how grace works everything in our life and how we are sunk without it.” Doesn’t that say it all?

God works mightily at Mount Hermon, and we here are rejoicing in His sovereign purpose to transform lives, families and churches. Come and make it your purpose to grow in God’s grace at a Family Camp week next summer.

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Roger Williams is President and CEO of Mount Hermon. He and wife Rachel are in their 20th year of ministry at Mount Hermon. Together they thank the thousands of you who are praying for Roger’s continued battle with cancer.