Posts Tagged: testimony

A Life Transformed at Kidder Creek

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

by Andy Warken, Director of Kidder Creek

Almost 1,500 campers joined one of our camps or came as part of a guest group in 2018 and another 1,200 visited and volunteered during Fall Festival.  Campers came to raft, ride, and hike, and God used these outdoor adventures to help them grow personally, in community and in their faith. Nearly 200 said they made a first time decisions to follow Jesus!

When asked how they grew closer to Jesus campers said:
“By learning how much God loves me”
 “That God knows me and made me and that He has given me purpose.”
“By praying, reading the Bible, through worship, hearing the counselor testimonies and through campfire talks.”

The following is a story that was given to me, by a camper after summer, about a Thursday night Chapel Hill Campfire during Week Two Ranch Camp last summer.  

A Campfire Miracle 

“Around a campfire on the top of Chapel Hill a miracle happened. Maddie, a spunky hilarious Ranch Camper, sang the words of Reckless Love. Her heart was beating faster than usual and for some reason tears were rising in her eyes. As the last words of ‘Reckless Love’ were sung, Christina, the Ranch Camp lead, got up and shared her testimony of how God had changed her life. Maddie listened intently as Christina told her story. Something was different about tonight. As Christina finished her story Maddie blinked away tears. A cabin mate sitting beside her, asked, ‘Are you okay, Maddie?’  ‘I don’t know, I feel something in here,” Maddie muttered and pointed to her chest.  ‘Hmm, I don’t know what that means. I think you should go talk to a counselor,’ the other girl whispered.  Maddie agreed, got up, and went to speak with her counselor who was able to help her understand the gospel and lead her to Jesus.”

Maddie was one of eight girls that gave their lives to Jesus that night. Under the stars and amidst the smoke the Lord touched their hearts. The Lord performs miraculous things like this all the time at Kidder.

We saw many miracles, large and small, happen in 2018, we look forward to many more stories of lives transformed in 2019! 

Andy Warken, Director of Kidder Creek

The Gift of Camp

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



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: 

Something To Celebrate

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry.



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.

“… Change My Life Forever”

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



I sat around the campfire on that summer night; I was 12 years old and moved by the message and the truth that God loved me, that He was real and present in my life. That powerful moment at camp is one I will always remember. My life was immeasurably blessed by having gone to summer camp, and I will always remember the powerful impact it had on my walk with Jesus.

Each summer at Mount Hermon thousands of kids share the same experience, and you are part of making that happen! Here is a letter we received from Zach, a camper at Ponderosa this past summer:

“Dear Ponderosa,

Thank you a lot for giving me the scholarship to go to camp. It was the best week ever for me. I had Alex as my counselor and he was great. I really felt God connecting to me that week. Just seeing how He works and how amazing His love is.  I thank you so much for helping me to go to the best week that will change my life forever. From, Zach”

Zach is not the only grateful member of this family. In the same letter Zach’s mom writes:

“Dear Mount Hermon,

I want to thank you so much for giving my son a scholarship to help get him to camp at Ponderosa this summer. He was able to go with one of his best friends. Zach said it was, “the most awesome week of his life!” He got so much closer to God and his faith has really blossomed. His counselor, Alex, was incredible and a great mentor for Zach. Thank you so much for helping us to afford to get Zachary to camp—your ministry is awesome. Quite a legacy since I went to Ponderosa—so great to share that bond and memory with my son! Thank you, Heidi

Is there any greater gift we can give than sharing the love of Jesus with someone?  That gift is realized when a young person experiences camp, whether it’s Ponderosa Lodge, Redwood Camp, Kidder Creek or family camp. Your generous gifts to our campership fund made this experience possible—Thank you!

The faces and seasons change but the timeless truth of Jesus’ love never changes. Thank you for being part of giving Zach a “…week that will change my life forever.”