Reflections on Hisability Week

Saturday we said goodbye to the Hisability campers. They arrived on Tuesday as the first bus-load of campers to come in 672 days. They were excited, we were excited, counselors were excited….and very nervous!  Our family was blessed to be a part of this week on East Side with these beautifully unique campers. Jim continued normal…

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Boys’ Dorm, Woodchips, and Square Cleaning

Springtime at Barakel brings a scheduled maintenance season. I say ‘scheduled’ in contrast to last year when the whole summer and even into the fall ended up being all maintenance season! But spring is normally a maintenance season here, so this year we have been a part of that. There are many projects that can…

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He is Risen!

“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.’” Matthew 28:5-6 We’ve been a bit absent on email updates last month.  We have stayed busy…

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Winter Highlights

We made it through our first retreat season and now are headed into our first “planned” maintenance season. Before we get too far away from the end of winter retreats I wanted to send an update about the highlights of our season. The winter weeks fell into a rhythm of their own for us as…

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Willing workers

“Whatever you do, work heartily,as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23 A lot of jobs at camp are behind the scenes. It could be scraping food off of dirty dishes, sweeping the kitchen, or mopping the dish room. Peeling a bunch of ice cold hard boiled eggs, shoveling snow from entryways, handing…

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It was a great winter weekend up at Camp Barakel!

The weather radar Thursday evening showing the system that was headed for us. God’s visible blessing on the start of winter retreats. Our first retreat as Resident Missionary Staff is in the books! Here are some fun facts for you: We hosted 63 people on West Side and 57 people on East Side (a smaller than…

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Campers are coming!

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,to the soul who seeks him.”Lam. 3:25 Not a long update this week, because it won’t take long to tell you about the two things that have us most excited this week. The first thing is, for the first time since last winter, campers will arrive…

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A Word from Jim

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”Phil. 4:4 I’ve been reflecting on how long we have been part of the resident missionary staff here at camp compared with how long it has been since camp has held an event. I’m thinking it must be some sort of odd record for new staff residing…

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This too shall pass

We are all a bit disappointed around here to have to once again delay the hosting of guests. We had planned for this weekend to be the first of the winter retreats, but with the extension of some of the restrictions we had to delay until February. Not what any of us had in mind as…

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We’ve been pretty quiet on technology the past couple of weeks over the holiday. I’ve had multiple times when I thought of posting something on Instagram or sending something out through email, but then the moment passed and time skittered on by. We have been enjoying time with each other and time celebrating the birth of our…

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Winter Weather

“For to the snow he says,‘Fall on the earth’…”Job 37:6 (Originally sent out via email this past Monday, 12/14, but I forgot to come over here and post it! ) I’m no stranger to Michigan winters having grown up here (although does anyone else think we used to get a lot more snow 30-40 years ago?)…

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Critters, Hunters, and Daylight

Things we’ve learned about life in the woods We recently put a birdfeeder just outside our kitchen window. Close enough to the house to hopefully discourage bears from pursuing a snack, but easily able to attract some of the birds that frequent the area. We’ve enjoyed watching them from the kitchen as they have found…

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Our hearts were encouraged

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”  Mark 16:15 Last week on Wednesday evening, Mary Emma, Lydia, and I were able to attend the Wednesday night service at our sending church in Brighton. It was somewhat of a last minute plan, but we had…

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Jim, the wi-fi guy

Camp Barakel’s biggest technologyinfrastructure upgrade since the 1970’s Joining the Resident Missionary Staff at Camp Barakel allows for many opportunities to do many different kinds of jobs. One of those for Jim has been to handle the technology needs of camp, including an idea that has been talked about for a couple of years: a…

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September update

Hindsight is 20/20 It seems that the best time for our family to move and make a major life transition was during a pandemic. During the whole two years we raised financial support we never could have anticipated that the time we would reach 100% and be able to move to Camp Barakel would be…

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Blessings upon blessings

From one home to another. From one group of hard workers to another. A loving but teary send off on one end and a joyful welcome on the other. Soon I will try to post a more complete reflection on today. But at this very late hour I will simply share a link for a…

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Loading day

At the beginning of this day I posted on Instagram and if I’d had a spare minute I would’ve shared it here too. Here’s what I said there: The Lord provided that and more. No less than 38 helpers worked enthusiastically to load everything they possibly could. They were so zealous in fact, that they…

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Getting our ducks in a row

I recently came across this photo… We feel like it’s an accurate description of our move preparations! Moving is not for wimps! Here is a humorous list of some of our scattered ducks: We’re moving to a camp at the beginning of a summer that they have no campers. We listed our house for sale…

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Full support, moving ahead!

We are fully supported and our house is on the market! As I said in our last post, what a crazy time for us to be at this point in our process. But as a friend reminded me this week, God is never early or late, always right on time. That is what we are…

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Small changes, big plans

Just to keep everyone up to date, we are currently at 89%. A small change, but as we get closer we want to keep our progress current. And while it may seem like a small step forward, we are encouraged! We are beginning to make plans for a move north in May, and we are…

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Winter Update

We praise the Lord we have 79% of our support committed! Our hope is to be at camp by this summer. Wouldn’t it be great if we could make the move north in May 2020, in order to be settled and ready to join in the work of the big summer camping season? If you…

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Waiting

I recently read an Instagram post by someone waiting to grow their family. Another a while ago by someone struggling through an unemployment wait. We wait and pray for lots of things in lots of different seasons. Starting a family, growing a family, finding a job. Waiting for a spouse to come back, for a…

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“To live and serve our best”

Last week I had the privilege of playing piano for the middle schoolers on West Side at Camp Barakel. At the beginning of the week, the campers were hesitant and uncertain in their singing, and I’m sure I was equally so in my playing. Although I have been to many Barakel chapels, I had not…

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June update

Here’s a bit of an update about some of the things we have been up to over the past couple of months relating to our coming move to Barakel! Over Memorial Day weekend we went up during Family Camp, stayed at our empty camp house, and started on some work in the house. Some painting,…

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Our April prayer letter

Just this past week we sent out our latest prayer letter. You can read it using the link below. One update to what the letter states is that we are now at 64% of our financial support. We praise God for continuing to raise up a group of prayer and financial supporters to allow us…

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Update on our percentage!

It has been a year since we sent out our first support letters, and we are thankful to have 60% of our support committed. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us and for those who have agreed to be a part of our support team! We are excited to get…

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Past halfway!

  We have finally passed the halfway point in our support raising! We currently have 52% of our support committed. We are excited to have passed the halfway mark, and continue to look to the Lord for his provision of the other 48%. We sent letters out in December and forgot to post them here,…

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We are at 49%

We are excited to be at 49% of our needed monthly support! It has been exciting to watch God work as people are moved to commit their support.  We are almost halfway there, but we still have another half to raise!  We don’t know where this remaining support will come from, but we know God…

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Commissioning service 11-11-18

Last Sunday evening our church held a service to officially commission us to the ministry at Camp Barakel. The evening was so many things. It was encouraging, it was humbling, it was exciting, and it was even a little over-whelming. The service was part of a Missions Emphasis week where we focus, as a church,…

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Support update and Family Camp video

We are making exciting progress with our support! As of today we are at 41% of our needed monthly support! We are excited about how many supporters the Lord has already brought our way, and we are looking to Him to continue providing the rest of the needed monthly support. Over Labor Day weekend, we…

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We have 29% of our support committed!

Throughout the summer we are thankful to have continued to add slowly to our committed support and are currently at 29% of our needed monthly support.  We are praying and trusting that this fall we will see this increase at a faster rate, but we trust the Lord knows just the right timing for our…

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We are at 23%!

We’ve had a busy first month of raising support. We are doing some new tasks directly related to support raising like writing and sending a support letter and getting prayer cards. But we are also busy doing lots of normal life May activities like finishing our school year, having a garage sale, and getting ready…

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First prayer letter

We are preparing to send out our letters to friends, family, and churches.  We are trusting that the Lord will use them to begin raising up a team of supporters, which will then allow us to go and do the work He has called us to do! Here are the letters we are preparing to…

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The start of our ministry

On March 29, we received word that our application for resident missionary staff had been approved by the Camp Barakel board of trustees.  This was the next step in a 3 year process to follow the Lord’s leading to serve Him in full-time ministry work at Camp Barakel.  We are now able to start the…

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