Summer Camp: Mid-Summer Update

After week off, we are back at Summer Camp. We are thankful to partner with Long Branch Baptist Church, as it has been a wonderful opportunity for our family, and for 40+ children in this neighborhood and in this church.

This experience has been new for us — being leaders at a summer camp without being in charge of it. We are thankful that we haven’t been in charge. For one, it has helped us to step back and not carry such a big load. But even more, we see that the leaders at Long Branch have done a number of things so much better than we could have!

During the first few weeks of this camp, Joanna and I noticed how loving those leaders are. This church has some younger adults and college students serving, most of the ones involved are older. And while these folks might not have the energy level they once did, their love and passion for children is obvious.

Click here to learn more, and to watch a fun video of our campers…

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Summer Opportunities

MVF Serenity Farm
Hannah volunteered with Mill Village Farms. Now she’ll be working for them.

This summer will be busy with a new season for our family. And we are glad.

This will be our first full summer in Greenville in 5 years, and there is no doubt that that 2015 is very different than 2010. Five years ago, we had a house with a neighborhood pool, our kids went to a week of VBS, and we spent a lot of time with friends. (Of course, since I was a children’s pastor, summer was very busy.)

All of those are fine and well, but now we are in a new season. Part of the change is because our kids are older: Hannah (about to enter high school!) was our youngest’s age when we last lived in Greenville. And part of the change is that our focus is very different.

This summer, Hannah will be busy working her first real job, and for the first time ever, we will be assisting with (but not in charge of) a summer camp for local children.

Click here to learn more…

Help Create Beautiful Memories for a Child This Summer

A couple of weekends ago, I spent two nights at a retreat with a few 5th and 6th graders from Grace Church.

And when I say “a few,” I mean about 250 children. Plus leaders. Yikes.

Despite my distaste for retreats (chaos, lack of sleep, noisy, dirty, crowded) I am glad I went, because I got to be with some special people in my life:

  • my son Elijah,
  • my small group of 6th grade boys,
  • a 5th grade girl from our Clubhouse Kids after school program.

The young lady had a great time. On the first night, she told her leader, “This is the best night I’ve had in a long time.” She got to be with friends from school (but whom she doesn’t interact with much outside of school), and make a lot of new friends.

Her positive experience reminded me of the importance of helping students (especially those from under-resourced communities) get to summer camp.

Read how you can do the same…

Join the Clubhouse

Clubhouse Morrell

“It was the first time all year that he did his homework. He was so proud of himself!”

A local school principal told me this, two days after launching the new after school program in our neighborhood. She was referring to a student who was one of the first to enroll in “Clubhouse Kids.”

For however long God has this ministry for us, I will not forget those words. Those words made me sad (that he hadn’t done his homework at all for the first half of the school year). And those words made me excited, not just that he did the work, but that he felt great about himself because he had been wanting to do it all along.

Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of something wonderful, for him and for a dozen other children in our community. And you can be a part of it.

Why you should be involved, and how …

Getting Powered for Life!

Last month, we (Elevate Youth and Mill Village Farms) helped to launch a 16-week program for teenagers, called Powered for Life. We advertised and recruited with the aim of enlisting a diverse range of students. With students coming from six different schools, I think we achieved our goal!

The Powered for Life material is a Bible-centered tool to help prepare young adults for a successful life. It focuses on four main ideas, with the acronym L.I.F.E. –>

Learn more by clicking here…