UPDATE! God has worked another opportunity into the summer. Elaine has recently been contacted by The Refuge and they have asked her to serve on staff for 13 weeks of summer programming. This was a last minute Godly appointed opportunity.
The Refuge is located in Ayden, NC about 2 hours north of Emerald Isle, NC.
She will have expenses above and beyond normal day to day expenses and we ask that you prayerfully and financially support her. All financial donations to TUM for Elaine’s support must be marked as designated for her.
During the first week of July, Neil will join Elaine in Emerald Isle, NC as they serve Chapel by the Sea for a week of Summer Camp programming for this wonderful church body. We will have traveling expenses to cover for this week also. – UPDATE… this week of summer camp was canceled by Chapel by the Sea due to an illness.
Gabe is now at The Refuge in North Carolina serving for the last few weeks of summer break. Any support can be sent to him through Transform Us Ministries. Thanks!!!
Our latest newsletter is now available online.
How a Week in the Outdoors Can Benefit Kids
By Lloyd Mattson
There was a time when the plaintive call came often, “What’s there to do, Mom?” You seldom hear that anymore.
Before kids are barely out of diapers, they are bombarded with compelling opportunities for amusement. Little mites scurry about on ice rinks and soccer fields followed by rabid parent fans. The teams sport expensive uniforms. Soccer moms have become a voting bloc. Kid sports’ grip on the nation is amazing.
Sports get kids outdoors, teach teamwork, build friendships, and burn
energy, but there’s another grip on kids that’s scary.
A friend recently commented, “Last Saturday I drove through an upscale new development with fine homes, textured lawns, curving streets, a pool, and a fenced play area bristling with colorful gizmos. Suddenly it struck me: I couldn’t see a kid! Not one.”
Millions of kids, young and old, no longer live in the world of bikes and playgrounds. Imprisoned in their virtual world, they bounce and weave to iPod tunes and hover over garish monitors, addicted to noisy digital input foisted on them by a multi-billion dollar industry.
Is this a cranky, old-fogy exaggeration? I hope so. But if this apparent digital enslavement worries you, consider a happy alternative: a week at camp.
Don’t imagine you can suddenly haul a load of digitalized kids to camp. You must apply a soccer mom’s dedication to building an appetite for camp. Family involvement in a youngster’s early years will do that. Considering the values Christian camping offers, that involvement will become increasingly vital.
To say kids have lost interest in camping misses the point. A kid who has never seen an ice rink will not be interested in hockey, but when Dad gives Junior a puck for a teething ring, hockey interest will follow.
Family values Christian camping offers include:
• Safety: Careful staff screening and training weed out people unfit to serve. Camps work constantly to assure physical, moral, and spiritual safety for campers. Government regulations reinforce the camp’s efforts. A typical youth camp provides about one staff member for every three campers, with trained counselors guiding cabin groups.
• Friendship: Friends are one of the most vital forces for shaping a child’s character, and camps create an environment where friendships form and grow. Campers encourage kids to share adventure with peers from diverse backgrounds over five or six days under spiritual guidance, allowing friendships to mature.
• Self-discovery: The overpowering sights and sounds of the digital world stifle personal reflection and creativity, while the camp’s natural setting and challenging programs create moments for self-awareness and creative thought.
• Spiritual input: Christian camps present the gospel through chapel
services, Bible study groups, counselor-led sharing times, and campfires, providing opportunities for campers to make spiritual choices and receive counseling.
• Role models: The home church brings kids and leaders together for an hour or two of directed activity in a religious setting. At camp, kids and leaders interact constantly in worship, play, adventure, discovery, and meals—the stuff of daily life. In this setting, the friendship of older Christians makes a great impact.
• Creation: Our world of wire and concrete dulls the spirit to the wonders of the nature. Many youngsters spend most of their hours indoors, going out only to move from one indoor place to the next. Camps feature the natural setting. Campfire worship, nature hikes, outpost overnights, and week-long out trips bring campers close to creation. The near presence of forest, field, hill, and lake stirs campers’ hearts. The heavens do declare the glory of God.
• Change of pace: Within the camp’s full schedule are pockets of leisure that provide the camper with breathing room. Away from the distractions common to life at home, and immersed in a Christian community, campers often find new life perspectives. The Christian life at home takes on the appearance of a group activity engineered by leaders, but God’s Spirit always deals with hearts one on one. Camp often provides the stillness that is mandated in Scripture: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
• Leadership growth: The camp, more than any other Christian agency,
provides openings for entry-level leadership experience. Most camp leaders once were campers. A significant percentage of Christian leaders first tasted leadership in a camp and trace their sense of calling to a camp experience.
• Fair price: Remembering their camp years, parents may wonder at today’s camp fees. The answer lies in the cost of today’s homes, cars, professional sporting events tickets, and dinners out. Considering the benefits one week at camp offers kids, the fee represents an overwhelming value.
Lloyd has served as a camp director and pastor, and has written or edited 28 books about Christian camping, including Christian Camping Today (The Wordshed).
Previously published in Campsight
Elaine has been commissioned to serve as a Summer Camp Missionary on behalf of Transform Us Ministries, Inc. at Camp Shenandoah Springs in Madison, VA. Please consider supporting her service both prayerfully and financially.
Secure online donations can be made by clicking the button below or you can send your donation in the form of a check. Please make checks payable to Transform Us Ministries, Inc. and designate on the check that the donation is for Elaine. Please mail those checks to:
P.O. Box 6540
Shepherdsville, KY 40165
Transform Us Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations and/or contributions are deductible in accordance with federal and state tax laws. You will receive a receipt.
Also please remember Gabe in your prayers as he serves this summer at Camp Bethel in Wise, VA. Visit Camp Bethel’s website for more info.
Transform Us Ministries is pleased to announce we are now recognized by the IRS as a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization!
This part of our journey began well over a year ago. The process was long and detailed, but we endured.
It is time to begin grant writing as we seek to purchase and develop a 34 acre piece of property in Shepherdsville KY.
We are seeking individuals who would prayerfully consider serving on our Board of Directors. If you feel led to serve in this capacity, please contact Elaine.
Our current Board has developed a Fund-raising Committee who is working diligently to plan events that will generate the financial support we need to move forward in this mission. If you have event idea or feel led to make a financial donation, please contact us via e-mail or phone.
We are full of excitement, appreciation and anticipation as The LORD continues to lead us on this journey!
Won’t you join us?
I am writing as the CEO of TRANSFORM US MINISTRIES. I have been blessed by the interest many of you have taken in my previous and current service in the camp and retreat ministry. As GOD moves me forward in the mission to provide a Christian Bed and Breakfast, year-round camp/retreat facility, retreat and speaking ministries, I recognize a great need for my brothers and sisters to partner with me.
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.” Ecc. 4:9-10 NLT
Daily I continue to carry out the vision GOD gave me 20 years ago for such a ministry. I have a wonderful team of brothers and sister in Christ who are partnering with me and a great husband pushing me, nudging me and supporting me as I move forward.
Transform Us Ministries is in need of property, either to lease or to purchase, in order to begin retreat programming this fall. Once property has been obtained, there will be a need for cabins to be built or purchased to be placed on the property available for our use.
Want to know more? Transform Us Ministries’ Board of Directors was formed in January 2010. A list of the Directors names may be seen on this website. I encourage you to navigate the web-site for additional information about the ministry and the team of people currently involved in carrying out this mission. And while you are at it, please check out www.iamwarrior.net the new web-site for my speaking, writing, and retreat planning ministry. And, if you want to know more about me (Because who am I, really?), please check out www.elainefoster.net
Kings Baptist Church of Taylorsville KY., the home church of Neil and Elaine Foster, founders and CEO of Transform Us Ministries, has expressed a desire to partner in this mission. As Transform Us Ministries continues the process of incorporation and recognition by the government as a non-profit organization, Kings Baptist Church (an existing non-profit) is willing to step in by accepting any financial, or other donations being made on behalf of Transform Us Ministries. By donating to Transform Us Ministries through Kings Baptist Church while we await our non-profit status, you may receive tax credit for your donations.
Currently Transform Us Ministries is involved in providing programming for Kings Baptist Church’s first elementary age camp (grades 3-5) coming this July. Until Transform Us Ministries is able to lease or purchase its own property, retreat and summer youth camp, day camp, outdoor education, and fund-raising events will continue to take place at the sites of other existing camp facilities.
Remember, the word “MISSION” is a military term referring to a “special task” or “duty” assigned. I am indeed on a mission! Upon accepting this special mission, I recognize GOD bringing people into my path who have various gifts, abilities, interests, connections and provisions to offer so that I do not have to labor alone. I am thankful for others who have already accepted and embraced the mission to become involved in the work of TRANSFORM US MINISTRIES and these camp, retreat, speaking and writing ministries. Much work is to be done.
I covet your assistance, prayers and spiritual guidance as I carry on and make preparations to serve away from home the summer of 2010. I am on a MISSION!
Blessings and many thanks for your interest in joining me!
I am WARRIOR! Elaine
BE a Warrior!
LOVE and let yourself BE LOVED!!!
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to camp we go! Mario Zandstra, president and CEO of Pine Cove, a Christian camping ministry, talks with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine (hosts of FamilyLife Today) about the fun and adventure that can be had at a Christian family camp.
Listen to show here online (30min):
Download the file in .mp3 format (right click and Save): fl20100122.mp3
Download the transcript in Word .doc format (right click and Save): fl20100122.doc
Visit the FamilyLife Today website for more info and other links. FamilyLife Today
“What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun.”
2 Cor. 5:17
In the Native American culture, the FROG is a symbol of “transformation”. Beginning its life as an egg, it is born in the form of a tadpole, which then slowly metamorphoses into a frog. The frog symbolizes transformation and growth into more mature ways of living.
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog, as created by HIM, is beautiful, vibrant, and amazing.
We pray that through this ministry, GOD will transform you, into a beautiful, vibrant, and amazing creation!Newer Posts »