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Beauty of God's Creation

Posted by stevem on April 6, 2017 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

MK Camp changed my life in so many areas. MK Camp first made me realize the beauty of nature and Gods creation. I took simple things for granted, like the changing colours of the trees. My eyes were opened to the wonders and beautiful things that Gods wants to show off to us. Another area of my life that changed that week was friendship. I learned that true friends stick with you all the time. MK Camp was a great place to make friends who know what it's like to be an MK. Some of the friends I had at camp

I still talk to. MK Camp was generally just a place to relax, be your true self, and feel the full embrace of God. Now I have moved to Canada and have been here for just over a year. I have recently joined a rugby team and a baseball team. I have made great friends through sports. It's also nice to go to an English speaking church. Being able to worship in my own language is a blessing. Thank you MK Camp staff for making me have a wonderful and memorable week. I wouldn't change a thing!!


Paul Morgan

Shaped by My Creator

Posted by stevem on March 29, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

As I reflect on my time overseas, some of the fondest memories that I have come from MK camp. I lived in Bulgaria for a total of 4 years, from 2006 to 2010, and was so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience camp, which was something a lot of missionary kids lost when leaving the states.

I still vividly remember the campground…a large house where the girls slept…several tents where the boys slept, one of which was a massive tent I always tried to claim a spot in (and indulge in long nights of playing RISK with the other boys)…a sand volleyball court where so many crazy games were played…I remember the shed where all the archery gear was kept, I remember mountain biking, rock climbing (Genesis and Exodus were their names I think?), but most of all I remember how beautiful of a place it was.

Every night a group of us would go out to stargaze and be in awe of stars so bright and big...of space so eternal and us so small and insignificant. To this day I haven’t experienced beauty so real, so serene, and so powerful. This was where I began to truly understand and know God for myself. There was a power and excitement that could be felt the moment you arrived…you knew this place was special. It was a place we could come and feel normal again. A place where we could meet more kids similar to us that knew what life was like in another country. It is crazy to think this was over 6 years ago for me.

When people look back on their lives, there are always certain life events or changes that are pivotal in shaping and molding who we become as people. For me, one of those big life events was moving to Europe. MK camp helped ensure that the shaping and molding that occurred in me during my time there was one that was centered around Christ and His love, and His mercy, and His sacrifice, and the way that He called us to live as children of light and to serve Him in all that we do.

6 years later, I have since graduated from Taylor University in Upland, IN where I studied Exercise Science and played collegiate football, and am currently obtaining my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. I hope to someday use my gifts in physical therapy throughout the mission field, serving and being used by Him and continuing to live a life with values and beliefs that were instilled in me during my time at MK camp.

 

- Zach Hershberger

 

 

My Journey of Faith

Posted by stevem on March 23, 2017 at 2:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I loved MK camp so much. It was such a cool experience to be surrounded by so many MKs from many different countries and be able to worship God with them and learn more about who he is. I will never forget all of the amazing people I met there, and all of the fun and awesome memories that were made. MK camp had a very big impact on my life. I know that I will remember all the things I learned and experienced there.

At MK camp I learned about and grew a lot in my faith and about trusting God. The theme of that week really, really helped me to grow in my journey of faith. To today, I have been able to apply that to my life when I need to trust God in every situation. This has helped me so much the past couple months, and I know it will continue to help me in the future. Everything from the deep talks to the fun games and sports has left a part of me full of unforgettable memories and growth in understanding the amazing God that I love.


- Rachel Johnson

 

Encouragement Through Difficulties

Posted by stevem on March 16, 2017 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

My first MK Camp came at a difficult time in my life. A couple years before my family had moved to a new area of the country, and the ministry was very busy and challenging. I had left school and friends behind and started an on-line high school program. Loneliness as well as spiritual struggle were a painful reality for me.

 

So, I viewed MK Camp as a "get-away" with the potential to be fun. I didn't know that it would be a great source of encouragement to me -- so much so that now twelve years later, life's current struggles seem less overwhelming as I reflect on the encouragement I received from my experiences and from the leaders at camp.

 

The first encouragement I received was the somber lesson from the life of King David, about how important it is to study God's Word. If a man like David, a man after God's own heart, could stray so deeply into sin because of his lack of focus on God, then it was important for me to unfalteringly read and obey God's Word. The theme of camp that year was "One step closer," and I desired to trust God and to know Him more.

 

The second encouragement was when I approached and talked at length with an older and more experienced MK. She was a missionary and a mother of MKs, and she listened to me. I remember the stars were bright the night we sat outside and talked, and I was able to open up about some of the deepest feelings in my heart. We prayed together, and my loneliness started to seem much less overwhelming, especially in comparison to the life I was being called to live.

 

Finally, on the last day of camp as we were packing up to leave, the director, Uncle Steve, said to me: "Jacqueline, I've been watching you this week, And I think you have potential of being a leader. So, if you ever want to come back here, just let me know." I think those words are pretty accurate, because I wrote them down in my journal after camp -- and even more, they left a permanent imprint on my mind and heart. I really needed to be affirmed that I was a part of God's plan and that He thought I was worth training for His service. I later had the privilege of serving at MK Camp for two consecutive summers, and that time also molded and guided me in other life decisions.

 

I wish I could say that life instantly became easier right after that first year at camp, because it didn't. In fact, on the drive home from camp that year, I was informed of some painful events that had taken place in our ministry at home which would greatly alter our lives. My circumstances had not become easier, more difficult in fact, but I had a reassurance in my heart of God's faithfulness and love for me. You see, God used MK camp at a critical period in my life to show me that He was using my circumstances to bring about His redemption work, even when I did not always understand the pain. He used MK Camp to strengthen my relationship with Him.

 

Thank you, Lord, for MK Camp.


Jacqueline Warren

 

Changed Through Serving

Posted by stevem on March 9, 2017 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Although I have never attended MK Camp as a camper, it has impacted me with my experience on CREW. My first year on CREW was in the summer of 2015. I was only on for a week, but it was one of the best weeks of the summer. While on the team I also was leading worship and one of the photographers just for the 11-13 y/o camp. One thing I love about CREW is that every single morning after breakfast cleanup, then the team has a Bible study. One thing I love doing is talking about the Bible with others and seeing different points of view on scripture. It is an incredibly insightful time.

Over the week with the team, we developed really good bonds with one another. We would joke around and play games during our time to rest. When it was time to work, people did their jobs and it was so great to see everyone’s willing attitudes to do what they are asked. During CREW you really get to see people’s heart and love for God.

One of my favorite moments from that first summer with DPB was when I led worship and we all sang “Blessed Be Your Name.” All the campers were singing it at the tops of their lungs. It was incredibly encouraging seeing people really focus on the words they were singing and worshipping God in such a genuine way. Every single time I play that song now; I become overjoyed with the memory of camp.

My second time on CREW was in the summer of 2016. I believe that God used that time to encourage and stretch me. He brought incredibly important people into my life who fill me with such immense joy and love. They filled me with such wisdom and guidance when I needed help. The people on CREW that someone serves with are so important because God has placed them there for a specific reason and to have a specific impact on one’s life. I know that because of the people I have served with, they have impacted me for the better.

I remember asking a group of campers who would like to join CREW someday and one said he would like to. I then told him, “It is such an amazing experience, but be prepared to have a layer of sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat on every single day.” In CREW we create so many good memories, but we do a lot of hard work and it ends in taking multiple showers a day. The shared work, though, creates a sense of camaraderie because we all go through the same thing (though, the boys just carry heavier piles of wood). My time on CREW has been some of the best times with teams that I have ever experienced. Although I spent at most two weeks with them, you have a whole new understanding of people and you can know them on a deeper level (thanks to deep conversations by the campfire at night).

All in all, CREW has impacted me. It has changed the way I serve people and how I view service. It is not just something you do in order to please others, but show them the love of God and your love for God. In CREW we joke around, we serve, we love, and we praise God in all we do. In an environment like that, I don’t know how I wouldn’t be impacted. Thanks, DPB!

 

- Sofie

 

A Tug at My Heart

Posted by stevem on March 1, 2017 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)


In the Summer of 2014, when I was 15 years old, I spent a week at MK camp. I went completely closed off to God and with two simple purposes: to make friends, and have fun. Not only did I leave having met some of my closest friends, with memories of fantastic adventures and new experiences, but I left with having given my life to Jesus Christ.

From day one of camp God was tugging at my heart. I was surrounded by other MK’s that had stories similar to mine. Everyone, from the leaders to the other kids at camp were so fun, yet they had something other teenagers didn’t have. As I tried new sports such as rock climbing, archery, and canoeing, I got to see true Christ followers interact with each other. God was so attractive in them.

One morning I woke up early. As I left my room I looked down the hallway and I saw one of the guys sitting and reading his Bible. I was completely fascinated and shocked that someone, a teenage boy of all people, would want to wake up early to spend time in God’s word.

The last night of camp, I finally gave Jesus my all. Since camp, I have grown so much in my relationship with Jesus and I can see and love people how he does. I now understand that God has placed my family overseas to share the hope that I have found in him. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I do know that I will follow him all the days of my life and I am ready and willing to go wherever God sends me.

Maddie Malinowski

 

Learning to Trust

Posted by stevem on February 23, 2017 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello my name Avery Heston,


I am 16 years old and I serve as a MK in Kosovo. I have had the fortunate opportunity to go to Mk camp twice in my life and both times it has impacted my life. Before I went to Mk camp this past year I have never realized the importance of trusting in God.

 

I have always had faith, but I always found it hard to trust. As we went through the life of Joseph I then realized the importance of trust alone, but ultimately trust in God. Now when a situation comes up and it doesn’t look good I can now find peace because I have trust in God.

 

I also realized the importance to run away from temptation. Now whenever I am faced with temptation I think of Joseph and how he ran away from it because he knew it wasn’t what God wanted. Now some months after MK camp I feel even more ready in a way that I know what I have to do spiritually to win the tests that God is challenging me with.

 

Before MK camp I bottled up a lot of emotion in the hope that it would just go away, but as I was at camp I felt the need to share it. I had an awesome leader who was willing to talk and help me through the hard times without judging me. After MK camp I have felt more relieved in the sense that I know more about God and I met people who I can go to for accountability and to talk with when I have hard times.

 

MK camp is a true blessing and has helped me know God more and His awesome power. Understanding God more has helped me continue life the way God has planned for me.

 

Five Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Teen

Posted by stevem on February 15, 2017 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)


By Ashley Denton


Good relationships are vital to health. Family relationships, especially, are fundamental in equipping children to live a happy and successful life. Achieving strong family relationships take care, work, and effort. It is no surprise to anyone that the teen years bring challenges that can threaten good, positive relationships between parents and their children. There is hope, however, of combating these challenges and maintaining or developing strong, healthy relationships with your teens.


ParentFurther is an online resource that has tools to help families strengthen relationships through shared activities. They have identified 5 research-backed relationship strategies to help us learn and grow with each other.


1. EXPRESS CARE

We all need to know that we are cared about. Teens especially need to feel that their parents care about them. Care is shown when we listen, when we are warm to each other, when we invest in each other, when show interest, and when we are dependable. Research shows that when children and youth have warm caring relationships, they do better in school, have less risky-behavior, work harder, and have a hopeful sense of purpose.


2. CHALLENGE GROWTH

Challenging occurs in many forms in the parent-child relationship. Part of a parent’s role is to challenge their child to grow, learn, and improve. Inspire your teen to see future possibilities for themselves. Give expectations that are clear and communicate that you want your child to live up to their potential. Stretch your child by encouraging them to push beyond their abilities. Provide limitations that hold your child accountable to rules and expectations.


3. PROVIDE SUPPORT

Support also comes in many ways, but there can never be too much of it! Supporting your teen in practical and noticeable ways occurs through encouragement, guidance, modeling, and advocating. As relationships are two-way, so is support. It is good for parents to have support from other adults as a model for your teens.


4. SHARE POWER

“Sharing power” refers to the actions used to influence, learn from, and work with each other. How do you share power then? In our relationships it looks like sharing respect, negotiating (giving each other a voice in making decisions that affect them), responding to each other, and collaborating to accomplishing goals and solve problems.


5. EXPAND POSSIBILITIES

Trying new things, meeting new people, going to new places, and thinking about new ideas are all ways in which you can expand possibilities for yourself and for your teen. Help your teen explore by exposing them to new people, places, and things. Connect them to others that can help them grow. Navigate through problems that could prevent them from expanding their possibilities with them.


Visit parentfurther.com for more information about these strategies and to read about the research backing them. You will also find quizzes and discussion questions to ask your teens. I highly recommend you visit their website and take their free inventory to see growth areas in your own parenting skills with teenagers.


 

A Place of Blessing and Support

Posted by stevem on February 8, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

ello, I am a former MK Camp attendee! The experience of attending that camp was truly eye opening. I learned how to love others better and understand myself more. There is one particular memory, which I still think of fondly. Since I am afraid of heights, when I was climbing on Exodus, Uncle Steve just let me bounce around in my harness, even if I was not moving up or down. Slowly, I found myself climbing upwards. When I reached the top, I was so proud of myself; I could not believe that I had actually climbed it. Besides challenging but rewarding activities, I also had so many opportunities to make new friends or relate with old ones. The memories from camp and the friends I made stay with me, even in this new stage of life.

Now, I am a junior in high school. I have started the great task of preparing for the SAT and have a hefty academic load. Studying psychology or social work appeals to me as a career choice because of many opportunities that it would give me to minister to others. The possibility of helping others through difficulties–emotional, spiritual, or physical–stimulates me to work hard now toward that greater goal.

Through struggles, God has taught me to rely on Him and see the beauty of life around me. I have been an only child for the past 2 years, as my siblings are all in the US following their dreams. Loneliness is something I have been dealing with and fighting against but has brought me closer to Jesus, as He walks through this tunnel with me. He has given me the opportunity to stay in touch with many friends from my camp days. I am still blessed by them and their support in my life. Art and photography are some ways I deal with my struggles. I find myself releasing angst from the past week onto paper or witnessing a moment of beauty through my camera lens. Through it all, God is with me as I continue in the life He has called me, and I am so thankful for the friends and experiences I had at camp that helped me to start on this journey of finding God at a deeper level and loving Him more.


- Anonymous

 

 

 

Skeptical but Surprised

Posted by stevem on January 18, 2017 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)


I have only been to the camp at Severin na Kupi a couple of times. Once was with the Croatian camp, the other was with the MK camp. Both times had a profound impact on my relationship with others, and my relationship with God. The camp provided several great memories of Croatia, both with locals, and expats alike. Every kid should experience what a true summer camp experience is like at least once. At Severin na Kupi, you get that authentic experience while having your spiritual life nurtured.

 

I remember at the start of camp, I was not sure what to expect. All of the MKs I had spoken to said they enjoyed it, but I was a little skeptical. I loved outdoor sporty things, but I was reluctant about the spiritual aspect of the camp. I had the idea that sermons and worship were for Sunday, and that my time would be better spent rock climbing, canoeing, and playing ping pong. I had a preconceived notion of what that aspect of camp would be like, and I was wrong. Instead of long boring sermons, we had great volunteers that had fun stories that were relatable. Worship was fun, not a chore. The student leaders that stepped up created a safe environment to ask tough questions about life and faith. That camp helped lay the ground work for future faith building in my life. I am sure I am not the only one with this type of experience.

 

Meeting other MKs was an important part of growing up overseas. It can be hard to explain what our life is like to someone who has never lived in another culture, so having other MKs with whom you could fellowship, confide in, and grow with, made life abroad easier. I only went to one MK camp, but some of the friendships I made there carried on through middle school, high school, and even college. I was blessed with the opportunity to attend that camp. I wish all MKs had that opportunity.

- Josh Hawkins

 

 

 

 


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