Comment

To the Ends of the Earth

Woah, what a whirlwind the past week and a half has been.

From the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar to dancing in a local restaurant with our new friends, we topped off our Holy Land adventure with a full day of exploring the beautiful city of Istanbul. The highlight of the day was visiting the Hagia Sophia.

Inside the Hagia Sophia!

Inside the Hagia Sophia!

When the Roman emperor Constantine moved his capital city to what became known as Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 4th century, he created the first Christian empire and built one of the first churches where we now see the Hagia Sophia. When Constantine declared Christianity a lawful religion, Christians were able to worship in Rome without persecution, and from his Council of Nicaea came the Creed and the Bible that we know today. The Hagia Sophia is the third church built on that piece of land after destructions and renovations, but when you look at it and see the history, you remember that Christianity is what it is today because of a church built right there 1700 years ago.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – Acts 1:8

While we were in Capernaum, Randy, our trip pastor, talked about how we as Americans tend to read that verse and think about the United States as Jerusalem, picturing the rest of the world as the ends of the earth. But Jesus and Paul weren’t in the United States. They were across the world, longing to bring the message to us. From Constantinople and from the other first churches, Christianity has made its way to us, the ends of the earth. Let’s go and see where else we can take it.

Thank you all again for your prayers and support! We can’t wait to see you and tell you all about our information-loaded, faith-strengthening, life-changing adventure.

Dinner and dancing!

Dinner and dancing!

Comment

Comment

A Covenant Keeping God

IMG_3056 (1).jpeg

If you have ever gone on a vacation or trip you know the barrage of questions that accompany your return. The usual questions like, ‘how was it’ or ‘what was your favorite place’, maybe even a ‘tell me everything’. However eager I am to share the blessing that this trip has been, I’ve found myself at a loss of words to adequately describe the experience.

In being asked what my favorite place was I usually respond with, “well, I’ve got a few.” On the tour we managed to cram so much in a week and a half that there’s no way to pick just one thing. So here are my highlights and realizations that came from them.

IMG_2994.jpeg

My first favorite was Ein Gedi. Here we talked about David hiding from Saul in a cave. I liked this place because it was the first time I understood how incorrectly I’d imagined that story and the first place I saw scripture really come alive before my eyes.

IMG_3253.jpeg

My next favorite was Mt. Arbel. You will notice the stark difference in this picture and the previous one. One day we were in the desert and the next we were on a mountain top over looking rich fertile land.

The climb to the top was casual enough but once I reached the top and looked out I was in awe. I have never seen a view like this. As I turned to take in the full 360 view I saw sun rays pouring out between the clouds shining down on the land. It was beautiful. I’d seen this a few times in the states but they don’t compare.

Over the course of the next few days it rained in the evenings and the prevalence in which I saw the rays of sun on the land was unprecedented. We even had the opportunity to see a large rainbow and that’s when it hit me; This truly is God’s promised land, and these are the chosen people, and so are we. “A land flowing with milk and honey.”

IMG_3240.jpeg

The people of Israel are God’s chosen people. I realized how lucky we are to have a covenant keeping God. Just thinking of all the things the Hebrews have endured from the time of Moses to the Holocaust to present day. God has promised them that the land would be delivered into their hands. Today Israel is an independent democratic state. The only democracy in the middle east. God made a covenant with Abraham and to this day has kept that covenant. If God can do that for them over the course of centuries I can”t fathom what God can do for you and I.

IMG_3260.jpeg

The sun setting over the sea of Galilee was a beautiful way to start the leg of our tour discussing Christ’s ministry. This is the water, the waves, the path Jesus and his disciples took on more than one occasion. Where he called his first disciples, boys fishing on the sea in the early hours of the morning. THIS is where it began. The beginning of the fulfillment of God’s ultimate covenant to all believers.

IMG_3382.jpeg

Thank God that He would send His only begotten son, a man without sin to die for us and our sins. The Lord’s ultimate covenant, Good News, for all people. One of many covenants God has kept and will continue to keep. Since this trip I have begun to pray for Israel, it’s people, all those who visit, and the incredible individuals doing ministry there. I invite you to include them in your prayers as well.

Comment

Comment

A Walk in The Life

We spent our last day in Israel visiting the sites that are pillars of our Christian faith. Some of us mentioned that we came on the trip to experience what we saw today. The highlight of our morning journey was visiting Bethlehem and seeing where Jesus would have been born at the Church of the Nativity. We then drove back to Jerusalem and spent the afternoon visiting all of our sites on foot.

Within a five hour period we started at the Mount of Olives, had personal devotional time in the Garden of Gethsemane, heard a message from Rich at the pool of Bethesda, walked the road where Jesus would have carried the cross, saw Golgotha, and the tomb where Jesus was buried and resurrected. Talk about a full afternoon.

The thing I can’t wrap my mind around is that they are all within walking distance from each other. I always imagined that they would be so far apart. For example Jesus was buried less than 30 yards from where he was crucified.

As we finished our day of walking around the City of David we ended our night having a farwell dinner with our trusty tour guide Ronan and our hero of a bus driver Yegal. Two men that took us through the land and taught us so much about the culture. It was a very sad by happy goodbye knowing that they would get a chance to lead another group through the land to experience what we had. Tomorrow morning we wake up at 3am and head to Turkey. Pray for energy for our group. After today, we are going to need it!

Pastor Randy bringing the word on the Mount of Olives

Pastor Randy bringing the word on the Mount of Olives

The star at the place the Manger could have laid

The star at the place the Manger could have laid

Reflection time in the Garden

Reflection time in the Garden

Comment

Building Faith All Year

Comment

Building Faith All Year

Faith development of your child is a parental responsibility when making the commitment to register them for Heartland Camp. At camp, we guide your child to develop their faith and personal relationship with Christ.

Comment

 Small Groups, That's Our Passion

Comment

Small Groups, That's Our Passion

As you might imagine, I talk about Heartland Camp a lot. I am a camp ministry professional, most people talk about their jobs, it makes sense. I end up answering a lot of questions, often focused on the things Heartland does or doesn’t have.

Comment

What Is ACA Accreditation and Why Is It Important For My Camper?

Comment

What Is ACA Accreditation and Why Is It Important For My Camper?

Picking the perfect camp for your child to spend their summer can seem like an overwhelming decision. After all, there are a ton of options at many different price points. One thing that every parent should be looking for when choosing a camp, whether overnight camp or day camp, is ACA accreditation. ACA accreditation signals that the camp has gone above and beyond the basic state compliances and have developed a safe and comprehensive program. 

Comment

Comment

The Unforgettable Moments in Israel

It’s within these beautiful, indescribable moments that the black and white text in my Bible is finally in color. These moments bring an overflow of emotions and feeling of God’s love each time, but they don’t stop there.

Comment

Comment

Through the Hills and Valleys of Jesus

Wow. I cannot believe we have already completed day four of our trip to Israel. Time is flying by, yet just yesterday feels like ages ago. Each day I wonder, “Wow, tomorrow cannot top that…” but it always does.

Comment

Does Summer Camp Make a Difference?

Comment

Does Summer Camp Make a Difference?

If you are considering sending your child to a Christian summer camp, ask the question, “Will it be worth the investment?”. The investment of money, time, and trust. These are valuable resources, summers are busier than ever, and your child is precious. Will it be worth it to trust a summer camp with your child?

Comment

Shalom Shalom from Israel

Comment

Shalom Shalom from Israel

“Shalom Shalom!” as one of our tour guides Ronen would say. And so, after a few days of travel, Heartland Camp’s 2019 trip to Israel has begun. Let me start out by introducing our travelers!

Comment

Why Camp? For Invaluable Skills that Last a Lifetime

Comment

Why Camp? For Invaluable Skills that Last a Lifetime

Camping has long been a traditional rite of passage that demonstrates a shift in increased responsibility and maturity. Today, both children and adults are spending less and less time outdoors. A lot of the blame is placed on the draw of technology. We'd rather play on our tablets than kick a ball around a field, but the loss of outdoor time is also a testament to our busy lives and constant need to be scheduled in order to build the skills we need for the future.

Comment

Son & Moon || Night Owl Camp

Comment

Son & Moon || Night Owl Camp

One of my favorite things ever is when the moon shines so brightly there's a moon-shadow. Now, I'm no astrologist or scientist or whatever you call someone who knows stuff like that, but I know that the moon can only function based on it's position in relation to the sun. 

How much more true is that for us? If we are called to mimic the other Son, shouldn't our lives be postured in relation to best reflect the Son? So that our lives can glow brightly and cast Jesus-light into the depths of the night. 

Comment

Camper Vs Wild

Comment

Camper Vs Wild

What happens when you put 16 kids and 3 counselors in the wilderness? No, this isn’t a start of a bad joke, it’s the start to a great week of camp, all orchestrated by our good good God!

Comment

Middle School Meets 2am

Comment

Middle School Meets 2am

Remember Middle School?

That wacky combination of body changes, wire braces, tougher classes, and all the feels...

Not to mention the people. In and out of your life, back and forth like the wind...how did you know who you could count on? Or what to do, for that matter. It was a wild ride, undoubtedly. 

What if you could do it again? What would make it better?

Comment

The BLAST WEEK EVER

Comment

The BLAST WEEK EVER

Ever wondered what camp would look like if it were focussed on learning of Jesus, living in community, and playing TONS of water games?!

Comment

Trailblazer Time!

Comment

Trailblazer Time!

Come, bring your burdens to God, Come, bring your burdens to God, Come, bring your burdens to God, For Jesus will never say no.”

Comment

Ready, Aim, FIRE: Highlander Archery

Comment

Ready, Aim, FIRE: Highlander Archery

A small moment I won’t forget was pool time on Tuesday. It was slightly drizzling when we got in, but within moments, God opened the flood gates and it was a complete downpour! Instead of complaining about the rain the kids had an insane amount of fun! Climbing on floaties, a fun game a basketball (with the counselors), and I even saw a few campers dancing in the shallow end.

Comment

The Gift of Leadership

Comment

The Gift of Leadership

We will continue on the conversation of what a relationship with the Creator/Jesus looks like and how we are only complete in Him. Camp has been stretching and challenging for most of our campers on some level, but it has been fun to watch them develop and grow through the process.

Comment

Living on the Edge

Comment

Living on the Edge

That's right, we were “edgy,” but none of these activities compare to the edginess of the culture of camp where all are accepted, valued, needed and loved as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Comment