In January of 2007, Barbara Bird was diagnosed with breast cancer. Barbara recalls, “I said to my doctor, ‘yesterday I couldn’t even spell “breast cancer” and now I have it!’” After Barbara was diagnosed, she underwent surgery, chemo and radiation. Because these treatments took such a toll on Barbara’s immune system, she ended up in the hospital numerous times.
In March of 2007, Barbara underwent her last treatment of radiation. By this time, all of her hair had fallen out. “I was really at the bottom of the barrel.” said Barbara.
Refresh Women’s Event at Warm Bach Camp was just around the corner. Barbara had attended the women’s retreat for the past 12+ years and she wasn’t going to let cancer stop her from going again. Without hesitation, Barbara packed her bags – wig and all - and headed off to Warm Beach Camp with a group of women from her church.
During the retreat, the group of women from Barbara’s church always take time to sit together and share about the things that are hard for them. Then they take time to pray individually for one another. “During the 2007 retreat, I had all my sisters praying for me to be cancer free, and I am!” said Barbara, overjoyed.
No matter where you are in life, Refresh Women’s Event is a time to be renewed and revived. “I feel like it’s a privilege to get to go to the women’s retreat, to be there on holy ground. To worship and pray with other women in Christ is invaluable. When we come, me and the women in my group don’t want to leave.” said Barbara.
This year’s women’s retreat will make 20+ years of Barbara attending Refresh Women’s Event, and seven years cancer free.
If you would like more information about Refresh Women’s Event, happening May 2-4, 2014 at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA, visit our website at WarmBeach.com/programs/adult-programs/womens-eventsAdd a comment
It was clearly going to be impossible to cram over 50 soggy Special Friends campers and their buddies into the tiny Pines building near the front entrance of the Camp but every one needed to get under cover. Laurie Fertello, Disabilities Ministries Director, quickly discovered that the Program Center Auditorium happened to be available that day. The Auditorium was the perfect location for the rest of the day’s impromptu Day Camp activities. A few campers and their buddies grabbed basket balls and began shooting hoops, or playing catch, but by far the biggest attraction in the Program Center was the stage. The minute the campers saw it their inner star began screaming for a moment in the spotlight. So, it was decided that the day’s main activity was going to be a talent show. The variety of talent displayed was dizzying, Karate demonstrations, musicians, and dancers all graced the stage but there was one camper that caught Laurie’s attention the most.
He climbed the stairs slowly and intently and took his place at center stage. He held his microphone with both hands and bowed his head. Silence swept over the crowd of campers as the young man continued to pause dramatically. When he finally raised his head, and brought the microphone to his mouth, and he began to speak. This young man had a speech problem and while he was speaking, only every tenth word was understandable. He paced the stage, speaking with inflection and meaning and every once in a while he would say “YOU!” and point dramatically at a camper, and would continue his dissertation emphasized by his pacing, and then another “YOU!”
Laurie looked on perplexed for a while, wondering what this young man’s talent was, and then she understood. He was preaching! Laurie looked around at every Special Friends camper in that room and their eyes fixed on this young man. Not only were they paying attention, Laurie realized, they were understanding what he was saying. Laurie may not have understood but the campers did.
Laurie stood thinking about this for several minutes, and in that moment, the Lord spoke to her heart and said “You are underestimating these people’s capacity to understand the spiritual aspect of their life.” This led Laurie on an ongoing journey about what it means to minister spiritually to the hearts of mentally and physically disabled individuals.
Warm Beach Camp’s Special Friends Day Camp is one of the few camps in Washington State that serves persons age 15 and up who have special needs. Just one hour north of Seattle in north Snohomish County, Special Friends Day Camp offers campers amazingly creative camp activities in a highly supervised, supportive setting. Each camper is matched with a volunteer “Buddy,” who engages with them in the camp experience. For more information on attending or volunteering at Special Friends Camp, visit Warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs.
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Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are known for being coffee drinkers. If you enjoy a good cup of coffee as a part of your day, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for you to have your coffee and, at the same time, help send a child to camp at Warm Beach?
Warm Beach Camp is excited to partner with Camano Island Coffee Roasters who, when you purchase their coffee through this program, will donate 10% of the sale to WBC’s Kids 2 Camp program. You will enjoy your coffee, and a child who otherwise would not be able to go to camp will get an opportunity to spend a week at camp this summer.
Without sounding like a commercial, I have to tell you, the coffee from Camano Island Coffee Roasters is pretty good! It is certified organic, and grown in the shade which produces a better tasting coffee. They are a fair trade company who provides a fair wage for the coffee farmers, and they work in partnership with Agros International to provide training and education for the farmers on how to run their operations in a sustainable way that improves the quality of life for their families.
You’re probably going to buy coffee anyway. Why not drink coffee that makes a difference in the world. For more information on how you can purchase coffee and help raise funds for the Kids 2 Camp program, please go to their Kids 2 Camp coffee website. Follow the three easy steps to get a free pound of coffee to try and set up the size and schedule for your next order. Then, sit back and smell the coffee!
May we say, “Thank you?”
We invite you to join us in a time of appreciation as we honor you, our partners, for the important role you play in keeping this ministry strong and growing. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us.
Please join us as our guests on Saturday, May 11, at 6 pm in the Program Center Auditorium for a delicious soup supper, and special music. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
You will be receiving an invitation card in the mail soon with more information, but please put the date on your calendar now.
The people who stand with us as volunteers and donors are vital to making the ministry of Warm Beach Camp work, and we think it is important to tell you that once in a while. The Partners in Ministry members have a huge impact on the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Come as we celebrate in the joy of the victories God has given us.
I really hope to see you there!
Please note: reservations are required. Please help us prepare by making your reservations by May 4.You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.
There are many opportunities for you to partner with us in ministry.