Lutheran Brethren Family Bible Camp has been going for 69 years. Fifty-five of those years have been in ministry partnership with Warm Beach Camp, forming a family-like relationship. Zoe and her family have been a part of their Family Camp for many years. Her testimony bears witness to the amazing ways God changes lives at Warm Beach Camp.

“I want to thank everyone at Warm Beach Camp for keeping the path clear to the cross all these years. It has made all the difference in our family. For a long time my husband did not know Christ. He is a long haul truck driver, and could be a hard person to live with before Christ. In 2002 he made a commitment to come to camp with our family. Towards the end of the week, he responded to the invitation to meet and accept Jesus Christ.” 

The positive change in the family was dramatic and enduring. Zoe cherishes the photos of her husband being ordained an Elder in the Lutheran Brethren Church a few years later. Her family has been forever changed for the good.

One of her sons, a Navy sailor, recently recounted how much it meant to him to attend Lutheran Brethren Family Camp through his childhood years. He even decided to donate campership money so others could continue to come and grow up with the same significant experience at camp. 

Zoe’s story illustrates the ways that life changes here. We are grateful for all those who work faithfully in partnering with us to keep the path clear to the cross.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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It came in the mail... a bulky envelope from a partnership ministry who sent several kids to summer camp who have experienced some hard things in life. Donors of Warm Beach Camp made camp possible for these kids by giving to the Kids 2 Camp scholarship fund.

In the envelope were several thank you notes. Each thank you note read like a precious gift to me. "Thank you for helping me come to camp." read one. Another stated, "I made some really good friends at camp." One camper said, "I really like the horse you gave me to ride, can I ride it again next year?"

A few of the notes talked specifically about camp chapel times. "The chapels were the best part of camp." And, "I really liked the things we talked about."

Each note filled me with gratitude for many reasons:

  1. Every camper had a great experience.
  2. The generosity of people giving to Kids 2 Camp scholarships makes this possible.
  3. The Warm Beach staff and volunteers did a fantastic job meeting each kid right where they were.
  4. The kids hope they can return.
  5. Several kids grew in their connection with God.

I am so grateful for an entire ministry that bends itself for the well-being of kids, giving them a chance to be loved and connect with God. I am also grateful the kids took time to say thank you.

For all who helped, and will help, make camp possible for kids - THANK YOU.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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The ministry of Warm Beach Camp takes on many forms. The most publicly visible aspects of the ministry are programs we plan and sponsor, such as Special Friends Camps for adults with disabilities, Horsemanship Camps, and The Lights of Christmas Festival. Yet, the majority of guests who come to Warm Beach Camp attend year-round events produced by nearly 300 different church, school, or non-profit groups that rent our facilities.

These guest groups are our partners in ministry. Each group’s event, in their unique way, is designed to change lives and transform communities.

Earlier this year, we heard from a group who specifically focuses on ministry to the Japanese community in the Puget Sound Region. JEMS (Japanese Evangelical Mission Society) has been holding annual family camps at Warm Beach Camp for decades. Their PNW Director, Carolyn Shimabukuro, shared the following in her newsletter:

How wonderful it is to open an email and read, “I have great news from the JEMS Warm Beach Camp (Aug. 2016)... a Japanese guy... received Christ on December 31. PTL! He has joined our men’s Bible study and will come to our church.” The seeds of the gospel were planted at Warm Beach and with four months of watering through prayers, friendship, and additional partnerships with conferences and churches, this young man received Christ. One by one people are coming into an authentic relationship of faith in Jesus Christ. God uses all of us as a wonderful Body of Christ – and we can all praise Him for being the One who makes all things grow.

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7

Warm Beach Camp provides Christ-centered hospitality in partnership with groups like JEMS and God uses this to invite people into relationship with Himself. While much of the daily tasks for Warm Beach Camp’s staff are cleaning, cooking, office work, maintenance, and grounds keeping, etc. we are encouraged how God weaves together the work of many to accomplish His purposes on Earth. This is our way of, “keeping the path clear to the cross” and it is this hope which sustains us. God is at work. Life changes here.

Patrick Patterson, General Manager/C.O.O.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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At the heart of a camp or retreat experience at Warm Beach Camp is one thing: An invitation to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

In our world today, we are dealing with all kinds of problems and proposed solutions. We see the realities of this show up at camp all the time. Jesus offers a clear response — it is surprisingly simple, and yet life changing. Jesus invites us into relationship.

Warm Beach Camp is all about inviting people into relationship. The people, experiences, and programs are all built around healthy relationships that communicate love and acceptance. Forgiveness is lived out daily. Grace is extended. Community values are practiced for the benefit and encouragement of everyone.

There is a simple truth — healthy relationships are the basis for a healthy world. God made us this way. There is one relationship that brings it all together and allows life to work... a relationships with Jesus Christ.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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KoreaTeam2017The Church in South Korea is inspiring. With a fraction of the population of America, it is the second largest missionary-sending country in the world, just behind the U.S.! Korean Christians are some of the most passionate of any in the world.

Nevertheless, only 30% of Koreans express faith in Christ. Korean Christians are working hard to reach their fellow citizens. One of the effective means of reaching Koreans with the Gospel is through English language learning.

Myungsun Presbyterian Church, just outside of Seoul, has an extensive outreach through English ministry. The key to their success is an annual summer English Camp in South Korea and a Summer American Immersion experience here in the Pacific Northwest. Warm Beach Camp partners with Myungsun to send a team of 10-20 American youth and adults to South Korea to work with them in ministry. And each summer, 30 Korean young people attend a week of Warm Beach summer camp as part of their American cultural experience. 

This year, a twelve-person Warm Beach Camp Korea ministry team served in South Korea August 1-15, 2017. They were joined by 20 Korean young people who rapidly immersed the team in Korean culture building effective teamwork. Once oriented, the team joined the Korean hosts in ministry to the homeless, holding the English day camp at a local church and a week-long English Camp. The experience is truly a ministry immersion with our Korean hosts.

English Camp combines English language learning with camp-style games, crafts, music, and sports. Along with ministry to elementary-age campers, Korean and American High School students enter a leadership track where they will assist with the camp and spend time in biblical leadership studies led by the U.S. Team Pastor.

The Lord always reaches deeply into the hearts of His people as we go and engage in the work to which He calls us. Saying “Yes” to Jesus when He calls us to go is the first step in a journey of transformation.

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Faith and JamesOn July 9th Faith and James Oates and their kids pulled into Warm Beach Camp. Faith is Warm Beach Camp’s new Volunteer Coordinator, and James is the new Assistant Plant Manager.

Faith grew up in Christian camping at Oak Glen Christian Conference Center in Southern California. The Oates family moved to Warm Beach Camp from Glorieta Camp 2.0 in New Mexico where Faith was the Front of the House Food Service Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, and James was the Facilities Director.

Faith and James have five children: Zach, Grace, Hope, Grady, and Wesley. The Oates family is fitting right in at Warm Beach and we are excited to have them as a part the Camp Family!

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Erica Graf 150pxErica Graf served on the staff at Warm Beach Camp in 1989-1991. She was an emerging leader at that time. Now she serves as Early Childhood and Events Coordinator at Cascade Community Church. Recently, she came to Warm Beach Camp for a weekend of R&R and shared this story of life change.

Often as we minister, we plant seeds of God's love and the Gospel. Rarely, do we get to see the result of a long germination period...

One week, during a summer I spent as a horsemanship camp counselor at Warm Beach Camp, I had a precocious camper arrive who promptly pulled me aside to share that, while she understood this was a "religious" camp and there would be "religious" teachings, she did not come from that kind of background. She was polite and respectful, but wanted me to know I should not expect her to be swayed by what was shared–she was just there for the horses. I thanked her for being so upfront and assured her no one would attempt to coerce her into any kind of belief system. During the week, while she did have many questions during our Bible study times and following chapel services, I genuinely believed that as an intelligent girl, she was merely curious and wanted to understand what was being spoken. She gave no indication of having been spiritually impacted in any way by what was taught. At the end of the week, we parted happily–and she was still very firmly "non-religious." As the summer wore on, I mostly forgot about the experience.

A few years after that summer, I received a letter from this camper via my parents. In the letter she relayed to me that, now in high school, she had accepted a friend's invitation to accompany her to youth group. She enjoyed herself and began attending regularly. As she began to listen to the messages of the Gospel being shared, she was flooded with memories of her experience at Warm Beach those few years ago, and all the things that had been shared about God, the Gospel, and having a relationship with Jesus Christ. It all began to make sense to her and to reach her heart. She eventually prayed to receive Jesus and was now in a growing relationship with Him. She was writing to thank me for being the first person in her life to share the Gospel with her and patiently (but not forcefully) answer her questions. She was so grateful for how we had begun, even then, to point her toward Jesus.

Besides being thrilled with the news that she is now a believer, I was humbly reminded that many times we aren't aware of the impact we are having as we minister to others. Even when it looks like we're not making any inroads, the Spirit is at work and the Word is not void. Seeds planted germinate at different times. God's timing is perfect.

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YouthCamp 2009 218 350pxA camp counselor took some time to pray before the Night of Reflection at Warm Beach Youth Overnight Camp. She asked God to open up the hearts of her campers, and to break down any walls they had up. As she was reading her devotion one night, she came across a sentence that read, “If you keep praying…God will knock down the walls you are facing.” As she was praying for her campers, God was speaking the same truth to her! When she took a walk that night, two girls approached her and wanted to talk about their struggle with God, and invited her to pray for them. Walls came down and prayer was answered. God always speaks to our own hearts as we are praying for the words to share with others, doesn’t He? Add a comment

specialFriends400The Easter egg hunt at Warm Beach Camp was a big hit at the Special Friends Play Day the Saturday before Easter. And yet, what if you are blind? How do you participate? One young “buddy” brilliantly led her blind camper to the tennis courts where Easter eggs were placed in the webbing of the tennis nets for this camper to discover. Oh, the joy! This precious blind camper was able to find Easter eggs by feeling her way along the tennis nets!

Special Friends Camps for adults with special needs, creatively accepts, loves, encourages, plays, and shares hope. We cannot cure anyone or rescue anyone from their circumstances. However, during the time our Special Friends campers are here, we can enter into the world of “Camp” and laugh, love, and learn together. Through this, the Spirit of Christ brings hope, touches hearts, and truly transforms the spirits of people. He cherishes as His very own.

In his article, “The New Discrimination (It’s Just the Old Discrimination),” John Hiski Ridge J.D., PhD concludes his own story as a parent of a special needs daughter, “There may be a happy ending to this story, but I don’t know what the future holds. The best we can do now is hope.”

The heart of the Special Friends program at Warm Beach Camp, is to offer hope with joy, acceptance, and love. Join us in this journey. https://www.warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs  

Life changes here

Patrick Patterson, General Manager/C.O.O.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Lakeland2017 IMG 1141Since 2007, the Senior Class of Lakeland Florida Christian School comes to Warm Beach Camp every spring for a “serving Senior Class trip.” About 90 seniors bring their best to any kind of work we throw their way. This year it included putting together new playground equipment, landscaping upgrades, weeding, clearing existing trails, blazing new trails, deep cleaning, building new picnic tables, and getting the RV area ready.  

More importantly, the students, faculty, administration and board of Lakeland Christian School are demonstrating values by how they choose to live and make a difference in this world. They show up to serve and make a real difference for the glory of God. They are helping to keep the path clear to the cross of Jesus Christ at Warm Beach Camp.

It all began in 2007 with the need to change plans for their Senior Class trip. The school’s travel agent in Florida said, “Years ago I gave my life to Christ at Warm Beach Camp at a Men’s Conference. You ought to check them out.”  Here we are, this many years later, as real ministry partners.  

One of my favorite moments each year is when the Lakeland seniors and faculty gather in a tight cluster together with the Warm Beach Camp staff surrounding them. The Warm Beach staff speaks words of blessing and prayer over their lives, asking for God’s direction and guidance at this incredible time of graduation.  

Giving God thanks for the many ways He accomplishes His work through Warm Beach Camp.

With gratitude in Christ,

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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