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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FCamp IMG 1653 400pxHave you ever sat down with an elderly person and listened to them reminisce? If so, you’ve probably heard a lament that goes something like, “Where did the time go?”

Your family legacy can be one of shared family and faith experiences. Oasis Family Camp offers just such a time to build memories and relationships. Camp offers a getaway adventure that immerses you in fun, faith, and family for the whole five days. This “larger than life” experience together is made for sharing, not just consuming. You worship and learn about the faith walk with Jesus Christ that is both age appropriate and something you can share together.

One of last year’s attendees shared, “God has truly blessed us with such special relationships we have made and continue to make each year at Family Camp. Our kids were called to the altar and God is clearly working in their lives. Our hearts were so full of JOY by the end of camp. It is truly our favorite week of the year!”

At Oasis Family Camp, not only are family relationships strengthened but new friendships emerge. Extended families can join together in something like a reunion without anyone having to plan it all. Over time, Oasis Family Camp becomes an anchor point, a family tradition that is much greater than you would imagine. Real transformation occurs. Many years down the road, gratitude can replace lament when you reminisce about the past. Gratitude for God’s faithfulness and the lifetime of memories and joy shared at Family Camp.

For more information about Oasis Family Camp, visit https://www.warmbeach.com/programs/family-programs/family-camp

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

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“Spy Kids” was a series of family films that came out several years ago. The story is of a family of spies with cool gadgets and gizmos. After a “dangerous adventure” that ends with dramatic success and epic music, one of the spy kids says, “Family is the greatest adventure of all!”

Truly, family is one of life’s greatest adventures.

Jesus says the two greatest commandments are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In the midst of raising kids, it is easy to minimize God in our lives. The pressures of making life work every day are unending. Yet, something incredible happens when we keep pursuing God in the midst of it all – we see just how much He loves and cares for us.

My wife, Bev, and I try to do two things every day in seeking God – we pray together and read from God’s Word. It doesn’t always happen, but we never give up. In the simple effort of praying and reading God’s Word, we connect with God and sense His love and care for us, even when the tough things come.

By loving God with everything we’ve got, we connect with the depth of His love for us. His love is so much better than our love. An amazing thing happens next… His love flows through us to our kids. In effect, Bev and I are loving our kids as we love ourselves.

In my journey of parenting, I have come up against myself in so many ways. I have experienced me being selfish, greedy, controlling, angry, passive… (you get the point). Yet, by leaning into Jesus’ two great responses, I experience how much I am loved, and that love is shared with my children. My kids actually experience Jesus’ love through me.

As you continue on the great adventure of family, thank Jesus for pointing out the two greatest commandments. Pursue them, and it will change your family life.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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