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Retirement … What’s That!
by Jessica Beach, Volunteer Coordinator
Phil and Darlene Brooks don’t believe in the concept of retirement, as is evidenced by their lives. While they do not work for pay here at the Camp, they definitely work.
Phil and Darlene have grown with Warm Beach Camp since its inception over 50 years ago. In their so-called retirement years, they have chosen Warm Beach as their home base when they are not out on the road serving through their ministry, Families 101.
For 25 years, Phil served as a pastor in Free Methodist churches, but, in 1992, stepped down after receiving a definitive call from God to work full time in the area of marriage and family ministry.
Through the 46 years of their marriage, Phil and Darlene have learned that harmonious relationships will not only cause us to grow as individuals, but will also improve society as a whole. Their ministry seeks to equip individuals with the tools to cultivate healthy relationships. This ministry first began as homeowners in Wenatchee. Then, seven years ago, the Lord called them to take their ministry on the road.
In 2001, they sold their home and purchased a truck and fifth-wheel travel trailer, and so began their lives as itinerant missionaries. Now they literally follow the call of the Lord all across the United States, ministering to the hearts of pastors, congregations, married couples, and their families by helping them restore broken relationships or simply by providing a listening ear.
Already, since the beginning of the year, the Brooks have traveled from Texas to Oklahoma to Arizona and returned to the Camp, where, I am sure, they will continue to minister to the Camp staff and volunteers, and even the Camp’s guests. It’s just in their blood; they can’t resist.
We are delighted to have Phil and Darlene call the Camp “home” when they are not out on the road. When it comes right down to it, their ministry is about the same thing as the Camp’s – influencing the lives of people with the love of Christ. And, as it says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Through Phil and Darlene, both ministries help the other.
The Brooks have made themselves available at the Camp by participating in Marriage Encounter for 23 years, have been a part of the Engaged Encounter team for 15 years, and have provided seminars during Family Camp for several years.
While they are counselors at heart, Phil and Darlene are also a vital part of our volunteer work force. Since they are so familiar with the Camp, they are irreplaceable during The Lights of Christmas in the area of hospitality. Because of their love for people, whether they are greeting guests, selling tickets, or directing someone to the petting farm, they are in their element. When the Camp is not covered in lights, Phil can be found riding a lawn mower, helping to keep vehicles maintained, or just being a listening ear. Darlene can often be found at the receptionist’s desk, or in the Camp Store – wherever her help is needed at the moment.
So call the Brooks what you will, but retired, they are not. They like to call themselves, “Retreaded.”