By Courtney Martin, Program Director
Recently at Joy El, a Christian camp and Retreat Center in PA, we invited our 2018 Summer Staff back to fellowship together and celebrate what God has done in their lives since serving this previous summer. This 24-hour reunion allows staff to process how God has been at work in their lives since this past summer and look ahead to where He might be calling them in the future.
We spent time playing games, laughing, reflecting on how we have grown spiritually since last summer, dreaming ahead for this next summer, and engaging deeply in prayer with one other. The time was beyond valuable and we are so glad our staff could get together.
The weeks leading up to this reunion were a time of final confirmations of those attending and reaching out to those who had not RSVP’d. Several of our Summer Staff members traveled multiple hours to serve last summer, so we were unsure how many would be able to attend the reunion.
We realized that we had five Summer Staff members that were searching for transportation leading up to this time. All five were from out of state and did not have a vehicle to get them to Joy El, a Pennsylvania Christian Retreat Center. God continued to open door after door to give these staff the transportation they needed. We saw staff members come from not only Pennsylvania, but also from Washington D.C., Baltimore, Connecticut and Chicago!
As these staff members gathered together they were grateful to God for the opportunity to be back at camp and many of them referred to it as a “second home.” Several of them stayed through and served our 4.12 Leadership Training Students at their January LTS. As they served they shared with students how God was using them.
Reflecting on this past time I cannot help but shake the feeling of community that is created at Joy El. As it’s told time and time again; it is a community that is built on life-change. After all God’s word tells us to not give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25).
We look forward expectantly to the life-change that God is continuing to do in the lives of our Summer Staff and how their lives will be changed and to the impact they will have on campers as we look to the summer ahead.
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Home School Retreat February 7-8 (1-8th Grade)
Bible Adventure Retreat March 1-3 (2-6th Grade)
Mother-Son Retreat March 15-17, (Sons 1-12th Grade)
Father-Daughter Retreat April 12-14, (Daughters 1-12th Grade)
Joy El Camps and Retreats is a Christian Camp in PA, we offer Christian camps and retreats year-round in PA and we are a retreat center in Pennsylvania since 1974. Our focus on making disciples is seen in Bible Adventure and the 4.12 Leadership Training Program