God is always with me

Summer camp at Joy El is in full swing and it is such a joy to hear children all over the facility enjoying the activities and worshipping together. When I was a camper, I always looked forward to Thursday nights. Thursday nights are special at camp because that is when we do campfire. In the midst of…

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First Comes Camp, Then Comes Marriage…

By: Stephanie Ziebarth Barnabas Mentor Coordinator   Aside from admiring his dodgeball prowess, Carly Erisman did not consider Juan Grazette as anything more than a friend during their first few years in the 4.12 Leadership Training Program together.   “We knew each other and knew of each other,” Juan says. “We had mutual close friends.…

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The Bridge Principle

By: Kaleb Jentzsch Associate Director of CIA   Picture a bridge. Yes, they come in many shapes and sizes but picture any bridge you want. Perhaps an old wooden covered bridge that has warning signs like “foot traffic only” or “only one vehicle at a time”. It could be an old one lane stone bridge.…

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A Reason to Celebrate

Rachel Shively Director of the 4.12 Leadership Training Program   When you think of graduation ceremonies, you probably think of photos, decorations, certificates, tears, and all things sentimental. While each of these things played a part in this year’s 4.12 Graduation Celebration, even more beautiful moments and lessons were shared that made this graduation unique…

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Celebrating and Dedicating the Welcome Center!

By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director   There’s nothing like a great celebration! In my 19 years at Joy El I can point to many times of celebration. Every Friday night at the conclusion of summer camp, we celebrate all that God has done during the past week, especially the children who began relationships with…

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How Do I Know?

By: Jan Diaz Director of Bible Adventure   “How do I know if I’m going to Heaven?” The fifth grade student was intently watching and listening as we made words of our paper cross tear activity in Bible Adventure (where I was recently visiting). After the teacher explained the cross and why Jesus had to…

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Vision Brought to Life

By: Aaron Ziebarth Executive Director   Since the first onsite building was constructed in 1974, God has proven Himself faithful, and He has used Joy El to provide opportunities for thousands of children, teens, and adults to experience life-change through personal encounters with Him. Fifteen years ago, in 2005, we began long-range planning for the…

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Developing Biblical Convictions

By: Jordan Wheeler 4.12 Leadership Training Program Coordinator   Research show that developing a biblical worldview impacts how individuals live. At some point, we need to stop and ask the question, “What are my personal convictions?” I had the opportunity to ask and help answer this very question with high school junior and seniors in…

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