God has formed and changed me through the ministry of Ewalu Bible Camp. The first time I attended Ewalu Bible Camp, I was nine years old. I remember that as soon as my parents left me in this strange wilderness with a bunch of strangers to take care of me, I felt alone, afraid, and ready to go home. However, God is present in every place of need. God was present with me in my first week at Ewalu. God says, “Do not be afraid. I am with you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” Through this week at camp, we lived an intentional and prayerful routine that was centered around God.
We worshiped multiple times a day around campfires, down trails, and in beautiful outdoor chapels. We heard God’s word through daily Bible Study. We sang our thankfulness every time we had a meal. The Holy Spirit bound us together in love and fellowship as we struggled through team building activities. We witnessed to the good news of Jesus Christ as we walked through the forest and acted out scenes from the life of Jesus.
We also had incredible fun as we explored the wilderness, swam in the pool, and ate food cooked over a campfire. Ewalu offers a great many adventurous activities that are exciting. Campers are able to float down the Turkey River in a canoe for the first time. Some campers may face the challenge of the high ropes course where they climb a wall, go down a zipline, and take a leap of faith from the top of a telephone pole.
As the Holy Spirit drew people into this faith-centered community that is rich with activity and possibility, the Spirit also protected every person at the camp. The Spirit called and equipped an excellent staff that had the safety of every one of us as their number one priority. I felt safe in the middle of the woods. I felt safe to express myself and be vulnerable. I felt safe being away from home and unplugged from technology. I felt safe to create lasting friendships.
By the end of my first week, I did not want to go home!! I found a community of love. At the end of this experience, I already felt the call to outdoor and camping ministry. I knew that I was called to grow up and minister to the future kids at Ewalu Bible camp. Since that week at age nine, I have grown to be a long-time summer staff member, volunteer, donor, and avid supporter of the ministry at Ewalu Bible Camp. Part of my call as a pastor is to also encourage you to immerse yourselves in the intentional Christian community at Ewalu Bible Camp.
I encourage you all to register your children or grandchildren for a week at Ewalu Bible Camp. (Early Bird Discount Deadline is on April 18th.) I hope that you will look at the Family Camp weekend experiences. For those who like to work outdoors, Ewalu has a Spring Volunteer Work Weekend on May 7th. For those who love to quilt, craft, or attend an auction of quilts and crafts, Ewalu hosts an annual Fall Festival and Quilt Auction. I encourage you all to find an opportunity to see the beauty of God’s creation at Ewalu. I hope that Ewalu can serve you as a place to connect the Word of God with the world of God.
Pastor Tyler Hoey, April 2022