Saturday, September 5, 2015

The end of one Chapter and the beginning of another.

We would like to start off thanking all of you for everything over the years. Almost 4 years ago we arrived at Victory Bible Camps and Conference Center December 15, 2011, but we have been part of camp off and on together since September, 2008. When we were in the “support raising” stages of this great adventure, it was obvious that the Lord was opening doors to bring us to Victory. The Lord used people to encourage us, support us, and to pray for us during this entire experience. It’s a blessing to look back and see how everything was lined up and has worked out. We have enjoyed serving the Lord here at Victory as we have been through a lot in the years we have been here. We all have grown a lot in our relationship with the Lord, each other, and with our family. We have seen God work in us and in the camp.
Since this past April we have been praying and searching our hearts on what the Lord is doing in us. There was a feeling of unrest. We didn’t know what was not sitting right, but we just gave it to the Lord over and over again. We just trusted in the Lord to lead us. We went into summer asking God for wisdom and guidance. In the middle of July, we felt as if things were stirring. So we went to the Lord with the idea of starting an auto shop in the community. I, Jared, called together a “council of men” asking some local men for their input on what we felt was stirring. The council that I chose was the pastor, 3 elders, and 2 trusted friends. Three out of the six men were business owners in the community. Yet again God used others to help us see His plan. Those men prayed with us and encouraged us that it would be a great opportunity to serve God as a mechanic in the community. This would also be a good move to be a closer part of the community. Over the past few years, we have developed many relationships in the community. Our hearts are still at camp, but over the last year our hearts have transitioned to the community.
A gentleman from the church and the community has a shop that he had offered to us for business use back 2 years ago already. He also brought it up again this past winter. This individual wants to see us succeed and is willing to help us get started in any way he can. He and I met several times over the past summer discussing logistics. Kacie and I took a step back and asked ourselves if we could really become business owners. So Kacie and I prayed and decided this was the route that we were to pursue. We also have a small house that we can rent near the shop. It needs a little work, but we plan on being moved in by September 1. God has been good to us. We love ministry and serving others. God showed us how we can glorify Him in this area. He also prepared us for this by working on all the different camp vehicles and equipment.
We are excited to let you all know that things are ending for us at Victory Bible Camps and Conference Center as of August 31st. We are nervous and eager to open up our own auto shop business. We look forward to what God has in store for us in this new chapter of our lives. We don’t know all the details yet. We would love your prayers during this transition period of our lives.
            Again, we can’t thank our supporters, family, and friends enough for all you have done for us through the years. We appreciate each and every one of you.

With Christ,
Jared and Kacie Werkema & family
New Address
66502 S. Keith's RD
Sutton, AK 99674

***If you have any questions please call ( 907-746-7124), email, or facebook us. We are not receiving a pay check from Victory for the month of September. If you send a gift to the camp it WILL NOT be going to us, but into General Funds.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The end of summer 2015

Wow summer camp is done. What a crazy fast time of the year. So much to do. So many things going on.  We could be busy every night if we wanted to. Thankfully there are many people to help out and be a part of the different events. Whether it is chapel, water front, workteam night events, or night time games for the kids.
                The summer staff was so much fun to get to know. It was a mature group of staff. Don’t get us wrong. The summer staff still would act their age and had fun. There was also summer help in the kitchen that was unmeasurable in all the work they did here. One of the kitchen help who has been here year after year is Adri Ruisch. She is an amazing Woman. Adri can create a meal out of leftover to feed like 50 people no problem. Also for half the summer Adri’s husband and daughter were here to help out. The other family helps put the brakes on Adri or she would just work all day and night. She is a very hard worker.
You know the saying, many hands makes light work. Well that is very true with camp. It is so big and there is no way the full time staff could keep up with the demands of up keep and remodels at the same time. Here is a small list of things that have been done. There are somethings that we may have forgotten.
  • Painting outside of Douglas, Spruce Lodge, Alder, Pump house (the rest of Conference housing will be painted in August is the plan)
  •  8 sets of Curtains in Alder
  • Interior paint up and downstairs in Alder
  • Remodel of the boys bathroom in Miracle Lodge
  • Extra help in the kitchen
  • Dirt work in front of some of the houses to prevent water drainage into the houses.
  • Demo and rebuild of a some retaining walls
  • Drywall patching and fixing
  • Help with housekeeping
  • Plus there is so much more

There is so many things that volunteers do at camp. It is a huge part of making the camp able to keep running and getting projects done. We can’t thank them enough for all that they do here.

Here are some pictures from different weeks of camp. Total there was 571 campers this summer. We know a lot of fun was going on but more importantly God's love and truth was poured into the campers. 

Chapel time... What a blessing.

Adventure camp this summer. They had a waiting list each week of that camp.

The new blob. Thank you Forest Grove Church

One of the speakers. 

trail rides

We thank you all for your love and support here at Victory Bible camp. Also thank you for your prayers. There are many things that have happened this summer.We know that God was and is in control of all of those events. 

Please keep us in your prayers this week 
  •  2 different work teams here at the camp. It will be busy and can be stressful.
  • Physical health 
  • Camp as it transitions into it's conference season
  • For the Leadership and Future of this camp
  • The seeds that were planted in kids this summer that they may grow into fruit and a relationship with the One and only Lord and Savior
  • That  God maybe the main Focus of all who step foot onto the camp. Whether they are staff, Volunteers, outpost ( that is the year long internship program), or it is guest.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Making memories

Ok so summer staff is in this week of orientation. That means the business is here. So we thought we should share how we prepare as a family for summer to start. We went camping over Memorial day weekend. Also the beginning of that same week Jared, Alison, and Nicholas went Halibut fishing with friends. Here are some pictures of the fun times as a family.
Ok let me explain.. There was a bee nest and they guys were handling it with bb guns. It was a good practice of shooting on the fly. 

Enjoying the fire

Kids playing Uno and other card games. We taught them how to play dice.

Shooting at tin cans with bb guns

it was hot so this is all the boys shirtless.

Guys working on Grilling over the fire.

The view was great

Kids making lunch

Walking in the water with Evelynn

Playing catch with all the boys
Firewood. Yes we even ran out

fishing for rainbow trout

looking for bugs, frogs, or other animals to catch

Nicholas turn target shooting 

The Girls shooting the barrel and cans.

Evelynn and her fish

So we went with another family from our church. They have 4 kids and we have 4.. So 8 kids 4 adults Yeah we were out number. But everyone had a friend to play with or hangout with. It was a great camping trip. We look forward to going again in the fall before school starts.

Fishing Trip
Alison's Halibut. She is so hooked on fishing.

Her Skate she caught.

Nicholas with his fish.
This was down in Ninilchik Alaska. It is about 6 hour drive one way. But it was a great time and we were blessed with fish in the freezer. Thanks again Jake and Heather for letting us go.

Jared and Alison Bear hunt
This was at the beginning of May. It was just Jared and Alison sending time together. They hiked a lot and looked for bears. They only found tracks that were old. They both enjoyed time together.

This is how we start summer off. We are so thankful for our friends that went camping with us, our friends that took us fishing, and that we can send some much need time together as a family before  Summer camp starts.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Now that the Christmas season is over we realize what a joy it is to celebrate the gift of Christ. After the New Year, it comes natural to reflect on the past year. Recapping last year starting from the beginning of 2014. Oh the memories of frozen pipes and up all night trying to thaw them out. That was much of Jan. 2014. Feb was intense for a day or two. This is the month the loader broke through ice on the lake. Everything turned out okay. God was watching over all of us. March was exciting with hosting some of the biggest groups of the year. The annual mountain man camp out took place that month. All the men and boys love those outings. During the months of April and May, we spend time gearing up for outdoor education, homeschool book fair, recruiting summer help and serving groups. May was a busy month and the start of the busy summer. Starting May 1 through Aug. 31 we are busy 6-7 days a week. We set up water front, put the docks in, orientation week with swim test, no thank you, and we were able to squeeze in a 2 day fishing get away as a familyJ. June was unique this past year. We had six inches of snow on the 2nd.  Lots of work and work teams. July, we enjoyed the company of Jared’s dad and brother, Caleb. They were here visiting and working for a good week.

Over the summer:
First time Salvation – 55 kids
Rededication – 116 kids
Made a commitment to daily spend time with God – 209 kids
Desire mentor ship – 29 kids
Committed to attend church regularly – 51 kids

This feels like a long time ago.

 The month of Aug. started out with three work team groups from the “Dangerous for Good” ministry. They are very big groups of guys and girls ready and roaring to get jobs done. Also, a wonderful team from Vermont that faithfully dedicates a couple weeks here each year. Our sending church was here on a work team that month as well. We had a lot of fun in Aug. Then Kacie’s mom and dad were here for a couple of weeks. Lots of visitors last year! There was a fire up on Victory peak above camp. We were able to watch the forestry people and a helicopter drop water on the burn areas. We are thankful to know that God was, and is, in control. September was a month of cutting firewood, picking berries, moose hunting, and preparing for winter. Camp was still busy with some school groups and weekend retreats. October was slower paced and time well spent playing catch up. Jared was able to breathe and take on some projects that he had to put off because of summer. November was hard. Kacie’s grandma Van Koevering passed away after a heart attack. She was able to be with her family in Michigan during that hard time.  At the end of November we enjoyed Thanksgiving with our friends, the Cote` family. It was wonderful time spent together. They also have four kids. They all seem to have fun playing together outside, no matter what the temperature.
                Now we are able to pick up with this month at the beginning of December. Jared had the opportunity to go to Galena on an “In reach” trip.  “In reach” is a part of Victory that helps other ministries throughout Alaska. The guys enjoyed their time spent in the bush. There were 4 guys on this trip Jared, Ryan, Mark, and Ron (the pilot from Kingdom Air Corp). The temperatures ranged from -10 to 0 degrees. The group of guys were able to be there for 3 nights and 4 days. In that time they were able to work on 3 or 4 snow machines, chainsaws, the village school bus, and some other random projects.

Christmas this year was a surprise for the kids. Jared’s Parents showed up here for Christmas. It was a great Christmas present for the kids. It was wonderful time as a family and surely a Christmas to remember. All of us enjoyed the time together. Jared took his dad on a snow machining trip up into the mountains with some other friends. Both Jared’s mom and dad enjoyed and absorbed all the time they could with the grandkids. Especially Jared’s mom because, she was not able to make it to Alaska in July when Jared’s dad and brother came up.
Now with the New Year started we are able to look forward to what God has in store for us all this year. We were blessed with so many visitors and moments of making memories. While writing out what happened over the last year, we know that we were busy and, it seems crazy busy when we look back, but it was all worth it. To God be the Glory… We are so very thankful to be here and able to serve Him. He has protected us, helped us, provided for us, and used us for His glory. We are so grateful for God’s love for us and for Victory Bible Camps.
We know that Camp is in for some changes. We will be getting to know a new staff family, the Lenichek’s. They are starting the middle of this month. Also it is public knowledge that camp will be losing a staff family this month. The Matt and Carole Scherrer family have decided to pursue God’s calling to Montana. They have been here almost 14 years. They are a huge part of camp and the community. It will be sad to see them leave.  It is wonderful to see God opening and closing doors for camp. We know that God is going to provide for those who follow Him.
There were many answered prayers this year. We were blessed with enough summer help, a new snow plow and truck, light duty truck, two vans, a suburban, an expedition, no bad injuries over the summer, wonderful work teams, tons of accomplishments done around camp, people able to work together serving the Lord and a great end to the season. We are sure there are many more. Some personal answered prayers are safety, comfort with the loss of grandma, patience and love with raising our kids, financial support, providing wood, moose meat and a place to live. There are so many ways God has answered our prayers this year. We praise Him for all that He has done.
We want to thank everyone for all the prayers, thoughts, love and financial support for us through the last year. We would like to encourage you all to look back at your past year and look for how God has answered your prayers. How has God worked in your life? In the coming year if you feel doors are opening for you to serve either in your church, community, or farther than your comfort zone, we urge you to follow that door God opens for you.

How can you get involved?
If you would like to send a donation or to download
 the PDF to volunteer at Victory, you can do so online! has links for both.
If you have question just let us know.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Just Pictures

Visiting the Reindeer Farm in Palmer. The kids had fun. We went with another family from camp. There was 2 adults and 9 kids. A little crazy, but we made a lot of memories.

Jared and Kenten had a day long trapping class in town. Learning the basic of trapping.

First muskrat from index lake at camp.

First Beaver off index lake. Jared and the boys enjoy checking the traps.

Riding in style going to get the Christmas tree.

2014 Christmas tree.

 Kacie Christmas Present. Book Shelves. We still have to stain and seal it. ( Jared was not sure what color to stain it) Finished picture to come.

Enjoying the snow as a family.

Grandpa and Grandma with Alaskan grandkids

The whole family.

Looking down the road.