Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer is coming to a close. As the last week of summer camp has come to an end, we can tell that change is in the air again. The summer staff know their leaving dates. The full time staff should be taking a breath of relief, and then changing into the conference season way of operations. Although the upcoming month is going to be busy. There are only about 3 days in Aug. with no guest groups on the grounds. It will be a time that the staff can work together to bring glory to God. There are several all call "Quick Turns" and I mean very quick. "Quick Turns" are necessary when a group leaves and another one is coming in within just a few hours. They require all staff to get together and to clean all housing, prepare activity areas, and to set up whatever may be needed for our guests. We are very thankful for the guest groups that come to camp. The kids come to camp and hear about God. Their hearts are open, because it is new to them. When adults come to camp on a retreat, we take the time to shine the light of Jesus by serving them well. We may not see them make commitments or renew their relationship with God when they are here, but we just have to trust the Lord and know that He is at work in all of them as well as us too.
We made some sun pickles. We also were able to can a bunch of mushrooms.

 Here is our wood supply so far. Also the deck just needs stairs and it is done.

Some of the latest highlights of our Summer are Jared’s dad and youngest brother (Caleb) came up for a week long visit. They worked at camp doing some fixing on a cement walk way and some stone work. This was very special because, he took what his Dad (Jared's Grandpa) taught him and used these skills to serve God at VBC.  In the evenings, we were able to go hiking, fishing, canoeing, and 4 wheeling to enjoy God's creation. It went by so fast. It was also fun to see them play with the kids every chance they got. Evelynn loved kissing on Caleb. It was too cute.
Fishing on Shallow Lake
Wrestling with Grandpa Werkema.

Hiking to the Fossil beds.

We have noticed the days are getting shorter. We are loosing about 6 minutes a day. That is about a half an hour a week. We have seen some yellow on some of the trees already. We know that fall is near. It is cooling off at night, which makes for nice sleeping weather. The berries are out in full abundance too. The kids and Kacie go picking and have about 2 1/2 gallons in the freezer so far. There will be more to come because some berries will get better with cooler temps. We are also working on cutting fire wood for the winter. We are about a quarter way done. We make it a full family event working together. Alison and Evelynn's job is to pick berries and keep away from falling trees. Kenten and Nicholas are a big help this year with hauling wood. The boys help move the branches and brush out of the way so Jared can get the four wheeler in place to haul the logs out.  Kacie picks berrys and helps with the heavy lifting. Also here is some exciting news... camp has put a deck on the front of our house. It looks great. It went up so fast and we are looking forward to using it. Plus, it doubles as a wood shed as we are going to stack all our wood under it. We feel very blessed.

All the kids made it to the top of Lion"s Head. It is right next to the Glacier.

All the kids are getting so big

With August being very busy we are making a priority to go on a short but much needed camping trip as a family. We will be going with another family from church. It will be a great time as a family, letting our hair down and making memories together. Both the kids and adults are excited to go. Also we are having Kacie’s parents and a workteam from Forest Grove Reformed Church up at the end of the month. We are looking forward to the time we get to spend with all of them.
We are almost ready to start another year of homeschooling. We have gotten all the material now. We are mapping out when to start and when we are having breaks. Also how many lesson there are in the many different subjects. Kenten is excited for science,  math, and P.E. For P.E. we are hoping to do some hikes, swimming and other outdoor activities. Alison is excited for her new math and reading. Nicholas is just excited to do school like the big kids. I ( Kacie) am gearing up for and excited for routine to help organize my day. Plus I look forward to having supper in the crockpot, working on school, with a fire in the wood stove and drinking tea on a nice cold day. I am very much looking forward to snow and slower pace of life. I love summer but I equally love winter.
We are so grateful for the people praying for us and supporting us. There has been so many things that God has kept us safe throughout this summer.  Through the busy times, as a staff, we were able to work together when stress was high.  We can't thank you enough for your prayers. We are Giving God the glory and praises for this summer. For what He has done and for what is to come. We love serving Him to further His Kingdom. We are so blessed to be able to serve here in Alaska at Victory Bible Camp. We cherish not only our supporters but the staff here working beside us.

Last but not least here are some of our pictures from when we were able to go camping as a family.
Here are all the kids.

skipping rocks on Ruby lake.

Evelynn having fun exploring.

Our view from four wheeler ride.

 The girls playing uno.

 boys playing Frisbee

 trailer full of kids

 Dawson and Alison

 The parade of four wheelers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Since our last update, we have had the joy of experiencing winter in the middle of summer. We had 6 inches of snow. It was a winter wonder land. The bad side was it folded a lot of tree branches down. There for causing some power outages. The nice part about it all was the snow was gone by evening.

Before camp started, Jared and I went on a little camping trip with no kids. It was a nice break before the busy time of camp. It was a great time to take and enjoy the view and quiet time together.

Here is a spruce Hen on her eggs. She is very camouflage. 

Here is her eggs.

First picking of mushrooms. So good
Some of the big mushrooms from the second time that we went picking.

Eggs that the kids found behind our house.

The kids watching the baby birds.

The moon over the mountains at 11 o'clock at night.

Wild roses on the way up to camp.

The kids program for VBS. They did a great job.

On our hike with some friends up the fossil beds.

Camp is on its 3rd week with kids. It is very energetic around here now. We have a great group of summer staff. There is a lot of summer staff from Kansas and Michigan area. It is so much fun hearing how they heard and decided to come to Victory. There are always a few things that you could go to or that you have to do. Jared is busy with work team members helping out and vehicle demands. As a family we are thankful that for the most part Jared is home in the evenings.
Jared working

Alison and Kenten are both loosing teeth at the same time. So there is alot of toothless smiles around. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

      As we are getting older, we are seeing how much society has changed since we were our kids’ age. We know that when we were younger we were looking at life through children’s eyes and didn’t see everything as it was. We have been noticing how most everyone is glued to their I-phones or a source of connection to technology. The question comes to mind, how did we survive 100 years ago? There seems to be less interaction with each other. It is kind of sad to see kids not talking and playing with each other. A source of technological entertainment has become the babysitter in the family. This is one of the many reasons we love the Victory Bible Camps location. There is little to no cell phone reception. If you are determined to find service you need to climb a mountain to make a call. Separation from the busyness of society will open your ears to listen, your mind to expand, and naturally cause people interaction. It is good for all ages to become unplugged every once in a while, even if it is only a weekend a year. Like many of our Conference groups, folks come out and retreat. Regaining perspective on life, they reenergize and focus on what is important in this life. We encourage those wrapped up in the busyness of everyday and show the love of Jesus Christ and what He has to offer.
       We are getting excited for summer camp. The kids will be spending time playing in the woods, water, and interacting with other kids throughout the week with the many activities that camp has to offer. We love to see kids full of Joy and enjoying God’s creation. We just pray that God will work in their hearts while they are here. Pray that they would come to know Christ as their personal Savior, and pray that the kids who already believe would grow in Him. Pray that they can take this truth and share it after they leave. Pray that summer camp of 2014 will be a huge impact on their lives. We are looking forward to seeing who God calls to serve this summer on staff. It is wonderful to see how God works in the summer staff from when they first get here to when they leave. The counselors come here thinking they will be helping kids find Jesus, which is true, but they themselves walk away with a deeper more meaningful relationship with Christ and better understanding who God is and His will for us. We love to see God working in others. God is working in us as well. Our goal is that others may see the joy of Christ in us.
        Victory conference season is soon wrapping up. Some of the biggest groups have already come and gone. For each guest group on the grounds, we provide a personal host to meet all their needs. The host will distribute the group’s requests and concerns through the necessary channels of staff to make their stay as convenient as possible. It takes a very organized staff to balance this operation. We are glad God gives everyone different gifts, and we are thankful for the staff here at Victory.
       On the family side of things, we started the kids in swimming lessons. They are very excited. We go once a week to Wasilla for their class. They do small classes with one on one teaching. With the kids being around water all summer, we found it very important that they learn how to swim. Homeschooling is going good. The kids are looking forward to summer with no school. We have to stay focused now before the weather gets nice otherwise we just want to play outside all day. We are hoping to go camping as a family this summer at least once. Jared and the boys went to the Mountain Man camp out this year. The guys had a blast. They went from Thursday through Sunday so they were able to spend some time bonding and doing guy stuff. Aka eating a lot of bacon and steak. Dare to bet no vegetables were slain during that time, but the boys are already talking about next year.
       We have the joy of looking forward to many visitors this year. Nick, a young man from our church will be joining us this summer to work with the summer camp program. We absolutely cannot wait for him to show up. Also our supporting church is sending up a work team in August. We can’t wait to see who is coming up. Also both our parents are making a point to come up this year. So we are very excited to share in this ministry with family, friends and loved ones. We hope that someday everyone can come for a visit. Any season and for any reason we are up for visitors. Camp will provide the housing necessary for supporters, family, and friends.

Prayer requests…
-The Zimmerman family and those close to them with the loss of a loved one.
-Summer staff and that God’s will be done
-Growth in the hearts of those who step foot on campus this year
-Parental guidance during the busy season

-Safety for those traveling and working this summer.
Mountain man tent

Kenten and Nicholas at mountain man

Eating Bacon.

Alison lost her first tooth.

Ice fishing with the kids.

Ice fishing with friends and their kids.

Pushing more snow.