Before either of my kids turned thirteen, I’d begun to hear stories of how other parents had marked such special milestones in their kids’ lives. Some ideas overwhelmed me, but one idea seemed perfect for our family. About three months prior to the day Nick would become a teenager, I sent out requests via Facebook and email to family members, friends, and a group of camp staff that both my kids grew up with. 

This request simply asked them to reply back with a short note, story, or some sort of art that I could include in a photo book I was going to have made by one of the numerous companies online (Shutterfly, York, etc.). I encouraged the writers to speak into Nick’s life, offer him some advice, share with him a favorite song, passage of Scripture, poem, etc., to help celebrate his foray into the teenage years. I wasn’t really sure what the response would be, but I figured it was a worthwhile cause. (more…)

MS/HS Denver Mission Trip

This past Spring Break, the BelPres Middle School and High School Departments sent a team of 10 people on a mission trip to Denver, Colorado, where we partnered with Center for Student Missions (CSM), an organization that facilitates urban missions and service experiences for various church groups.

As they guided us throughout the week, CSM was a mission tour guide of sorts for us—helping our group get to know the city of Denver and walk alongside its people. Even more, CSM helped us see the unique issues and problems in the city and allowed us to see firsthand what God is doing to foster and further His Kingdom in the city of Denver. (more…)

Middle Winter Camp

On February 6 over 40 BelPres middle schoolers and leaders loaded up a bus and headed to Camp Casey on Whidbey Island. Our theme for the weekend was drawn from Romans 1:6, Ephesians 2:9, and other passages that speak of “belonging” to the family of God. For most middle schoolers, they are just trying to fit in and find a place where they belong. Our goal for the weekend was to remind students that God loves them and that He has welcomed them into His very own family—where they belong.

There were a number of fun activities such as games played in and around the historic Fort Casey; one of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday Night Talent Show. A number of students had fun showing off their talent in front of their peers, which included singing, magic, gymnastics, and more. (more…)