Summer Season 2016 Update

Dear Friends,

Wow, what a summer! Over the past 2 months we have welcomed over 250 children and highschoolers onto this camp. We have worshipped with them, fed them, led them through team building exercises, challenged them, taugh t them, told them stories, sung campfire songs with them, worked with them to find answers to hard questions, and watched them make life-changing decisions. We have seen lifelong relationships built, lives be turned over to Jesus’ transforming Love, and hearts offered up in prayer.

Before the summer began, we asked you, our partners, to pray with us for: (1) male counselors, (2) harmony and Christ-like love for our full-time staff during the hectic summer season, (3) continued leading and provision toward the goal of housing for our family, (4) God’s preparation in the hearts and minds of all who would serve here this summer, and (5) God’s preparation in the hearts and minds of the kids who would come through our doors this summer.

We can say with confidence that we saw all of those prayers answered! Thank you SO MUCH for your partnership in prayer! We absolutely believe that those prayers make all the difference.

At the beginning of the summer, we did not know how we were going to meet the need for male counselors. God, of course, kept us in need of faith until the last minute, but in the end we had incredible counselors for every single cabin of guys, for every week of the summer. It was a privilege to serve alongside the young men who stepped up and gave of their time, energy, and hearts to pour into the lives of the boys who came to camp this summer.

Throughout this hectic summer season, through living, working, eating, praying, serving, and walking together, we have definitely seen the hand of God in the love and unity He gracefully has given our full-time staff. We are imperfect humans working together in close quarters – but in end we have come out of the summer with confidence in the Love of Christ in each other through it all.

            We have indeed seen God’s hand in moving forward on a housing solution for our family. During the very busy summer, we moved into a small apartment on camp, which was a good temporary fix that allowed us to be right here and very involved in the summer work – much more than our rental house half an hour away would have allowed. However, this apartment is actually the basement of our director’s house, and obviously not a permanent housing solution. We have continued to look for houses for sale in the area, and believe we are making significant progress. There are still some details to be worked out – look for an update in this area soon!

These answered prayers also extended to the rest of our team here this summer – counselors, both guys and girls, dishwashers, speakers, cooks, worship leaders – we felt the presence of God and His peace in the entire staff these last two months. There was an amazing unity and love for each other, a blessed lack of drama or issues, and a humbling testimony to how God can work through and within a group of people who are dedicated to serving Him.

As for the kids … wow. There are as many stories as there are people who pass through our doors, but a few highlights from our summer were:

Gathering with the entire camp staff and campers around one child to pray for his home situation
Working with a counselor to find scriptural answers to the questions his group of campers were asking
Worshipping with abandon alongside energetic highschoolers
Serving alongside the Senior High Mission Trip at the headquarters of the Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Another way we have seen the hand of God this summer has been in our support. We had no time during the busy summer season to send out newsletters and ask for support as we usually do, and yet June was the first month since we have been here in which we actually hit our support goal! Through several one-time gifts, and a couple of new ongoing pledges, we received the full $500 support for June – what an immense blessing!

As we move forward into the fall season, we will be serving guest groups: family reunions, women’s retreats, and many other kinds of groups that come here looking for a place to connect with God and with each other. Our goal is to provide them that place, to serve them well, and to show them God’s love in our every action.

We continually covet your support in prayer, and ask that you join us as partners in this way, and, if you are so led, financially as well. This month, please join us specifically in praying for:
1.      Continued financial support sufficient to meet our family’s needs and allow us to serve to the best of our ability.

2.      Please pray for ongoing love and unity among our full-time staff: our family; our Kitchen Director, Kristine Detweiler; and our Directors, Bill and Carol Anderson. We do not take this for granted, and believe that one of our greatest witnesses to the world is the love and unity we have among ourselves.
3.      Our directors, Bill and Carol, are going on sabbatical for the month of August. Please pray that this time would be deeply refreshing and restful for them, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Please continue to pray for the ongoing health of our family – again, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, that we would be able to serve God well in this ministry.

We are so incredibly thankful for you, our supporters, partners, and friends. Thank you for praying for us, giving to our ministry, and allowing God to use you in our lives.
Serving Him with You,

The Stephensons.

Support for our family can be given online at this link:

Or can be sent as checks with the appropriate memo (Stephenson support) to:
LifeChange Camp
351 NE 831 Rd

Clinton, MO 64735

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