Dear Families and Friends of Grace Point,
I am writing today to share with you about Tel Hai Adventure Camp week. Over the past 11+ years that I have been at Grace Point, Tel Hai has been a highlight of ministry for GP Kids. This away-camp week for students 8-11 years old began as a thriving opportunity for our families to send their children to a Christian camp.
Similar to many ministry endeavors, the week has had high points and low points throughout the time Grace Point has led it. At its start, about 14 years ago, we had nearly 50 kids from Grace Point and our local area that would attend. The week served not only our students, but local children from Honey Brooke who wished to attend, so it became an outreach opportunity as well. Over the years, while I have led the camp, I have taken time each year to pray over and evaluate the program. This year, when our Tel Hai leadership team (comprised of both Grace Point and Crossing Community Church leaders) evaluated the program, it became clear that God was indeed directing us to reconsider leading this program. After much prayer, I brought these considerations to both the staff and elders and decided, with their feedback, that we would not move forward with offering and leading Tel Hai Adventure Camp as a Grace Point sponsored ministry.
Here are some factors that brought us to this decision. Of the 130 kids who attended Tel Hai Adventure Camp week this year, only 8 of them were from Grace Point. Another few students were from Crossing Community Church, but the majority of the children were from the local area of Honey Brooke, PA. While I loved the opportunity to outreach to the Honey Brooke area, it became clear to me that continuing relationships with those students we did reach was difficult due to our removed location in Newtown, PA. And despite our efforts over a number of years, we have not seen the number of GP children increase. In a nutshell, the amount of time, energy, effort and finances it takes to make this one week happen were a cost outweighing the gain.
I realize this ministry has become very dear to the heart of the many leaders and students who have been a part of it, and I assure you much prayer and deliberation has gone into this decision. I, myself, am sad to close this door. However, I am, at the same time, excited at what we will see God do in children’s ministry at Grace Point with more time and energy to invest here.
You may be asking yourself, what’s next then? What could we offer by way of the camp experience some students will miss? These are important questions I want to answer for you. Our efforts will be poured back into the overall ministry of GP Kids at Grace Point. It is my prayer to see the freed up time, leadership and finances used to further the ministry within our program here where the impact can be greater and lasting. Beyond that, I have begun researching other camp experiences that Grace Point would recommend for families. We will not look to lead a week of camp as we did with Tel Hai, but we do want to offer options and opportunities that may serve you well. To check out some camp opportunities and further updates, please use this link: https://gracepointonline.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/elementary-and-family-camp-ideas.pdf.
I care deeply about your family and any questions you might have. Please email me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In love and prayer, Cassandra DeWitt