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January 11, 2019
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Hello Friends:

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,…” Philippians 1:27 - 2018 Theme

Please keep Camp Deerpark and our team in your prayers as we strive to be faithful.

What’s Going On at Camp Deerpark:

On Saturday evening the camp staff gathered to say farewell to Jason Jarrett.  Jason first came to camp by accident in the winter of 2013.  The Youth Leaders retreat in March is for adults only, but his youth leaders brought several high school students.  They told him, “You will love it.  They have a swimming pool.”  They didn’t tell him it was an outdoor pool and closed for the winter.  He told us on Saturday that he actually came for the first time with his swimming trunks on under his pants.  At the end of the weekend Joslyn Saravia suggested that he should apply to work on summer staff.  Jason was indeed part of the 2013 summer staff and came back again in 2014 joining our year round staff in the fall.

Jason has been like a son to the Bontrager family and has been a very valuable asset to both Rick Weaver in food service and Sean McConaghay in facilities.  His stay here was not always easy.  He struggled with school at Sullivan County Community College and watched several roommates come and go.  Jason felt his next best option was to join the Army.  I am a conscientious objector so I find myself in a spot where I completely support Jason, but do not fully support this path.  He will be greatly missed here at camp and we wish him all the best. 

Please pray for Jason.  He will be in training for the next 22 weeks, which I am sure will be difficult.  On Saturday night we told him that we want him to always consider Camp Deerpark to be his home base where ever his travels take him.

Thanks for your part in making a place possible for young men like Jason to explore their talents and serve God in a meaningful way.

Praise God With Us For:

  • Conestoga Mennonite Church youth and adults who were here at camp over New Year’s to cut firewood.  The shed is well stocked and ready to get us through to the spring.
  • Andrew Maendel and Joe Ben-Eliezer who are here at camp this weekend to volunteer with Ben and Sean.  Andrew was on summer staff in 2017 and also a participant in the 2018 Peace Camp.
  • Madison Banks is taking over the Camp Deerpark social media.  She is now the voice of Bernice and Nadora and posting on Facebook and Instagram daily. 
  • Elijah Bontrager is back from his latest mission adventure in South America and will be working with Rick in food service.

Please Pray For:

  • Moises Angustia and the youth from United Revival who will be retreating here at camp this weekend.  Their theme is "Surrounded" Psalm 125. They want the youth to know that they are not alone.  They are loved.  Pray that the youth leaders will have the grace to pour the love of Christ into each young person.
  • Last year the United Revival youth came on one of the coldest days of the year and one  furnace at Promise Wood went down.  The young men woke up to a cabin that was 45 degrees.  Pray for a warm cabin and no furnace malfunctions. 
  • Next weekend we will be hosting the leaders from Evangelical Garifuna Bronx.
  • A reminder to continue to pray for the neighboring Mehr property.  We had made an offer to purchase the land only last fall. The offer was rejected because the estate does not want to break up the property.  Please join us in praying that a buyer comes forward who is interested in buying the house and 10 acres only, which will open the door for us to purchase the land.  We know this is a stretch, but we serve a very powerful God.

Thank you so much for your prayers for the children, youth, and families of New York City.


Ken Bontrager, Executive Director