WELCOME TO REACH MINISTRIES!
Sometimes there are experiences that you want to share with others. REACH Camp is one of those.
This was our 17th Camp during Labor Day weekend and once again, “It was the best camp ever!” We want to share with you a few of our favorite moments:
From Erica: Picture a group of 12 year old girls, chattering excitedly about the weekend… in fake British accents… with adopted camp names like “Queen Victoria, Queen Liz, and Queen Beth,” sometimes dissolving into giggles, at other times, the perfect noblewomen. Then picture 12 pounds of color powder combined with a dancing party, color erupting from every side, laughter and awesomeness abounding. Round those two pictures out with stepping into the worship service on Sunday to hear five campers under the age of 18 and one volunteer bringing me to tears with their music and love of the Creator of All. Beautiful.
From Pam: During parent group, three young adult campers sat in a row facing expectant faces, ready to answer questions about growing up HIV-positive. Thirty parents lean in, not wanting to miss a word, knowing that they are about to hear stories of a hard journey that these three have travelled. Experts on what it’s like growing up with HIV, the campers aged 23, 26 and 32 helped prepare parents raising their own children who are HIV positive. One tearful parent thanked the panel from the bottom of her heart for coming back to camp year after year, despite not being typical camper age any more. She wanted them to know the value that they bring to the community of REACH and the role models they are for the younger children.
From Pat: A mom, who has taken care of so many special needs kids over these seventeen years that we’ve known her, comes over to me with a huge smile. She isn’t able to stay for all of camp, but she’s been able to spend the afternoon under the shade of a tall tree, where she ends up every year that I’ve been coming. It’s a safe and comfortable spot for conversations between parents who watch where their children are playing while they engage and relax at the same time. I smile at that picture that never changes from year to year. While we talk, a little girl rushes up, delivers a huge hug around my knees and takes off running again. Sweet.
What is this place called REACH camp? It is welcoming, it is safe, it is home for each participant. It’s a place for fun, for sharing the tears, and reminiscing what came before. It’s a place of hope and a place of acceptance. It’s made up of volunteers and kids and their families, and happens because so many of you believe in REACH.
Thank you for your generosity and your prayers from all of us: Erica Swenson, Pam Wenz, and Pat Askren.
In Memory of Michael Fisher, REACH Executive Director
Charles Michael Fisher passed away peacefully on October 15, after a year-long struggle against cancer.
In his own words:
"Hope is not what you would expect...It is a wild improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming ending. It's the story of God's amazing love for us. I have been thankful and joyful & peaceful in the good times… and I will peaceful & joyful in the bad times. God's love for me is unending. Now, go tell it on a mountain!"
We at REACH are so grateful for the time Michael spent with us. He was a great encourager, and was passionate about communicating the gospel to our families and anyone else who might have walked through our doors. His vision for REACH reflects Jeremiah 29:11,
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
We look forward to continuing his vision to point our kids and families toward a hopeful future - and we hope you’ll join us in the adventure!
We are gratefully accepting donations from those who wish to give to the Jeremiah 29:11 Fund on behalf of Michael. All donations will go toward the expansion of REACH camp and year-round programs for REACH families as we continue Michael's vision to point our kids toward a hopeful future.
REACH Camp Photo Album
REACH Camp 2012 was a blast! Don't believe us? Check out our online photo album from camp!
Give or Volunteer with REACH
Interested in making an impact on the life of someone living with or affected by HIV/AIDS? All programs and activities are intended to bring our mission to life by providing REACH youth and their families with opportunities for healthy relationships and hopeful futures - all in a fun and safe environment. Through these opportunities each youth is also given the space to engage and discover God's creation, including nature, the arts and culture.