2019 Summer Volunteers | June

Each summer we rely heavily on people coming alongside us to help get the work done. Our summer staff are obviously critical to the work we do, but we are already tell you all about them on our Awesomeness Takes the Stage! (you should go read about them if you’ve been missing out!)

The other set of people that are pretty critical to our work here, especially in the summer, are our week-long volunteers! In fact, we call them our superheroes because most people are giving up vacation time, family time or rearranging a whole slew of things just to make it possible to be here helping out! We are continually blown away by our volunteers! So this post is about telling you all about our June volunteers!

Well, let’s back it up to May when people helped us get ready for summer to begin!

Weston and Craig at Whisper Mountain Camp

Craig and Weston drove looooooonngg hours to come and clean. COME.AND.CLEAN. What?! (Hold on while we try to pull ourselves together real quick.) We felt so blessed by their hearts to serve us in this way because here at Whisper Mountain Camp the few do it all! (phew. Okay. we’re okay.)

Ellis Family at Whisper MountainEllis Couple Canoeing

A lovely couple, Richard and Tina, spent their time with us beautifying spaces, building more sets of corn hole boards for our campers (which they have loved BTW), folding a bazillion t-shirts for our camp store, forming the new sidewalk that was put in just before summer, among many other things! Their mark is all over the place!

Harkness Boys at Whisper MountainHarkness Family at Whisper Mountain

The Harkness family came alongside us in many ways as well. Shoveling gravel (among other manual labor that young men excel at!), fixing vehicles, helping in the kitchen, etc. Seeing a family serve together is always a beautiful thing, especially when they have a strong work ethic already in place! Such a gift!

Kathy at Whisper Mountain Camp

Kathy is a woman who mentors and works with college kids at Columbia International University! We met her through Sam, and were delighted she was willing to come and use her skills and know-how in the kitchen to help Patti cook all the food! We were thankful for her thoughtfulness and encouragement while she served!

Anna Megan Kyle at Whisper Mountain Camp

I’m not sure how it happened at around the same time, but we had a week where we got to have a few past staff come and serve! Whatever ways they could be involved or helpful, they were! Returning during summer can be weird for past summer staff because they see how things are different than when they were here, but their time is also refreshing as they get away, remember how God has been working in their lives, and see how He is working in campers and current staff’s lives. We are thankful for the time we got with Anna, Megan and Kyle!

Foster and Virginia at Whisper Mountain

What a surprise to get Foster and Virginia back again this summer! When we said goodbye last year, we thought it was the last time they’d be back to serve with us! Imagine how sad we were because they are the greatest! Virginia keeps us laughing in the kitchen with her sass and Foster finds so many small things we’ve let go too long to help out with. They are both such an encouragement and help! We love them to pieces!

Dennis and Corrie Serve at Whisper Mountain CampDennis at Whisper Mountain Camp

Dennis and Corrie have been serving with us for years! Dennis, all the things with Marty plus serving on the food line and cleaning dishes! Corrie, all the heavy cooking in the kitchen. We are always thankful for the ways they encourage us and help us when they come! Well, mostly thankful! Dennis can be a real stinker! But we love him and are thankful for the fun he adds to life! We’d keep ’em both around forever if we could!

Whisper Mountain Volunteers Help Run the Race

We are completely thankful for all these who have given their time, energy and talents to work alongside us as we strive to reach teens for Jesus! It takes a team effort to keep all the balls moving! Every minor or major part each of these played while with us has been seen by our God. When we serve with a heart of worship, no matter how big or small the task, we bring Him the greatest glory! May we each be encouraged to continue (or start) serving with a willingness in whatever capacity is made available to us! To God Be the Glory!


Author + Photography | Cassi

 

 

 

Advertisements

We lost a Super Hero

If you’ve spent any time around Whisper Mountain or read our stuff, it’s likely you’ve read about how highly we esteem our volunteers! We see them as super heroes, really! They are the turbo boost to the work that happens around here — we simply couldn’t do it all without them!

Alex in the Woods 4.11.jpgA little more than a week ago, we lost one of our favorite volunteers and friends.

Alex Birthday Group 10.11.jpgMr. Alex or Alex Alex, as we called him (his last name was Alexandrov so it was easier!), got to take the flight of a life time as he headed to heaven! Since near the beginning of Whisper Mountain, Alex has served with us! Here are a few of our favorite things about him (that we can share — because he was a character!).

 

He was bold in his faith, willing to do the most tedious tasks, spent his retirement serving (not just us, but multiple non-profits), and helped us keep an eternal perspective. His honesty sometimes surprised us but also made us think. He didn’t seek the spotlight but was well deserving of it.

Alex Birthday 10.11.jpg

He always made us laugh, shared a passion for people knowing Jesus, was a man who made mistakes in life but allowed God to work in and through him to make him a brilliant light in this world.

Alex Birthday Balloons 10.13

He was family to us and we looked forward to his spring and fall weeks of coming to “live” with us, serve with us, and share in the work of Whisper Mountain.

Alex Mechanic 6.10

He brought life to the broken down and new life to the passed over — both in equipment/material things and those things involving people.

Alex Apartment 7.17

We are most thankful for the life Alex shared with us individually and as a ministry. He’s a valuable part of our family. We love him and will miss him greatly.

Alex Smiling 10.11

Until we see you again, Mr. Alex!

 

Summer 2016 Volunteers

We couldn’t do what we do here at Whisper Mountain Camp without people serving alongside us. We also can’t thank those enough who spent their time, talent, vacations and energy to come serve with us this summer! These quick snapshots don’t do justice to what these people did to help us this summer, but here’s a try at helping you see some of the faces of our volunteers!

Summer 2016 Volunteers at Whisper MOuntain CampServing at Whisper Mountain CampSummer Volunteers at Whisper Mountain CampWhisper Mountain Camp Summer VolunteersKitchen Volunteers at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpgWhisper Mountain Camp Volunteers

Some served all summer, some two weeks, most one week! For the big and small things they did — we trust God to bless them for their hearts in serving Him!

Thank you, Aaron, Jamie, Bay, Bruce, Brooke, Lori, Dave, Foster, Virginia, Gary, Nancy, Dave, Nancy, Kaleigh, Selah, Lexi, Mitchell, Traci, Parker, Susan, Chuck, Tara, Olivia, Emily, Bernie and Tayman. We appreciate all the ways you helped Whisper Mountain proclaim Christ this summer! 

holy smokes, folks

WM-Fundraiser-1

Down in south Florida there exists a small community of people with a really big heart to come alongside the ministry of Whisper Mountain! Last year, one bright idea later, these people found themselves worn out, but successful in having raised thousands of dollars for WM. A couple weekends ago, this same small community organized enormous amounts of donated goods to sell at their second yard sale with all proceeds to be given to WM. If you’ve ever had your own yardsale you know what work these sales can be. Times that by 100 — holy smokes folks!

WM-Fundraiser-4

Spear heading the small community of people are Dave and Nancy Kreller, two wonderful servant leaders who walk an exemplary life of faith, who welcome people with sincerity and grace, and who display super hero strength under stressful circumstances. They are responsible for many of the details of this event and we couldn’t be more thankful for them!

WM-Fundraiser-2 WM-Fundraiser-3 WM-Fundraiser-5 WM-Fundraiser-6

As great as Dave and Nancy are, they couldn’t do this on their own. The event took an army of awesome people with willing hearts to give their time and energy and resources. Being on the receiving end of something like this feels overwhelming. Humbling. Encouraging. Exciting. The support we feel strengthens us to continue carrying on in this (very often) challenging work of camp ministry while also meeting the practical needs of the ministry. In the end, this year’s yard sale raised $15,959.61!! Pick up your jaws, guys — that really happened! Thank you, thank you, thank you to any of you who were a part of this event. We thank God for you and for His provision through you!

WM-Fundraiser-7

(A BIG THANK YOU to Tricia Coggins for her ninja photo skills to capture this event for me to share with you here!)

(see more about last year’s yard sale)

power in the lines

After days of working endlessly to repair a home structure problem. After piling kids and belongings into the car for a twelve hour drive north. After car problems leave them stranded for hours. After climbing the last of the trip into the mountains of North Carolina, we welcomed Keith and Cheryl and family to Whisper Mountain. Cheryl had been praying for four years to be able to come up to camp! Four years! Keith offered us the skills of an electrician for the building of our Volunteer Cabin.

Electrician Serves at Whisper Mountain Camp

Electrician Serving at Whisper Mountain CampWe enjoyed the company, the help, and the sacrifices they made to spend a week with us. Cheryl spent her first Easter away from her family in order to be here. Her husband missed days of work. Their son is battling muscular dystrophy and being on the hills was difficult for him.

Electrician Serving at Whisper Mountain Camp 1We are always floored by the generosity of people investing their time, talent or resources to further the work being accomplished here at camp. We made new friends and new memories and are completely grateful for all this family offered during their time with us.

Thank you Keith and Cheryl and family for all you sacrificed to be with us and lend a helping hand! We very much appreciate you and look forward to seeing you all again!

yardsale of the year + video

Whisper-Mountain-Yard-Sale-headerAbout a week ago Ramsey, Shaun and I had the opportunity to fly to Florida to witness first hand the body of Christ in action!

Whisper Mountain Yard Sale Clouds  Whisper Mountain Yard Sale Flight
An adult Sunday School class put together a large scale yard sale in an effort to raise money for Whisper Mountain! The only word that keeps flashing through my mind is overwhelmed. The amount of items donated, the amount of volunteers giving up their time and energy, the amount of work put into this, the amount of money raised, the enormous amount of encouragement we received from the sacrifice of others–all of it overwhelming!

Whisper-Mountain-Yard-Sale-1

Whisper-Mountain-Yard-Sale-2
Whisper-Mountain-Yard-Sale-3Everything under the sun seemed to be at this yard sale! The faces you see above are only a few of the volunteers who worked the event. These people, who have their own busy lives with work and family, put in hours upon hours of their time. Late nights getting ready, early morning setups and sale, loooooong day of selling and organizing and keeping up with the buyers, overnight guarding of the tents, preparing and serving of food for all the volunteers, helping customers load their treasures, clean up at the end…the work seemed endless. But I never heard anyone complain–they were all cheerful and just glad to be a part! Folks, that's humbling!

Whisper-Mountain-Yard-Sale-4Even with a rainy day, this simple group of people sharing a heart for Jesus raised over $15,000 to benefit Whisper Mountain! In case it's not registering–this is a BIG DEAL! An overwhelming gift, both financially and spiritually as they continue to allow us to invest in lives for eternity! 

We've put together a short video capturing a little more of the event for you. 

 
{if unable to view video, click here}

Thank you to each of you who gave your unwanted items, who worked until you were bone tired, and who came and bought goods or gave a donation. And thanks to all those who stopped by to see us! Each of you is such an encouragement! It was a beautiful thing to witness the body of Christ in action! To God be all the glory!

[A few more photos can be found on our Instagram feed.]

they came back!

Whisper-mountain-volunteers-brightenYou may remember reading about these great folks several weeks ago. As it turns out, one couple didn't get enough the first time! They came back! And they brought some friends along with them!

Whisper-mountain-volunteers-1Foster & Virginia Flint and Mel & Glenda Woods spent a week with us, helping in whatever way they could, with whatever little jobs we needed help with. Let me just insert here <true servants don't require glorious jobs to be useful. any need fits the bill!>. Inspiring, these people. Every time!

Whisper-mountain-volunteers-2Our weary and weathered property signs got a fresh face, some goods were prepped for winter, a (haul things) trailer got fixed up, an outdoor stage was built, things were readied for the girls retreat…anything we asked them to do, and then some, these fine folks accomplished!

As is usually the case, we felt most blessed by their humble hearts and joy-filled fellowship! Being part of a team of people on mission in the same direction is really quite an awesome thing! A much bigger deal than a camp tucked away in the backwoods of Appalachia!

Do you know someone or someplace that could use your time, talent, heart, willingness? Take that step to volunteer! You will be making a difference!

——-> In case you missed it, Foster and Virginia shared about volunteering at WM last time they visited! Catch the whole blog post or just the video! <——-

{Marty took these photos for us! Thanks!}

kitchen angel

June-group

June brought Whisper Mountain a Kitchen Angel! (how lovely of her!!) Some people call this angel April Luettich! You may remember her from last summer. She’d be the one in the above group shot with wings on!

So here’s the scoop on her. She brought her two kids up again for the month to help serve and be general good fun and encouragement to all. She is now en route out west! April’s husband, Wayne, will begin schooling to be a missionary pilot out in Washington this fall. Yeah. Pretty cool! Such a big deal to uproot a family to leave the only place they’ve ever known to enter this thing called the Great Unknown! Yikes! Like all those before them who’ve followed God on such a journey, they are taking each step as it comes. When all the answers aren’t there yet, when people keep asking for them, when uncertainty pounds at the door, surrender is the only fitting place to be. Worshipful surrender…and serving while waiting. Kitchen Angel poured her heart out cooking up some pretty great grub and blessed many because of it! Below is a slideshow documenting some of their moments while at Whisper Mountain! (song: John Waller “While I’m waiting”)

 

{if unable to view the video, click here}

May their example of worshipful waiting be an encouragement to each of us!

Blessings, friends!

building more than a deck

Whisper mounain deck build1With these guys at camp all week, we've been able to build the deck up by the cabins. Campers will now have a place to sit and relax (other than the bathhouse porch!!), meet in small groups, and more during their stay with us.

Whisper mountain deck build2

Whisper mountain deck build3

Whisper mountain deck build5

Whisper mountain deck build6
Whisper mountain deck build4Don and Richard (and their wives whom you shall meet soon!) have done more than just help build the deck. They have blessed us with their fellowship and spirit-filled service! One of my favorite parts of camp ministry is the relationships that are built, the constant connecting and reconnecting with people who share the heart of finding God and volunteer their time, energy, skill, and finances investing with us to that end! (even if it puts me in the kitchen too often:)!!!) God's economy is all about community! And a Whisper Mountain community is being built with many, many people!

Whisper mountain deck build7

Whisper mountain deck build8(for those who may wonder…pickets and seating still need to be added!)

Whisper mountain deck build9We are glad you are a part of our community in your own little way!

the thread remains

Both wonderful and dreadful is the coming and going of many amazing people in our camp world. Getting to know, hear the stories of, be challenged by such diverse people always puts me in awe of how God works intimately and intricately with His people, for His people and through His people. A tapestry of beauty.Stones-at-whisper-mountain-3 More than thirty years ago, Marty and Patti met Dennis and Corrie Stone at college. Time carried on, paths went different ways, and life got busy as it always does. They kept in sparse contact over the years, until last year when the Stones (who are both teachers) wondered if they could come serve with us for the summer. Corrie became our cook (bless her!)Stones-at-whisper-mountain-2 (this summer's kitchen crew!)

and Dennis became our help in grounds & general maintenance!Stones-at-whisper-mountain-1 (this summer's maintenance crew)

I think I speak for us all when I say that they blessed our socks off as we served with them and got to (re)know them! As this summer approached we were excited to hear they wanted to give their time and energy for the month of June! You know those people that you can pick right back up where you left off, as if you never said goodbye? Like they are part of the family? That's how it is with the Stones.  We laughed with them, struggled with them, shared our world with them! Not too challenging to feel at home with them! Stones-at-whisper-mountain-4What is dreadful about feeling at home with people is the saying goodbye. Today we said goodbye to these most humble, fun and generous people!  Stones-at-whisper-mountain-5
Stones-at-whisper-mountain-6 But all wrapped up in the dreadful is the wonderful! In their going they have left us to soak up the love they shared, hearts to make God famous, encouragement through having watched them pour themselves out with no thought to themselves. They have left that scarlet thread that never really leaves our tapestries, but continues to weave us together in the family of God until that day when we never say goodbye again!