Life | When God Feels Absent

Staying Encouraged with WM Staff

by Selah Werner

Hey guys!
So today I want to share something that has been popping up a lot lately, and something I personally need reminding of myself.

Fall Split Path at Whisper Mountain Camp

I have reached the point in my life where I am faced with the “what’s next” question. I need to decide where I want to go and what I want to do after I graduate high school. This feels so daunting and overwhelming. I sometimes feel like I’m walking in the dark or in fog and I can’t really see what’s in front of me. I’ve been reminded recently that the waiting is an important part of the process and can actually sometimes feel exciting!

Distorted Tree View at Whisper Mountain Camp

Waiting is not my most favorite thing to do. In fact, I can be quite impatient in life. There’s a big part of me that wants the frustrating things fixed, the questions answered, the chaotic things quieted. But really, what’s the fun in just arriving at something without the journey? The adventure is where it’s at, so I’m told ūüėā.

Pathways at Whisper Mountain Camp

I think God likes the adventure part because it stretches and pushes us to trust Him like never before. The adventure tends to pull us in close to Him and allows us to see Him work. Where will He take us next?

Roadway Up to Hub at Whisper Mountain Camp

I love when people tell their stories of life. Taking a look back at our story helps us see a little better just what God was doing, how He perfectly timed everything and arranged things better than we could have ever done ourselves. During the waiting process, God can feel absent. It’s hard connecting with him during this time, but I wonder if by trusting that He’s present when He doesn’t feel like it causes us to actually exercise our faith in the best of ways. I know He really is there and has control of all the things. Sometimes we just need reminded.

Foggy Roadway at Whisper Mountain Camp

Psalm 62 demonstrates this well. Verse one and verse 5 are similar:

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. (v1)

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” (v5)

Roadway to the Hub at WhisperMountain Camp

Isn’t it interesting how verse one says, “My soul waits in silence”, while verse five says, “Oh my soul, wait in silence”? It’s that reminding of, “Okay, Self, keep waiting because God really is my hope and salvation.” Just as David reminds us all throughout the Psalms, we can have peace knowing “that the power belongs to God (v11).” We can overflow with peace and find patience to wait in silence when we remember who He is. (see also Job 40)¬†The scary trek in the dark then becomes a hope-filled adventure!


Author | Selah Werner    Photography | Cassi

Living In Tents can be Intense!

‚ÄúFor we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.‚ÄĚ
Shaun in tents tee at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know if you’ve heard me say it or not, but one of the phrases I like to use at camp is ‚ÄúCamp is intense! We sleep in cabins, but camp is in-tents!” This play on words, among many others, is one of my favorites. So much so, that my lovely wife made a shirt several years ago that expressed this saying.
Army Tent at Whisper Mountain Camp
We also used this idea of camp and life being intense for our summer camp theme — were you here that year? Based out of 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, we talked about how our bodies are earthly tents and we have an eternal home in heaven.
In Tents at Whisper Mountain Camp
Remembering this earth is not our home, this life is temporary, we are just passing through offers hope in times of trouble and encourages us to not invest in things that are fading away.
I Peter 2:11 also encourages us to abstain from worldly desires because we are sojourners or temporary residents. Our perspective, or rather God’s perspective from His Word, helps us to stay on track as we seek to follow Him. God’s Word encourages and calls us to this higher road of living for what we cannot see, to walk in this faith that stretches beyond our right now.
Shaun Passing Through at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know about you, but what’s happening around me seems to distract me from this big picture living more than I want it to. My focus gets so easily pulled from the eternal things and placed on things that, in the end of all things, really don’t matter at all.
So I leave you with this encouragement: stay in the Word daily so God’s perspective becomes ours and can rightly be placed on the eternal things. Let’s keep stepping toward abstaining from the “worldly desires” today so we can be in pursuit of those eternal desires as we keep passing through to our eternal home! Keep walking, Young People!

Photography | Cassi Werner

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Marshall

It’s his birthday, it’s his birthday! The one and only Marshall Grant is on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today!

Marshall Awesome Name Card

Marshall came first as a Guide in Training (GIT) but has now returned as one of our outstanding Guides! Marshall sure brings some life to any party! Well, adventuresome spirit if nothing else!

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He’s got some nutty ways about him, but his heart is to live and love life and those in it! His thrill seeking, ahem, excuse me…cough…cough...his love for adventure in the great outdoors really knows no bounds. Calculated risk is a good thing, pushing yourself to see how far you can go is a good thing. Living this one adventure of life to the fullest is a good thing. Marshall embraces life.

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And he’s great about doing the hard work first, and then playing second. He’s proven to be trustworthy on many different levels and is stepping into his role as Guide naturally and with confidence!

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He’s showing himself to be a strong leader and role model and remains teachable through each new experience he’s been given! He’s a great friend and man chasing Jesus! And he’s always stretching, literally!!!!

Marshall stretches at WM.jpg

Marshall, thanks for the laughs, adding fun to the crew and loving Jesus enough to serve teens this summer at camp! We are thankful for the time and energy you pour out to help make our team stronger!

AND HAPPPPPPYYYYY BIRRRRRRTTHHHHDAYYYYY!!!


Author | Cassi        Photography | Adrienne + Cassi

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Micah

Micah! Micah! He’s our man! If he can’t do it, nobody can! Say a big “Heeyyyyyyy!” to Micah on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today!

Micah at Whisper Mountain Camp name Card

Micah is a gentleman with a side of quiet hilarity! He’s got this way of throwing lines out at the last second in a conversation that are so funny, but you’d miss it if you weren’t paying attention. They come quick and quiet!

Micah Rainy Throw

He’s got a love for adventure and fun. He’s one of the guys who races around campus on their mountain bikes! Downhill, on a bike, on graveled mountain roads — yikes! No big deal for him! Can you see that boyhood ornery sparkle in his eye?! It’s what keeps things fun!

Micah and Carlo

His leadership is quiet but strong. He works hard. He plays hard. He’s faithful and reliable. Micah is an all around fantastic fellow!

Micah at Ropes

Thank you for being here this summer, Micah! We love getting to be a small piece of your faith journey! Thank you for being the kind of man that is worth these teens emulating! Keep at it!


Author + Photography | Cassi

Awesomeness Takes the Stage 2019 | Adrienne

Have you ever been walking along with your arms so full you’re about to drop everything AND you have to get a door open? You’re struggling, struggling and then — praise the Lord — someone shows up just as your arms are about to give out and drop it all; and that someone not only opens the door for you but takes the heaviest load out of your arms too. The biggest wave of relief and ginormous amounts of gratitude wash over you and bubble out of you and you get reminded that everything’s going to be okay! Do you know what I’m talking about? That’s Adrienne Brand for me (Cassi)! Let’s welcome her to the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today!

ATS Adrienne Name Card

Adrienne is our camp’s photographer this summer, although she also wears a partial guide hat as well! Have you been seeing some of her pictures on Instagram or Facebook?! She’s capturing the story of camp so so well! Ahh, I’m just so thankful!

ATS Adrienne Camera

Adrienne brings much more to the proverbial table than her camera though! She’s a willing servant, a listening friend, and an encouraging role model to these campers coming through the gates and the staff she’s living with all summer!

ATS Adrienne Laughing

ATS Adrienne and Jessie

She is quiet in her approach to connection but gives the touch of sincerity and kindness that really makes people feel seen and heard. And she likes to laugh! Getting to see God use Adrienne’s gifts and grow her in new ways — it’s a privilege to see!

ATS Adrienne Cart

Thank you, Adrienne, for giving your summer to serve and capture the power of camp with¬†your lens and for being here with us! We are all pretty thankful to have you on the team this year! (But I don’t think anyone appreciates you as much as I do ūüėČ !)


Author + Photography | Cassi

staff take a road trip | GIC 2019

GIC Title Pic

A couple weeks ago our staff hit the road and headed down to Florida for a week to participate in what’s called the Global Impact Conference! As a supporting church of Whisper Mountain Camp, McGregor Baptist invited us (and many other missionaries they support) to participate in their weekend of blessing and encouragement. We couldn’t be more thankful to have been included.

GIC Connection1GIC Connection2GIC Connection3

Much of our week was spent connecting with people, life groups, churches, families and friends. The community of people within Whisper Mountain is amazing! People who share our heart to proclaim Christ to teens, who support us and participate with us, who encourage us to keep going! Amazing: the number of people God pulls into His work here at WM! We wouldn’t be able to do any of what we do without the community He’s pulled together! (If you’re part of this – thank you for being here!)

GIC Beach2GIC Beach1GIC Pool1

Along with the event, gathering and meeting with people, and some of us getting brave to speak in front of crowds, we were also able to have a few stolen moments of play and relaxation! A quick swim here, a hurried beach walk there, a nap when possible.

GIC Nash Home

How refreshing to find a piece of hold still and enjoy the beauty of winter days in Southwest Florida! We were completely thankful for the hospitality of Brad and Melloe Nash! They welcomed us, invited us to make ourselves at home (which we took them up on!) and overwhelmed us with love and fellowship and goodness of all kinds.

We put together a video to give you a glimpse into our trip! We hope you enjoy!

Thank you to all who made the time to meet with us, encourage us, and give to us in some way! You are a big reason we remain encouraged to keep going in this thing called camp ministry!

Come visit soon!

 

 

Author + Photography | Cassi

Let The Games Begin

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Chloe, I am one of the staff members here at Whisper Mountain Youth Camp. I have been asked to tell you about what has happened so far in the staff training week. Yes, I know, it sounds boring, but you may find interest in what you read.

Well, it’s that time of year again. Kids start rolling in for a week of fun, food, and most importantly God. Staff training started almost a week ago and already I have learned so much, and have made a lot of new, very supportive, friends that have helped me push myself to limits I didn’t know I could go. Every morning, after breakfast, we have a devotional and we discuss the days activities, we then go from there and begin our day.

185A8825_1Two days ago, part of our training was coming up with games for the campers,¬†and a very popular game is Bazooka Ball. It’s like paint ball but without the paint. We also did archery, we were taught to teach the campers how to hold the arrows when walking around with them, how to properly hold the bow, and the best way to try to get a bulls-eye. When the staff had first arrived we played a lot of name games which we will teach the campers when they get here.

On behalf of the entire staff, I think it’s safe to say that we are all excited about the upcoming summer.

[Author: Chloe Headings | Photo Creds: Casey Bell, Cassi Werner]

Our Ten Year Staff Reunion

ten-year-staff-reunion-group

Labor Day weekend was quite the weekend as we celebrated ten years of ministry! We were thankful to share the day with a few locals, a few board members and spouses and about half of our over-the-years summer staff!¬†I’m not sure how the others felt, but remembering God’s faithfulness¬†—¬†His big and sometimes quiet work in, around and for us — goes a long ways to encourage our walking right now!

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Sharing laughter with our staff over the memories and retelling of favorite camp stories was completely delightful! Hearing Shaun’s well composed “poem” of all the campisms from over the years was perfectly hilarious and memorable!¬†Reconnecting, though it wasn’t enough time,¬†was refreshing as we¬†caught a glimpse of how far God has brought each of us on our journeys, as varied and different as they all are!

ten-year-staff-group

I’m¬†amazed how something like summer camp can gather such different people together to walk in the same direction in ways that benefit all of us but glorify God above all! The Whisper Mountain Family is made up of¬†some pretty stellar people, and it just keeps growing as we¬†welcome in special someones of past staff and as we continue to be faithful to Proclaiming Christ through camp ministry in the years to come!

ten-year-staff-crazy-group

Summer Staff, keep proclaiming Christ where you are! You are beautiful people¬†that have helped make Whisper Mountain effective on any level! We love you and can’t wait for next time!

Thank you to all of you who have been a part of our ministry in some way over this past decade! We have seen God together, haven’t we? May He continue to be real and in our midst, for His glory alone!

 

Awesomeness Takes the Stage >> Erin

The final 2016 Summer Staffer is on the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today! Welcome Erin, if you will!

Erin is Awesome.jpg

(Just to clarify the picture above — Erin was eating one of those delicious¬†cookie stick things at the Dork Ball we have to kick off the summer! Sooooo, there’s that.)

As I feel like I have written throughout our whole Awesomeness Takes the Stage posts this summer, Erin was first a camper!

Erin as a Lead Guide at Whisper Mountain Camp

Holy smokes we have gotten to see Erin grow up! For around eight or so years, she has somehow been a part of Whisper Mountain! Being a local to Robbinsville, she has spent a lot of time with us through school or local community events, as a summer camper, and as a volunteer whenever we had need!

Erin is a Goofball' at Whisper Mountain Camp

Seeing Erin go from sort¬†of quiet and in the background to Lead Guide has been nothing short of God’s gracious and beautiful work in her life. He has clearly become her greatest joy in life which has made her confident to do what He keeps calling her to.

Erin at High Ropes at Whisper Mountain Camp

Seeing her exchange the brokenness in her life for the yolk of God’s peace and healing has been inspiring! He is¬†shaping her into a virtuous woman who willingly carries the burdens of others so they too can know God’s freeing peace and ocean of love.

Erin serving at Whisper Mountain Camp

Watching her lead worship, teach and connect with campers makes us feel like proud parents in awe of the woman¬†she is becoming.¬†We couldn’t be more thankful for her being a part of our Whisper Mountain family for so long or more excited to see her growing as a strong leader for God’s glory!

Erin at Whisper Mountain Camp.jpg

Thank you Erin for serving with us this summer and being willing to be stretched through your role as Lead Guide! You have led well! We love you!

Awesomeness Takes the Stage >> Seth

You may not know it yet, but Seth is PRETTY awesome — welcome him to the Awesomeness Takes the Stage today, will ya?!?!

Seth is Awesome.jpg

Like so many staff before him, Seth was first a camper.

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Watching him grow¬†from camper to Lead Guide has been a pretty awesome thing to see. Seth’s leadership, this summer especially, has been a gift to Whisper Mountain, but also to those under him, whether they realize it or not! The humility he leads with, the sponge-like desire to continue to develop and grow, the willingness to do the hard thing if it’s the right thing are just a few of the ways we’ve seen him flourish.

Seth at Whisper Mountain Camp

Of course, every leader gets his face smeared in the mess of the thing he’s leading at some point along the way! While that can feel discouraging in the moment, in the long run, it’s just a few more rough edges shaved off the solid character being built! Seth has the proven character to show for it!

Warrior Seth at Whisper Mountain Camp

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God has been leading, growing and prepping Seth for mission or pastoral ministry! His focus to follow God in this is quite frankly a refreshing thing to see! Leaders really are being raised to proclaim Christ to this generation. Doesn’t it sometimes feel too lost?! This right here, friends, is just one among many that God is calling forth to change the world for His glory! The reality that God is still actively working and moving through His people should be making us shout with joy and confidence in Him!

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Seth, thank you for the years you’ve spent¬†at Whisper Mountain Camp! It has been our pleasure to know you and be a very small part of your journey! May God continue to¬†bless you and keep you¬†as you continue to follow and Proclaim Him! We love you!