Monthly Archives: August 2014

Redby Bible Camp

During the last week of July, the three of us girls and our sweet friend, Leah, had the opportunity to help with an overnight Bible camp that is down the road from us.  This is a camp that operates under Redby Community Church where we fellowship up on the Red Lake reservation. Normally, there are groups that come in and do several camps during the summer. However, this summer, only one group was able to run a camp (all the way from New York!) and we were excited when the pastor from our church asked if we could help them out. We had about 20 kids from the reservation attend the three day camp.


Leah & Abby – happy campers (or rather, counselors)

All of these kids come to the Kid’s Club that we do Monday nights at the church during the school year. All of them were SO excited to come to camp. When we went to pick up kids on Monday morning, many of them were waiting out at the road with their bags – there was even one girl who told us that she was already packed on Friday night! 🙂

The group from New York that ran the camp did an excellent job. There was singing and a Bible lesson once or twice a day. There were fun crafts in the morning and evening, and several hours of swimming in the afternoon.


The Bible lessons were taught by Moses


Craft time!


Fun action songs


More crafts!

Throughout the day, there was a lot of free time to spend playing with the kids – we spent many hours in games and activities like Candyland, Uno, badminton, basketball, frisbee, making friendship bracelets, taking goofy pictures, and just talking.


The basketball court was rarely empty


Badminton was a popular game of choice


A campfire is never complete without s’mores!

It was a great time getting to know the kids better.  When you live with someone for three days, you certainly get to know them a whole lot better.  Even though we’ve known all of these kids for at least a year (some of them for three years), deeper relationships were built with the kids simply by playing, talking, and loving them for three straight days.  Many of them told us they wished the camp didn’t have to end.


Camp group picture – everyone say “beefaroni”!

We returned home exhausted, but grateful for the opportunities to share the love of Jesus with these precious children.  Some of these kids have professed Christ in the past.  Please pray that they will grow in their faith, and that those who don’t know Jesus would be saved. And please pray for us as we continue to share God’s love with these same kids throughout the school year.


Four sunburned and tired counselors – sad to leave

Bright Lights Conferences – Cedar Rapids, IA

At the beginning of July, the three of us girls had the privilege of helping with a week of Bright Lights conferences.  Last October, we helped with the ones in St. Cloud, MN.  This time, however, we traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  We were so blessed by an amazing week of ministry and fellowship with over 40 leaders from around the country (IA, MN, NE, TX, GA, MD, IL, & WI).

2014 leaders

Most of the BL conference leaders

The Strong in the Lord conference took place on Tuesday & Wednesday, while the Radiant Purity conference took place on Friday & Saturday.  During the conferences, there are large group sessions with singing (Deborah helped with music), Sarah Mally sharing Bible truths through teaching and stories, personal testimonies from small group leaders, and funny skits that reinforce important points.  Then, all the girls are split into smaller groups and the parents have their own sessions.  Small groups are led by one or two leaders (which each of us got to help with) and include discussion, games, and snacks.  The conference days are very full, but it is so rewarding to be able to invest in these girls’ lives.  To hear that they have made commitments to serve the Lord, clear their conscience, honor their parents, and read their Bible makes it all worth it!  So here come the pictures:


Singing during the main sessions


Deborah helped to lead music for the conference by playing her violin


The horse race skit


Hannah (who helps with our BL group here in MN) and Katherine handing out conference notebooks

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The pyramid activity during small group time demonstrates the importance of teamwork in families


Evening chalk talk


The Princess: “My Father, thy daughter in distress because I am not married!”


Browsing the conference book table


Grace played beautiful harp music several times throughout the conferences


Maiden Flirtelia: “If any man desires to come after me, let him…”

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Some of the girls from our Bemidji BL group came down for the conference so we took a photo with the Mallys

Thursday was our “off day” so we took some time to relax and refresh ourselves for the weekend conference.  We spent the morning touring the Mally’s bookstore (Noah’s Archive) and visiting a cute little coffee shop where we enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship together.


Noah’s Archive – with the lovely Bekah as our tour guide


Bookstore browsing (and birthday shopping!)


Fellowship at Witte’s End Coffee House


A few of the Bright Lights leaders at the coffee shop

After lunch on Thursday, Grace Mally showed us a video on witnessing and then we all had a long and helpful discussion about sharing the gospel with others. The Lord has really given Grace a heart for witnessing, and she has a vision for encouraging young people to be bold with the gospel.  She has written an excellent book on the topic of witnessing called “Will Our Generation Speak?” that is full of witnessing stories and practical helps.  After our discussion, we went to a nearby park for personal time with the Lord, more fellowship, and a little bit of witnessing.  Since there weren’t many people at the park to witness to, Grace took a group of us out after supper where we went witnessing at a nearby mall.  I wish I had time to share the whole story here, but since I don’t, you can head over to Grace’s blog and read about our amazing, God-orchestrated evening here.


Sharing witnessing tips and ideas


Grace shared a session on witnessing at each conference

Here’s a few more random, behind-the-scenes pictures from our week:


Conference prep: making trail mix and decorating snack buckets


Our sleeping quarters – one of two classrooms that our group used for the week


Working together for meal preparation


Singing outside late at night (while the alarms system was going off in the church building!)


Meals for the group was quite the undertaking, one that Mrs. Beth Kramer (blue & white apron) and the Isaac sisters did with joy and skill


Leaders sharing time – talking about what the Lord has been teaching us


Mealtime fellowship


It was wonderful to see the W sisters again – we had so much fun and fellowship with these dear sisters-at-heart!

We stayed over Sunday and enjoyed worshiping at the chapel where the Mally’s attend.


Cedar Rapids Bible Chapel – don’t you love the sign on the wall?


One last meal after church (with a much smaller group) before heading back to MN

It was such a blessing to spend an entire week with a group of young ladies that love the Lord and are seeking to follow Him. We had a wonderful time of ministry and fellowship together. We were so thankful to the Lord to be able to take part in the ministry of the Bright Lights conferences.

Youth Group 2014

Just about every year since we moved here in 2000, our sending church in IL has sent up a youth group to do VBS on one of the Reservations near us.

This year, the group arrived on Saturday, June 21, after an 11 hour drive and after our mad rush to clean the house. 🙂 This year we only had eight extra people in our house for a week. Because of conflicting schedules with the camp that many of the youth group kids counsel at, the group that came here this year was exceptionally small.

One of the main highlights this year for everyone, I think, was the fellowship and getting to know each other better or for the first time. We played many games, some of which were volleyball, the Darcy game (aka the name game) and signs.

In the mornings after breakfast and group devotions taught by Dad, there was outdoor work to do. We had a truckload of 10 cords of wood delivered right before the group came, so the project for the week was cutting, splitting, and stacking the wood so that we will have wood to burn in the winter.


Everyone had a different job to do.

While the outdoor work was being done, the lunch crew would make sandwiches. Around eleven or so, everyone would come in and get cleaned up, finish packing their lunches, and put on our team shirts and head out to reservation about eleven thirty. On the way there we would eat our lunches, and after we crossed the Reservation line we would pray and read Scripture.

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All the order forms from everybody’s lunches

When we got to the rez, a group of us would head out to pick up a van load of kids, and more local kids got dropped off, or they walked or rode their bikes to the chapel.

Because the group was so small this year, Jonathan got to help out, and he was excited about that. He took Daniel’s place as snack man, and Daniel joined me in games. Daniel did a lot of running for me: whether it was putting cones out, or filling up buckets of water, he was right there to help. I don’t know what I would have done without him, because Mr. Spaargaren wasn’t able to make it this year. I was the head games leader, Deborah was the guitar player for singing and the lesson teacher, and Sara was head craftswoman.

Each day had lots of activities…


Deborah, Olivia, and Jack were great song leaders.


Sara did a great job with crafts again!


Everyone enjoyed Drip, Drip, Drop. 🙂


Deborah praying at the end of one her lessons on what Jesus is like.


On Tuesday night, a very hospitable family had the whole group over for hamburgers, walleye, and tubing. We ate first and then went tubing even though the weather wasn’t the most beautiful. We all had a blast, and everyone who wanted to went at least twice.



 On Thursday, we had a picnic after Kid’s Club and invited the families of the kids to join us. I am not exactly sure how many adults came, but there were a few, and we were encouraged because one lady from the community even brought a dish to share!

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Getting ready to serve the first people through the line.

A few more pictures from the week…

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If you look closely at the leaders, you can see they look a little wet 🙂


Group devotions in the evening.

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The kids liked playing jump-rope


The wood pile later in the week!

 On Friday night we had our annual go-to-Walmart-night, where girls go in one van and guys in the other. Usually we go to Caribou Coffee and Dairy Queen before Walmart and don’t cross paths until Walmart, but this year because the group was so small, we broke tradition and all went in the same vehicle. 🙂 When we got to DQ, it started pouring. We saw it coming, and made a dash for the one foot of protection under the roof, but we didn’t make it quite it in time. 🙁

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Trying to escape the pounding rain.

 Then, on Saturday morning they left, and it was very quiet.

Once again, our wonderful week serving the Lord in this little village is over, but we continue serving Him in other ways.


The group on the last day of VBS.