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Photos and Thoughts: God’s unrelenting pursuit

posted in BLOG | Thursday, September 25th, 2014

June 1939 Junior Boys Baptism in Puget Sound at Covenant Beach


Last week I spent my morning going through archives of old camp photos. As I searched through these photos, I became overwhelmed at the thought of the events that occurred for this place to exist. In 1989 Cascades first opened, but before then there were three other Covenant camps, Driftwood Point, Covenant Beach, and Circle C Ranch, that pooled their resources together, after years of ministry, to make it possible for Cascades Camp to become an actual thing, and not just a pipe dream. All four of these places have a rich history of sharing the love of God with thousands of people for decades. It is because of this legacy of love that I find myself reflecting upon the steadfast love and faithfulness that God continuously shows creation.

I had no idea that Cascades existed until my first year of seminary in 2012, and I didn’t actually set foot onto Cascades property until June of this year. If I could have known the impact that this place would have had on me in just three months, I wouldn’t have believed it. This summer, being the staff pastor, I was placed in an interesting position to see how God was working amongst not only staff, but also campers, families, and guests. I watched and listened to people search earnestly after God but I also watched and listened to God chase after God’s beloved creation, us. There were times this summer when people talked to me that it was clear that the person was searching for God; at times it was even more apparent, however, that God was searching after them. It was in these times that I could not deny that God’s hand is extended towards us every moment, even when we have turned our backs. It is clear to me that God is sprinting towards us even when we have turned and tried to walk in the opposite direction.

It was through looking at these photos that I was reminded of God’s unrelenting pursuit of us. The events that have allowed Cascades to happen, and the ministries that were at work before this place are all evidence of God’s love for us. It was through seeing the countless unknown faces within photos, and thinking about the even greater number of people that were affected by these ministries that I am truly taken aback. It is such a blessing to be a part if a place such as this, and take part in the legacy that Cascades was born out of, and fully participates in now, in showing God’s love to all people.

- Tom “Hoopla” Eaker

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Join in welcoming the new 2014-2015 Interns!!!

posted in BLOG | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Summer camp has come to an end, and as many of you know, that means that a new set of interns have joined the Cascades Family. Now introducing (drum roll please)…

Tom “Hoopla” Eaker will be working alongside Claudia Fisher and Erin Liden as this year’s Marketing/Program intern. This past summer Tom was the staff pastor here at Cascades. Tom originates from Jamestown, New York. Before arriving at Cascades in June, he was attending North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, pursuing a Masters in Christian Formation. He will be graduating from North Park this coming December. Tom feels called to this internship, because he has a deep love for camping ministry as a whole, and plans to pursue a career in it. When asked about the internship Tom said, “I am excited to see what camping ministry is like from a year round perspective, and not just from a summer staff point of view. I am excited to learn as much as I possibly can about camp, and about God. This will be both a growing and stretching experience that I am incredibly excited about. I cannot wait to use both my graphics and ministry degrees in the same setting.” An interesting fact about Tom is that before coming to Washington State he had never seen mountains before.

Reid “Swarley” Palmer is the new o-team intern. He will be working alongside Cean Willard to help keep Cascades Camp in good running order. Reid originally hails from Apple Valley, California. It was in California, Costa Mesa to be specific, where he was a barista at Starbucks, and a student at Orange Coast College before arriving at camp for the summer. This past summer Reid was one of two S.A.L.T. Crew leaders, leading and serving alongside multiple groups of high school age kids doing work projects around camp. When asked about this next year as an intern Reid said, “I feel that camp is a place where I am constantly challenged spiritually, mentally, and physically and am encouraged to grow and learn by those that surround me here. I think this year will be a great opportunity, because I think God will teach me a lot, and I will be challenged in many ways. I hope to come out of this internship a more learned man.” A Fun fact about Reid is that he ran in the LA marathon, in the snow, and uphill both ways. We’re not too sure how the “uphill both ways” works, so you’ll have to ask him yourself about that.

This year in the kitchen Jordan “Toxic” Nelson will be working alongside Mike Bothman as the new 2014/2015-kitchen intern. This past summer Jordan worked as a counselor, working with a wide range of kids of all different ages at both Camp Timber Rock and Brightwood Station. Jordan is originally from the same area that Cascades Camp is located, Yelm, Washington. This past summer was his second summer on staff. Before being a counselor, he first worked in the kitchen for a summer. Jordan has not only been on summer staff for two years, but he also participated in the S.A.L.T. program when he was in high school. Before coming to camp this summer, Jordan was working at a Stihl dealership. Jordan is looking forward to a year of being able to focus more so God. Camp has been like a second home to Jordan and he is extremely excited to work in the kitchen. A fun fact about Jordan is that he has a pretty big family. He has four older brothers, a younger sister, and then two older stepsisters.

For this upcoming year Erin “Tiltro” Liden, who is be the new program intern, will be working alongside Claudia Fisher and Tom Eaker to plan upcoming events, and preparing for the upcoming 2015 summer. Erin is originally from Yelm, Washington. Fun fact though, she was actually born in Frankfurt, Germany, where her Dad was stationed while in the army. This past year, before coming to camp, Erin was participating in AmeriCorps. She had an internship teaching environmental education at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in Cheney, Washington. This summer, here at Cascades, Erin was one of the two program leaders at Camp Timber Rock. When asked about why she feels called to intern at Cascades Camp this year she said, “I feel called to camp to explore the opportunity to combine my passion for camping ministry with my passion for getting kids outside in nature. I grew up going to Cascades as a kid and have worked here for many summers. It is a place I have grown to know Christ and hope to help facilitate that opportunity for others.”

Jessica “Diesel” Nordlie this past summer was one of the five wranglers here at Cascades, at Sunrise Ranch. She is now the 2014/2015-ranch intern, and we are all very excited about it! Before coming to Cascades this past summer, Jessica was working at Fax Valley Veterinary Hospital, Tinny Ackers Stables, and was also, busy showing horses. Her hometown is a place called Harvey, which is in North Dakota. When asked about this up coming year, and her feeling of being call to be the new ranch intern, Jessica said, “I feel called to work at camp because, I love working with horses, and what better place to do it than the beautiful place of Cascades. Here I am surrounded by good christen people that help me grow in my faith. I love to see horses used as a tool to show kids God’s love, and to use it as an opportunity to teach them more about the Lord.” A fun fact about Jessica is that when she is back home, in North Dakota, she drives a 92′ Cadillac, which has mounted to the front of it a pair of three-foot long horns from a Texas Long Horn.

We are all very excited to have these five new interns joining our family for the upcoming 2014/2015 year. Join us in welcoming them all to their new intern positions and our Cascades Camp family!!

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Reflection upon the 2014 Summer

posted in BLOG | Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

As I sit and I think over this summer and the events that occurred, I am amazed that it actually ended. This summer felt like time would never end, and I mean that in the best possible way. This summer was incredible.

When June arrived, and I took my first steps on Cascades Camp property, the month of August seemed so far away. We all tell ourselves and “know” that the camping season will come and go before you know it, but when you’re in the go of things, with however many kids and guest around you and building relationships with all the other staff, you tend to forget what you thought you “knew”. You become  focused on how days seem long, but forget that the weeks are short.

It has been incredible these last three months to see how God has moved, and see what God has done and is doing amongst the campers, families, guests, and staff that have come and gone during this time. It has been a truly awesome and awe inspiring gift to have been given the opportunity to be here, and work in such a beautiful and Jesus-centered place.

This year at Brightwood Station (grades 4-6), campers played massive, crazy ‘Around the World’ themed games. They also spent time in their cabin groups doing numerous activities all around camp, including a camp out at Frontier Village, where they slept in teepees. Each night, they heard chapel talks from Fender, the Brightwood Program Leader, about the love and grace that God extends towards creation.

At Camp Timber Rock (grades 7-9), they played loud and exciting games such as ‘The Woodland Games’, where kids were split into teams and the contest raged all week to see what team would be the champion on Saturday morning. Each week a new speaker came to Timber Rock to teach about how our personal story meshes with the entire story of God. Campers learned about how God can take our individual stories and turn it into something unexpected that reflects Christ’s love towards others.

At Sunrise Ranch the campers learned a variety of different skills when it comes to horses. The campers from both Brightwood and Timber Rock blazed trails, had arena classes, learned vaulting techniques, and so much more. The ranch also had two weeks of horse-centric, all horses, all the time camps: Sunrise Ranch Horse Intensives and Classic Horse Camp, where campers were able to further their equestrian skill levels and go deeper into the word of God.

Rainer Kids Day Camp was bigger than it has ever been! The program ran for a total of eight weeks serving and hosting a total of 262 kids. Every day was a new adventure with Rainier Kids as they experienced swimming at the waterfront, going on pony rides, playing big camp games, and most importantly, learned about the love of Christ.

This year the S.A.L.T. (Servant And Leadership Training) program served a total of 97 students and carried throughout the entirety of the camping season! The S.A.L.Ts  dove head first into the Word and into service projects, helping within cabins, and fellowshipping with one another during their time at Cascades. Without them, camp would not have run as smoothly or have nearly the energy that it did. They did an amazing job at leading and learning under the supervision of their enthusiastic and passionate S.A.L.T. leaders.

Our Family Camps this year were filled with the joy of families coming together for both relaxation and fun. Not only did families have fun doing a myriad of activates, but also, they worshiped alongside each other, learning, and growing closer together and with God. This year we served a total of 1095 individuals during our four different family camps.

All in all, the things that have happed this summer were all because of the love and grace of God, whom was and is working among not just the staff, but the guests and campers of Cascades Camp. Thank you all for your prayers and generous support. God has blessed and been faithful in abundant and awesome ways this summer, and we look forward to what will happen in 2015!

- Tom “Hoopla” Eaker

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Independence Day Family Camp 2014 Goodies!

posted in BLOG | Thursday, July 24th, 2014

2014 Recap Video

You know how a picture says a thousand words? Well it turns out a video says around a million words. We had far too many exciting things happening at Family Camp this summer to explain with words, so our media technician, Hiccup made this video, which happens to be worth one-million words. WOW!

Watch this super-awesome recap video to see all the super-awesome things we were doing at Independence Day Family Camp.

Independence Day Family Camp 2014 Recap from Cascades Camp on Vimeo.

2014 Sermon Recordings

All of the sermons were recorded and uploaded to the Cascades Podcast. Enjoy sermons by Pastor Peter Sung and Pastor Greg Yee.

Every sermon is available for free download or direct streaming via the Cascades Podcast on iTunes. Or you can simply click below to listen.

podcast
podcast
podcast
podcast

Wednesday PM

Pastor Peter Sung

Thursday AM

Pastor Peter Sung

Thursday PM

Pastor Peter Sung

Friday AM

Pastor Peter Sung

podcast
podcast
podcast
podcast

Friday PM

Unavailable due to

technical difficulties

Saturday AM

Pastor Greg Yee

Saturday PM

Pastor Greg Yee

Sunday AM

Pastor Greg Yee

If you are having a hard time listening to the sermons please do not hesitate to contact us!

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Celebrating 25 Years of Ministry at Cascades

posted in BLOG | Thursday, May 15th, 2014




Take a minute to check out this fun video depicting God’s faithful ministry at Cascades for the past 25 years!
 
 
 
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Summer Staff Reflection: “Gracioso”

posted in BLOG | Friday, February 28th, 2014

Starting in January, we hit the road in hopes of recruiting some stellar young people who are excited to serve the Lord at Cascades.  Recruiting season has recently wrapped up, but we’re still very much in the midst of hiring.  Slowly but surely, the pieces are falling into place and our 2014 summer staff is coming together.

In the spirit of the season and in anticipation of another great crew, we’ve been highlighting a few of our summer staffers from 2013.  This week, we’re sharing a reflection written by “Gracioso,” our kitchen intern last year and worship leader last summer.

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My experience at CCACC has been a long and multifacted one as I’ve cycled through many of the roles.  Only missing one summer in between 1999 and 2013, I have been at camp as a camper, S.A.L.T., or summer staff member, and even spent nine months as the kitchen intern.  I think it’s safe to say I’ve had the full experience, even working in most of the departments.  Over the years, no place has been more influential than Cascades Camp in bringing out dedication in my faith and the outright goofiness in my personality.

I recall working at camp my very first summer in 2011.  Camp was kind of like celebrating your birthday for me.  It was something you got to enjoy so infrequently that the anticipation building up to it was almost unbearable glee, and the time actually spent there was always magical and packed with excitement.  Something slowly began to change when I had worked there one week, two weeks, three weeks, two months, and so on.  Camp did lose some of its magic, but that emotion was replaced with something better.  Camp became a home to me.  The passionate love that I had for camp gradually settled into a steady, reliable, dedicated sort of love for the place and what we do there.  Instead of being like a birthday party, camp felt like finally coming home after an arduous day of school or work.

I had the privilege of working summers on program both as a counselor and worship leader, and as a kitchen leader.  I loved getting to taste both sides of camp, in the forefront of our ministry and behind the scenes.  There are so many lessons to be learned, and so many different ones depending on what aspect of camp you serve in.  Being a counselor stretched me in new ways, teaching me to rely on God more than ever to do His work through me when I was doing more than I ever thought possible.  In the kitchen, God taught me to appreciate service that doesn’t get praised and I discovered the deep satisfaction of making something that provides for people’s needs in very practical way.  Without a doubt, God has changed my life in monumental ways through my experience at camp, providing me with mentors and giving me an opportunity to mentor others in turn.  Never have I been a part of a community that was so jointly dedicated to seeing God’s kingdom come by their impact.  People come together and serve this purpose and leave so much capable of living for Jesus in their own circles.

One of Cascades’ mottos is to do everything with excellence.  You hear this sort of thing all the time, recycled for countless missions and purpose statements.  Honestly, it gets a little bit old.  It was incredibly refreshing to work at camp and notice that this was the first place I’ve been where the staff models excellence more than they talk about it.  Every person showed me what it means to do everything to the best of their ability, and having that rub off in me is one of the most valuable things camp has given to me.  I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything in the world, and still when I pass under those wooden gates, I know I’m coming home.


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Check in periodically to read about the experiences of other summer staffers – and if you know of any qualified post-high school/college-aged individuals – especially Jesus-loving dudes – who might be interested in serving at Cascades, send ‘em our way!

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Summer Staff Reflection: “Luggabaloo”

posted in BLOG | Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Recruiting season is here, y’all!  Starting in January, we hit the road in hopes of recruiting some stellar young people who are excited to serve the Lord at Cascades.  Slowly but surely, the pieces are falling into place and our 2014 summer staff is coming together.

In the spirit of recruiting season and in anticipation of another great crew, we’ve been highlighting a few of our summer staffers from 2013.  This week, we’re sharing a reflection written last August by “Luggabaloo,” one of our counselors.

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“Camp Reflection”

I have been out at camp for a little while now.

Alright, so a long while.  It was an incredible experience for a million different reasons. I couldn’t pinpoint just one.  The community was a huge blessing, for sure.  Every single person there is totally passionate about Jesus and about loving people.  They are all super genuine and caring people – camp provided one of the greatest (if not the greatest) communities I’ve ever been a part of.  Every department was full of the neatest people.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.  Then there are the cute elementary kids that say the strangest things.  One kid thought I was the father to one of my fellow counselors, and I’m definitely younger than her.  This past week I had a kid who was talking about camping and he said, “I ride my bike around and say ‘hi’ to people, because that’s my thing.”  Super fun!  Then, at the end of the week, we get to hear the kids talk about their lives and what they learned about at camp.  It’s awesome every week to hear the wisdom that comes from these kids.

This summer, I learned one really big thing that took a few weeks to get through my thick skull.  Every week, I was wanting campers to make huge, life-altering decisions in their walk with Christ.  For the first week, no big decisions/commitments were made.  And I would sit there, listening to other counselors talk about the great conversations they had with kids, thinking about the lack in wholesome conversations I had.  Then, my third week was rough.  I worked with a group who came from a church, but didn’t seem to want to gain anything spiritual from their camp experience.  They were there for the fun, the games – not for Jesus.  That was really frustrating, and I became frustrated with them, and myself, because I felt that they weren’t retaining anything I said.  However, as the week came to a close, God taught me a lesson.

He really laid on my heart that I shouldn’t always expect to see the fruit in peoples’ lives.  Sometimes I have to plant seeds in the lives of these guys, and leave it at that.  God gave me peace about my campers not having a life-changing week. He let me know that just because I didn’t get to see their lives being changed doesn’t mean they never will.  If I plant seeds, then He will grow those into a beautiful, blooming testimony later in their lives.  Going into my fourth and final week at camp, I had a renewed perspective.  I need to be pouring my all into these kids, even if I feel discouraged, because they will either apply what they’ve learned to their life right now, or they will remember it later in life.  Either way, God is going to use their week at camp to change them in some way.


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Check in periodically over the next couple of weeks to read about the experiences of other summer staffers – and if you know of any qualified post-high school/college-aged individuals who might be interested in serving at Cascades, send ‘em our way!

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Summer Staff Reflection: “Shalom”

posted in BLOG | Friday, January 24th, 2014

Recruiting season is here, y’all!  Over the next month or so, we’re hitting the road in hopes of recruiting some stellar young people who are excited to serve the Lord at Cascades.  Slowly but surely, the pieces are falling into place and our 2014 summer staff is coming together.

In the spirit of recruiting season and in anticipation of another great crew, we’re going to be highlighting a few of our summer staffers from 2013 over the next couple of weeks.  First up, we’re sharing a reflection written late-July by “Shalom,” one of our Brightwood S.A.L.T. leaders last summer.

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“Flannels and REI Mugs at Sunrise”

I am such a camp person.

I am the most crazy, joyful, and full of love when I am at camp. There’s this aura about camp life that just draws people in and allows them to vibe on such an intimate level with the most real part of themselves; to be a part of a place like that is such a blessing. If there is anything to be said about me as a person it is that I am super super extroverted. I love nothing more than being in a room full of a bunch of people that I don’t know and to be able to go up to them and say “HI! I want to know you.”

Literally though, it’s almost always THAT creepy and THAT awkward. On the whole though I’d say I’m a fully functioning human being and it hasn’t once failed in me meeting someone new if not making an entirely new friendship start. People are just really cool. And really cool people and opportunities like that tend to happen in excess at camp.

Perfect job for me.

This summer I was hired to be the Brightwood S.A.L.T. leader. S.A.L.T. stands for Servant and Leadership Training and Brightwood S.A.L.T.s in particular are juniors and seniors in high school who pay to come hang out at camp to love and serve throughout the week. If you’d have asked me seven weeks ago how I felt about this job I would have probably said I was terrified, incapable, or simply stared at you blankly…and then laughed. I didn’t feel capable of teaching three different sessions of high school students. I didn’t feel wise enough or able enough to love a bunch of high schoolers right where they were at as well as teach and show them the love of Jesus. I felt like I was in way over my head.

And for the past seven weeks I have sat back in awe of God and the way He works through our biggest insecurities. I have been awed, blessed, loved, laughed with, and found joy in all 31 of the crazy high school students who came into my life this summer and wrecked my heart in the best way possible.

This summer I have learned.

I am a love person.

A flannel person.

A hiking person.

A simplicity person.

A worship person.

A joyful person.

A “I-find-joy-in-serving-person.”

A 6 am with coffee person.

A Bible person.

A community person.

I am a camp person.

Hear me say: Let me love.

Soli Deo gloria, Shalom.


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Check in periodically over the next couple of weeks to read about the experiences of other summer staffers – and if you know of any qualified post-high school/college-aged individuals who might be interested in serving at Cascades, send ‘em our way!

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Introducing the 2013-2014 Interns

posted in BLOG | Friday, December 27th, 2013

Meet the Ranch Intern – Sarah “Firefly” Slater
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
What you were up to before coming to camp: Attending Olympic College in Bremerton.
Alma Mater: Olympic College, associate’s in Fine Arts, 2013
Favorite place at camp: The pasture at about 7:00 in the morning; just when the sun is coming up.
Highlight of the summer: The whole summer was wonderful, but I think my highlight was seeing my little sister come to camp for the first time and watching her face as she got to experience new things around the horses and with other campers.
Some goals for this year: This year I want to learn to take the time to just sit and let God speak to me, and not worry about what else may be coming around next year.
Dream vacation: Traveling through middle-earth (New Zealand). Or road-tripping with my best friends.
Favorite treat: Gooey cookies of any sort, but chocolate chip especially. (It doesn’t even have to be cooked at all really – I will eat it straight out of the bowl!)

Meet the Kitchen Intern – Carl “Falsetto” Jeppessen
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
What you were up to before coming to camp: Working at a center for troubled youth.
Alma mater: University of Portland, Music with an emphasis in vocal performance, 2010
Favorite place at camp: The waterfront
Highlight of the summer: Dancing in the Yelm Parade & Timber Rock guys night
Some goals for this year: Grow closer to God in community and figure out the next step in life.
Dream vacation: Into orbit
Favorite treat: Soft and chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

Meet the Operations Team Intern – Christian “Fender” Kerrigan
Hometown: Shoreline, Washington
What you were up to before coming to camp: Student teaching at St. Hilary School in Chicago, IL
Alma mater: North Park University, Elementary Education, 2013
Favorite place at camp: Grandview
Highlight of the summer: Seeing my good friends get married
Some goals for this year: Build stuff. Wood stuff. And go to a Sounders game.
Dream vacation: Hike the Appalachian Trail
Favorite treat: Rice Krispie treats

Meet the Program Interns – 

Jessica “Lambchop” Martin
Hometown: Selah, Washington
What you were up to before coming to camp: Graduated from SPU last winter, and have been interning at camp since January.
Alma mater: Seattle Pacific University, Global Development Studies, December 2012
Favorite place at camp: The Timber Rock amphitheater
Highlight of the summer: Watching faces light up because of an experience that I had a hand in creating – whether that was connecting with Christ for the first time, or going on a safari adventure out to Frontier Village.
Some goals for this year: To grow in my understanding of both Christ and camping ministry, to build community, and to go running on every trail at camp.
Dream vacation: Europe backpacking adventure
Favorite treat: Dried mangoes, Stumptown coffee, or anything chocolate

Samantha “Mushu” Trestik
Hometown: Tigard, Oregon
What you were up to before coming to camp: After graduating from Whitworth in 2012, I started interning at camp. I kind of like it here!
Alma mater: Whitworth University, Marketing, 2012
Favorite place at camp: The linen closet – it smells so fresh and clean!
Highlight of the summer: The whole thing, but some individual “it is good” moments – Tent City, working in the nursery during Double Fun Family Camp, spending an hour in the canteen each day getting to know new campers and reconnecting with old ones, and cleaning out the ball field shed!
Some goals for this year: Read at least 4 books for fun, learn how to cook, hide on a trail and jump out and scare Jessica while she is running, write or blog about my experiences this year, and learn the Thriller dance.
Dream vacation: Any place that is peaceful, with a beautiful view and few distractions. It could be a beach, a lake, a cabin in the mountains, or by a pool. And of course spending time with quality people.
Favorite Treat: Oatmeal-chai cookies

If you were thinking of sending us a care package (HINT-HINT), feel free to include fun board games, delicious homemade cookies, gift certificates to Dairy Queen or Starbucks, and encouraging notes.

Peace and blessings,

Jessica “Lambchop” Martin & Sammie “Mushu” Trestik

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NPC Conference Annual Meeting

posted in BLOG | Friday, December 20th, 2013

NPC Events:

  1. MUD Retreat
  2. Thunder Retreat
  3. Men’s Retreat
  4. Women’s Retreat
  5. Pastor’s, Staff, and Families Retreat
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