Dear Supporters of Park River Bible Camp,
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
This week has been a rollercoaster of a ride of emotions. Last Tuesday (Sept. 20, 2022) I gave the Board of Directors my resignation letter, stating I will be stepping down effective Oct. 1, 2022.
On June 9, 2000 I stepped for the first time onto Park River Bible Camp and called it home for the next 71 days. It is at Park River Bible Camp that I experienced love, joy, welcome. My faith grew in LEAPS and BOUNDS! I formed relationships that I still have today because of Park River Bible Camp. From that summer, Park River Bible Camp became my place of safety, the place that as I turned off the highway and onto the gravel road, I took the long awaited deep breath and inhaled peace… calm came over me and I knew I was home.
I never would have imagined that a shy, insecure, quiet 18 year-old would one day get the honor and privilege to help run Park River Bible Camp. Stepping down comes with immense sadness, but I trust in the Lord and I lean not on my own understanding. God has HUGE plans for Park River Bible Camp, plans for hope and a future, plans to prosper and flourish. I am excited to walk alongside Park River Bible Camp in a different way, to be the biggest cheerleader, the most colorful volunteer and continue to tell its story, a story that has been active and alive for the last 86 years. Park River Bible Camp is Holy Ground. Park River Bible Camp grounds itself in the gospel, the radical gospel of Jesus Christ’s love that changes lives, deepens faith, restores your soul and allows healing to happen.
I never can seem to express enough my deep gratitude for every single person, family, pastor, camper who supports Park River Bible Camp. My “thank you” feels not enough. If I could, I would sit in each of your homes and say THANK YOU, to tell each of you how much you have meant to me over the years.
I have grown as a person because each one of you, I have learned who I am and how I am called to lead because of each of you.
Working at Park River Bible Camp has not always been sunshine and roses. There have been many bumps and bruises, many tears and mistakes. When looking to Park River Bible Camp’s future, I want what is best for healing, for growth, for change; that I can see that God is opening the door for someone to step in and continue Park River Bible Camp’s mission to be a ministry for all people, sharing God’s love, reminding all who begin the drive on the gravel road that God meets you where you are, that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3)!
It has been my honor to serve Park River Bible Camp! Thank you for entrusting me with such a Holy place.
A word for our Interim James Zorn:
As I drive off the gravel road and back onto the highway, I feel the same peace and love I felt 22 years ago when entering the camp. I pray that is what you will experience as well.
I pray that you sense the radical welcome I have sensed. Camp Ministry can be lonely; it can be draining and daunting. I have felt all these emotions over the years, but the reward, the lives changed, transformed, renewed because of the work you will do through proclaiming hope and resurrection will be endless.
There will be tough times, made more difficult because of the world we live in today. At times it won’t be fair, or easy. Don’t let the “loudness” of the world discourage you from the call and mission of Park River Bible Camp.
This call is sacred. It comes with trust and a backbone. A really wise friend told me recently that if you’re going to proclaim love, welcome, and hope, you got to get off your butt and stand on your own two feet!
Park River Bible Camp needs a firm, resilient leader. I am cheering for you, I am praying for you, and I will walk alongside you in ministry.
I look forward to being a part of Park River Bible Camp’s future. The faithful work that has been done for 86 years will continue not because of what any leader will do, but because of what God can do.
In joy and in sadness, I will celebrate the work we did together, all the messy, hard, good, faithful work we did so that all would know, hear, feel the love of Jesus Christ.
Rebecca Kjelland—Executive Director.
Please direct all inquiries to Board Chair Valerie Teppo at email@example.com.