Check out the Bloomington TreeHouse Summer Newsletter
September 7 @ 8:00 am - September 29 @ 5:00 pm
Summer of Growth
Another summer at Treehouse has come and gone and I could not be more grateful for all that has taken place. In June, we took nine of our teens to a sports camp near Branson, Missouri. On that trip, many of our teens either gave their lives to Jesus for the first time or they recommitted their lives to the Lord. That trip created so much unity amongst our TreeHouse and propelled us into the remainder of the summer. One of the main themes that the Lord was speaking to us as staff was intentional discipleship. Often after trips like these God really comes and encounters our teens in a transformative way. He was reminding us that it is our opportunity to partner with Him in stewarding and continuing to cultivate that hunger in our teens once they get back. We decided to start a weekly bible study outside of our normal biweekly programming that we do for our teens, specifically for those who are hungry to grow. Please continue to pray that their hunger and eagerness to pursue Jesus only intensifies as the school year begins. We know we have a lot of babies in the Lord that need a lot of attention and love, and we are praying for wisdom on how to best lead our teens to life in Christ.
In July, we took seven of our teens out to Pine Ridge, South Dakota where we were given the opportunity to love and bless the reservation through service projects and kids camp. It is my greatest joy to see our teens loving other people and forgetting their life struggles to love someone else. I am so proud of them for the way that they loved, didn’t complain and choose to keep growing in their walk with the Lord.
On a personal level, this will be a summer that I will never forget as I got engaged. Nathan, my fiancé, and I decided to have a short engagement and get married at the end of August. Because of the quick turnaround, many of my Treehouse girls helped me with all of the details. Many of my mentoring times with the girls were them helping me write out invites, getting alterations on my dress, shopping for wedding shoes, etc. One of my greatest passions is family and through all the wedding planning, I was able to have many conversations with our teens about their vision for their future marriage and family and what are they doing now to prepare for that. I believe that hope was birthed as most of them don’t come from stable families or haven’t had the opportunity to witness a godly marriage.
I am so grateful for how you have prayed for, supported and cheered us on. Legacies and destines are changing because you said ‘Yes’ to partner with us as we love, serve, bless, and disciple the next generation. Please let me know if there is anything that we can do to support you in this season. Bloomington Treehouse is praying for you and your family!
What a summer it was for Btown! It almost feels like we travelled all over the country as we traveled through Iowa and down to Branson Missouri where we spent the last week in June attending KAA (Kids Across America). It was at this summer camp that nine of our teens built life-long relationships with teens and counselors from all over the country. At this camp, even with all the new friends you make, there is still no relationship more important than meeting your Maker. This was the most important relationship our teens got to build while at this camp and watching these kids make the biggest decision of their lives is something that will never get old to me. As staff, we were aware that the kids that attended this camp would experience so much personal growth, so our goal was to prepare ourselves for what happens after camp ends and everyone goes back home. We were determined to not have kids leave the same way they came. Thankfully the camp had the same goal for us as staff and gave us extensive training on the subject of discipleship. Just as Jesus gave us the Great Commission stating “go and make disciples of all nations”, he also modelled how to do that in his own life. Hearing this message changed a lot for me. I realize that mentoring teens is great and facilitating program and events is great, but what does that matter if we aren’t disciple making.
This doesn’t mean that we simply go tell people about Christ. It means that we live to model Christ in our lives. We invite the next generation to follow us so they will do the same for others.
When I came to this conviction about discipleship, I changed my whole focus from mentoring to disciple making. Just as Jesus had his twelve and from those men he had the inner circle of three, (Peter, James, and John), in my time spent with one of my mentors we specifically focused on asking God who those boys were at Treehouse. Who were the boys that were going to challenge themselves and go spiritually deep? Who were the boys that would grow to become men that follow the example of Christ? As we prayed, something amazing happened. One of the longtime treehouse boys, Jeffrey, began to pursue staff at Treehouse
asking deep spiritual questions about scripture. Jeffrey has never shown interest in the bible nor Jesus prior to this summer. He found sports much more interesting than talking about God but he kept asking us bible questions. We invited him to our very small bible study and he woke up early every Friday and comes to learn more about God. Next we decided to take him with us on a mission trip where I witnessed something truly humbling. Jeffrey got up early every day to go spend time reading his bible and would spend an hour asking me questions about what he read. Watching him transform has been a highlight of my summer. I’ve been honored that God would send me such a disciple allowing me to carry out the same great commission that the early disciples were given.
What a blessing this summer has been and I’m more ready than ever to take on this next chapter of Treehouse. I’m even more thankful for your support of our vision, of seeing the world change, a few teens at a time. Thank you for being such a solid part of my foundation!
Kids Across America-
Mid June we brought nine of our teens to Branson, Missouri for a sports camp- Youth from all over America come together for a full week of fun activities and digging into the word. I went with the expectation that amazing things were going to happen due to the testimonies that our youth came back with last year. On the second to last day the camp does a skit that ties in what Jesus did on the cross for each teen- I watched them depict the beatings that Jesus took for us and listened to the teens sniffling and questioning why Jesus would do this for them. I was with our two seventh graders that both wept and felt a touch from the Holy Spirit, but weren’t quite ready to fully walk with Him. Two of our high schoolers re-dedicated their lives to the Lord and three gave their lives to the Lord for the first time (PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!) Upon returning home we were really intentional about fostering the kids that decided to to give their lives to the Lord. When we arrived home we started a Bible study for the kids who went on trips and any kid who wanted to know more, have community and keep their flame blazing!
One of my seventh grade girls had been praying for God to restore her relationship with her step dad and she came home and everything had changed- he started treating her better and showing her love and affection which he had never done in the past.. two weeks later she texted me asking what John 14:27 means (“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”) It was crazy because I had been reading the exact verse when she texted me, I shared with her that the Lords peace that He gives us looks noting like the peace this world has to offer, it’s everlasting as long as we don’t dwell on the negative. The next day she called me weeping saying that the cops came and took her step dad to jail for a drug bust. I was able to remind her of that verse and she instantly felt that peace.