Category Archives: Director’s Updates

Personal blog posts from the director of LeTourneau Christian Center, updating friends and supporters on the ministry’s purposes, people, programming and special projects.

Director’s Update: Tilling the Soil of Hearts This Summer

Whenever you meet servants of the Lord who have served Him for decades (in one place) without fail, you are blessed! You see the power of the Holy Spirit in the purity and dedication of their lives. LeTourneau has been blessed to have two such saints in Avis Sowl and Gerri Moose. As you are likely aware, Avis went to be with the Lord July 1, 2016. Her sixty years of faithful service has inspired and encouraged so many. Thankfully, we are still blessed to have Gerri with us! Gerri is as faithful as ever. With a loving smile, she serves in the background, making beds, cleaning, baking, and lifting us all up in prayer. She is an immense gift from the Lord.

This summer, every student in THE WAY summer student program will be encouraged to imitate Avis and Gerri’s faith in the Lord and heart of service. THE WAY program is designed to be a rich discipleship ministry for students ages 14 and up. Our hope is to point the way to the LORD during each student’s 8-10 week at camp (John 14:5-6). By God’s grace, each student will leave established in their faith, committed to God’s Word, and surrendered to God’s will.

We will welcome more than 20 students to THE WAY program this year! To support this program, each student will help raise support by sending letters to friends and family and by praying for the Lord’s provision. The goal for each student is $100 a week. A special message from Gerri is included below on the many benefits of our summer discipleship program.

In order to guarantee every student has the opportunity to participate in THE WAY, LeTourneau established the Avis & Gerri Fund. In 2017, the fund goal is $20,000, which will help provide for each student’s financial stipend, meals, lodging, training, materials, and special activities. If you are led to contribute to the Avis and Gerri Fund, we would be very grateful for your support! All gifts are tax deductible. You may send a check to: LeTCC / 4950 County Rd. 11 / Rushville, NY 14544, or contribute online at this link.             

Thank you for helping point THE WAY to Christ and raising up the next generation of faithful Kingdom builders for the glory of God and the joy of His people.

In Joyful Service,
Jamie Fischer, Director

A Note from Gerri: 
Dear Friends of LeTourneau,
Whenever January comes it is time to change and prepare for another year. Over the years, Avis and I always knew that this was the time to start praying for a “new” summer staff that we would have join us in the months to come. We never knew who would return and who would come for the first time, but we could always depend on God to send who He wanted, and who we needed.

Whenever staff members first arrived, they seemed like strangers, but by the end of each summer, they were one happy family. Avis and I greatly enjoyed the mornings spent with “our girls” as we had devotion time and worked to memorize chapters of the Bible.

I can’t always remember them all now, but if someone quotes a passage, it comes back that we had learned it. At first, it was hard for some of our girls to pray among us but by the time they were ready to leave, they would pray with us as well as bring their requests.

If Avis were here, I know she would want to thank you, and I do too, for giving towards the Avis and Gerri Fund. Thank you for making it possible for so many young people to be able to be part of our summer staff, and for the support you give as you join us in prayer over these young people!
God Bless You!
 
Love,
Gerri Moose
Share

A Vision for Ministry: 2017 and Beyond

Director Jamie Fischer will periodically share updates on the LeTCC ministry. Here is his latest Director’s Update for May 2017:

We exist to serve the church and to build up the Kingdom of God for the Glory of God and the Joy of His People.

We delight in dreaming BIG for God and His Kingdom. We want to max out our potential and use every resource He has blessed us with to fulfill our mission. With faith, we are looking to the Father for discernment, wisdom, provision, and direction.

The following are areas we hope to build up in 2017 and beyond.

1. Host Ministry

Quality Improvements: We are improving how we serve our guests every week. We are evaluating everything we do and making improvements. Our facilities are also receiving some much appreciated improvements. (See VI. for more)

Getting the Word Out: We have also begun the process of reaching out to 500 churches in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and throughout this region, which do not currently use our ministry. These churches are between 1 and 2 hours from our facilities; perfect for a retreat. A new marketing team will soon take the lead in development material and a plan to connect with these churches and others. A new website will be launched in May 2017!

2. Events Ministry

Expand our Children’s and Youth Ministry      

Easter Egg Hunt: We hosted our first annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 8. There were 60+ kids enjoying a day at camp. These children enjoyed games, the “candy store,” face painting, food, a Bible story, and more!

Day Camps and Youth Camp: In 2017 it will be our mission to continue our Children’s Day Camp program and summer Youth Camp to disadvantaged youth. We will raise funds that will allow up to 100 students to join us throughout the summer.

Kid’s Night Out: In keeping with our desire to reach children, we hope to establish periodic nightly events for children throughout the year. We will feed, entertain, and share the truths of scripture with these children. Can we say, DATE NIGHT!

3. Expand our Family Ministry

Easter Sunrise Service: Easter morning we had more than 60 adults join us for a special time next to the lake. It was 62 degrees and beautiful with the sun rising over the hill just as we concluded our special service. Afterward, we enjoyed breakfast together in the Dining Hall and spent the time fellowshipping together and praising our risen Lord.

Women’s Ministry: The Blessed Hope Ladies ministry continues to be a wonderful part of the LeTourneau ministry to ladies. To complement their work, if the Lord allows, we would love to bless women, and especially mothers, with a periodic night out. These ladies would have an opportunity to have some much-deserved fun and be inspired by other women. Child care would also be provided!

Family Fun Day: On June 17th, we will be hosting a Family Fun Day. There will be a delicious Chicken BBQ and family activities throughout the day, including swimming, mini golf, basketball, paintball, and a lot more! Watch for more information.

Family Camp: It is our sincere hope that we will be able to host a family camp week in July 2017. Please check the calendar in May for dates and details…Lord willing!

III. Conferences and Retreats: If the Lord allows, we would love to provide a Pastor/Laymen Conference, foster family conference, a marriage retreat, and youth retreats in 2017/2018.

4. THE WAY Program:

Summer Program and School of Discipleship: Our heart is to disciple young people. We will continue discipling students through our summer program and our year-round young adult ministry, the School of Discipleship. It is our goal to disciple these students and send them out into society better equipped to share the Gospel and build up the Kingdom.

5. Laymen Institute:

Exciting News: As THE WAY School of Discipleship has grown, so has the interest from laymen in our area who are eager to participate in the same classes our students are taking (i.e. New Testament, Old Testament, Theology, and more). In collaboration with pastors throughout the region, we are hoping to see the establishment of a laymen’s institute, in conjunction with our School of Discipleship, for the building up and training of future church leaders and perhaps even pastors and missionaries. Several pastors in our region are hoping to form a counsel to develop and lead this ministry in 2017-18.

6. Renovations, Recreation, and Facilities:

Moving Forward: In January we added a new staff member, Bob Anderson, to be our Project Manager. Bob is leading our renovations and future building projects. This year we are busy with numerous renovation projects including the renovation of bedrooms in the Bethany House and 1st Floor of the Lodge. We are also updating the stage, sound system, and lights in the Tabernacle. Several buildings will have new roofs by the end of 2017. A new waterfront patio with seating for 30 is also being added at the lake. Lord willing we will be adding new recreation options and beginning the process of raising funds for a new multi-purpose facility to better serve our guests and fulfill our mission.

Share

Heroes of the Faith

Who was your first hero of the faith? My first hero of the faith and the man who inspired me to live a life of faith was George Mueller. If you don’t know, George Mueller, during a desperate time for orphans in England’s history, desired to show men that God still works through faith in mighty ways and so embarked on a mission to establish orphanages for the physical and spiritual well-being of orphan children. Ultimately, he built several large orphanages, fed and cared for nearly 2,000 orphans over many years, all without ever asking publicly for a penny of support.

“He had only two shillings (50 cents) in his pocket. Without making his wants known to any man, but to God alone, over a million, four hundred thousand pounds ($7,000,000) were sent to him for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes.” (OChristian.com)

I learned of George Mueller while just a child. His legacy of faith truly shaped my view of God’s sovereignty and my view of the power of faith in the Word of God. His son-in-law said George Mueller “devised large and liberal things for the Lord’s cause.” He certainly did. I pray and trust the Lord will lead the ministry here at LeTourneau to “devise large and liberal things for the Lord’s cause” as well. Thank you for your prayers and support as we invest time, energy, and resources here for the Lord’s cause.

For His Glory,
Jamie Fischer
LeTCC Director

Share

Director’s Update: A New Vision in 2017

We humbly thank God for His many blessings on the ministry in 2016 and look forward with prayerful anticipation to an exciting vision to see the Kingdom of God expand and more hearts turn to him anew in 2017 through the ministry at LeTourneau. God is so good, His mercies are new every morning, and it is clear that God is ON THE MOVE!

Renovations, New Recreation, and Facilities: 
This coming year we will begin some much-needed renovation projects, and the camp leadership anticipates an investment of $50,000 -$100,000 to recondition and upgrade our waterfront, “makeover” portions of the Lodge and Bethany House, and develop a new parcel of land (two acres) recently donated to the ministry for eventual use as an outdoor “Rec Park.” The new parcel lies between Jones Road to the south of our current property line, and a large gorge in our woods. Ultimately, we hope to develop the parcel in four stages: establishing an obstacle course, development of an athletic field or fields, installing a ropes course with high and low challenge elements. The board plans to begin the process of raising funds for construction of a year-round multi-purpose facility which can house an indoor gym and meeting space to better serve our guests in the cold months. If the Lord provides, we hope that a ground-breaking may take place by the fall of 2017.

Hosting Ministry tied to renovations: We hope to reach out to new churches and Christian organizations in 2017. We are compiling a list of 500 churches in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and throughout this region, which do not currently use our ministry. They will receive information on our ministry before the new year! We pray the Lord would use us to serve many of these churches and Christian organizations to impact the Kingdom of God.

Expansion of our Children’s Ministry: We desire to reach children with the love of Christ and to share the saving message of the Gospel. In 2017, it will be our mission to continue our Children’s Day Camp program while adding a couple of overnight camps. Again, these will be coordinated and led by our staff leaders and volunteers.

Kid’s Night Out: In keeping with our desire to reach children, we hope to establish periodic nightly events for children throughout the year. We will feed, entertain, and share the truths of Scripture with these children. (And for parents, can we say, DATE NIGHT!?!)

THE WAY Program: Our heart is to disciple young people, both locally and internationally. We will continue discipling students through our summer program and our year-round young adult ministry. It is also our desire to reach international students through THE WAY program. With contacts in China, and perhaps in other countries as well, we are hoping to have 2-3 students join us for the 2017 summer program. It is our goal to disciple these students and send them home better equipped to share the Gospel and build up the Kingdom in their home countries.

Laymen Institute: In collaboration with pastors throughout the region, we are hoping to see the establishment of a laymen’s institute for the building up and training of future church leaders and perhaps even pastors and missionaries. Several pastors in our region are hoping to form a counsel to develop and lead this ministry in 2017.

Women’s Ministry: If the Lord allows, we would love to bless ladies with a periodic night out and possibly even offer some practical training. These ladies would have an opportunity to have some much-deserved fun and be inspired by other women. Child care would also be provided!

Family Camp: It is our sincere hope that we will be able to host a family camp in the summer of 2017. We would love to have the opportunity to host families for a few days of fun on the lake and a time of family renewal through training and spiritual interaction.

Additional Conferences and Retreats: If the Lord allows, we would love to provide a Pastor/Laymen Conference, adoption & foster family conference, a marriage retreat, and youth retreats in 2017.

— Jamie Fischer, Director

 

Share

Director’s Update: Ministry Highlights in 2016

In 2016, we saw God move in amazing ways through the ministry of LeTCC.
Here are several highlights from our director, Jamie Fischer:

Service Ministry Growth: We saw a healthy increase in guest bookings, which allowed our facilities to be used every month, and more heavily from April through November. Throughout the year, we saw the Lord do some amazing things in the lives of more than 5,000 guests.

Ethnic Diversity: The Kingdom of God will be composed of believers from every nation. This year we were blessed to serve people from many nations and ethnic groups, including those from Korea, China, Thailand, and Central and South America.

Children’s Day Camps: We were so blessed to start our Children’s event ministry with 6 weeks of Day Camps. We shared the Gospel and ministered to nearly 150 children. Camp themes included Culinary Arts, Drama, Art, Soccer, and Water Sports.

Inner City and Underprivileged Teen Camp: Once again we were able to host teens, for free, from the inner city and underprivileged teens in our region. We shared the Gospel, entertained, served meals, played games, and had the privilege of leading these teens in worship.

Volunteer Ministry Explosion: We were so blessed to have dozens of individuals and families serve alongside us throughout the year. They built, painted, renovated, cleaned, cooked, served, taught, and more. We praise God for these wonderful folks.

The Way Summer Program: This program was designed to disciple teens and college-age students throughout 8-10 weeks of summer ministry. Students had daily devotions with the staff and once again at night with their dorm leaders. They also participated in multiple Bible studies throughout the week and were mentored to know the Lord in a genuine life-changing way.

Pastor and Missionary Retreats: Each year we serve dozens of pastor and missionary families. These families are treated to a relaxing and refreshing weekend in one of our cottages for free.

THE Way School of Discipleship: In September of this year, the Lord led us to establish THE WAY School of Discipleship for young adults desiring to be mentored for one year in Christian ministry. We have five students who spend 15-20 hours in class studying Old Testament and New Testament Survey, Biblical Theology, Worldview, and Apologetics, as well as other supplemental classes. The students also serve alongside our full-time staff and are given opportunities to lead in ministry. They will be key leaders in our 2017 summer ministry.

Share

Director’s Update: Gratitude for a God Who’s “On the Move”

I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking away from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him. — Ecclesiastes 3:14

God is always ON THE MOVE. He is moving every moment of every day to bring about His perfect will. He will not be hindered. He cannot be moved from His course. What He has determined, He will accomplish and it will never be undone. Since before time began (Ephesians 1), the Lord’s will and His work has been to bring about a great salvation for His glory; to draw men into His Kingdom and to crown them as sons and daughters.

It is a great joy of faith, to hope in the Lord who works to accomplish His plans. God’s movement among men is constantly on display here at LeTourneau Christian Camp. This year we have seen the Lord working in the lives of thousands of men, women, teens, and children. It is an amazing joy to see, week after week this kind of work being accomplished. We’ve seen young children hear the Gospel for the first time, young teenagers make sold-out commitments to Christ, college students dedicate their lives to kingdom purposes, men and women standing up to lead their families and churches, pastors renewed, missionaries refreshed, and churches reinvigorated. This is the work of God. This is what we gratefully have a part in. This is what you have supported. Praise the Lord for His work in the lives of so many!

It is our hope to share with you many more of the ways in which God has moved at LeTourneau Christian Camp. We would love for you to join us at 6 p.m. on December 10, 2016 for special banquet where you can capture this vision, of God “On The Move.” It is our heart to praise the Lord for what He has done in 2016 and to look forward to the work God is preparing us for in 2017. Please join us for this celebration. You may email us at office@letcc.org or call (585) 554-3400 to make a reservation. The evening will include a delicious banquet—free to all, testimonies, vision-casting, celebration, worship, and more. For those who want to get involved in a greater way with the ministry at LeTourneau, we will also share how you may partner with us through prayer, volunteer opportunities, planning, financial giving, and other areas of service. As part of our LeTCC family, you may sponsor a table if you like, then invite guests and friends to join you.

Come see how God is “On The Move” in this ministry.
In God’s Grace,
Jamie Fischer
LeTCC Director

Share

Asking Prayer for Avis (Director’s Update – 6.24.16)

Dear Friends and LeTourneau Family,

Gerri Moose & Avis SowlWe invite you to join us in prayer for our long-time staff member, Avis Sowl, who recently suffered an apparent stroke. This last week has seen Avis’s health deteriorate quickly. Her strength has decreased, and while, at times, she is still alert and able to speak with Gerri or visitors, she is sleeping more and more. Her physical needs now require daily care from nurses, who have been supporting Gerri in caring for Avis at home, as others —including LeTourneau staff and friends from Avis & Gerri’s home church — come alongside to assist. As of this writing, we expect Avis to enter a hospice home about 15 minutes away, on July 5th. 

After 60 years of serving at LeTourneau Christian Center, Avis’s absence will be hard felt by all, from the guests who have grown fond of seeing her year after year, to her countless friends, and certainly by her LeTourneau family. Avis’s smiles, quick humor, countless stories, and timely prayers have brought a great deal of joy and peace; her absence will leave a huge void in our ministry and in our hearts.

Please pray for Gerri as she is losing her best friend. Gerri trusts the Lord and is at peace, but knows adjusting to life without Avis will not be easy. Avis and Gerri’s names go hand-in-hand. They are two of the dearest saints this world has ever been blessed with. Their legacy is one of faithful service and genuine love for the Lord and His people. 

Please keep them in your prayers. The Lord is faithful.

Jamie Fischer
LeTCC Director

Psalm 16:11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. 

Share

Director’s Update: New Season, New Staff, New Programs

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. – John 12:25-26

May has been an encouraging month as we have welcomed hundreds of guests to LeTCC. Our new staff have been introduced to some very large groups and handled the pressure well. As usual, we are grateful for the dozens of volunteers who came out to help us serve our guests and to allow us to minister well. During our Memorial Day Weekend, it was incredibly busy, but the Lord provided for our needs with some very hard working folks.

God has sent us some special young people to work with this past month. We hired Jens and Sonya Loso about 5 weeks ago, in the roles of maintenance and grounds manager and groups coordinator/office manager. Jens and Sonya came to us from a camp in North Carolina. They are newlyweds and truly love serving others; it is obvious they have a passion for discipling young people. We are thrilled to have them on our team, and I’m excited to see them help train and bless our summer staff.

Summer Staff Program - THE WAYThe WAY program, our summer youth and young adult discipleship program, had a tremendous start at our annual staff training weekend. We will be welcoming 12 teenagers and 8 young adults (18+) into the program. Many of the young adults will be helping with our day camps as counselors and teachers. We are thrilled with all these young people and are looking forward to pouring into their lives and leading them to know God and to make him known. Please pray for these youth and young adults as they lead, serve, and grow in Christ.

We have also been blessed to have three young men join our summer team this month. Lucas Holmes is a young adult who is preparing to lead some of our discipleship ministry for the summer. William Robinson is a young adult who will be serving in several areas of camp ministry, but especially in worship and summer staff accountability. Donivan Williams is the first young man to join our new internship program, which is an extension of THE WAY program for our summer staff and continues into the fall. He will be serving, gaining experience in ministry, receiving leadership training, and studying the Word through Biblical education and will be joined by at least one other young adult for the internship.  Thank you for being a part of bringing these young people to LeTourneau to serve, disciple, and to be brought up in the Lord in ministry. The Losos and these young men have truly grasped the meaning of John 12:25-26. It is a blessing to see them sold out for the Lord.

OrigLegcYouth500x375God is blessing the ministry and our calendar continues to fill with small to even very large groups. Many churches and groups are enthusiastic about our vision and the future God is revealing. Some have even called to volunteer their youth groups or church groups for future work projects at camp. Others are excited about our vision for local and foreign missions and want to help reach the lost. I hope this aspect of our ministry will be even more evident by 2017.

Our LeTCC IMPACT events are being built up and have received a lot of good responses. We are planning on 10-25 campers per week during the 6 weeks of day camps; culinary camp being the most popular. We have been able to operate our paintball field for three groups now and have had a great response. We are moving forward with planning for our Outreach Teen Camp, Evangelistic Paintball Tournament, Youth Winter Retreat, and other events for 2016-17 (more info to come).

Praise the Lord for His works and for His guidance.

Jamie Fischer
LeTCC Director

Share
Link

Greetings Potential 2017 Summer Staff,

The staff and I are so excited about summer 2017! I hope you all are praying about God’s will for you this summer. We have been praying for a long time that the Lord would provide us with young people ready to draw close to God and ready to serve Christ’s people this summer through THE WAY program (Eph. 2:10).Summer Staff Photo 2015

This summer at LeTourneau we are ready to take our youth and young adults’ discipleship ministry to the next level. LeTourneau’s summer staff ministry is designed to be a rich discipleship program for students ages 14 and up. The program is called THE WAY and is broken into two distinct age groups, 14-16 and 17 and up. The goal of this program is to establish youth and young adults in their faith, to build up their trust in the Word, and give them boldness to live out the Gospel. Every student will have daily opportunities to be led into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Students will participate in personal and corporate devotions, regular worship, concentrated studies, personal accountability, and constant interaction with mentors (we have designated leaders for guys and girls). Students will also find their fellow summer staffer youth to be a great source of joy and encouragement, as well as potential lifelong Christian friends.

Even more, these students will have a chance to gain some expertise in many camp jobs and earn an invaluable Christian work ethic. Camp jobs include some of the following: maintenance, dining hall hostessing, lifeguarding, water front hand boat operators, paintball field managers, kitchen assistants, housekeeping, and more! New this year, and available to students who qualify, will be the opportunity to be camp counselors during LeTourneau’s 6 weeks of Summer Children’s Day Camps for ages 5-13 and our youth outreach camp at the end of the summer.

Summer Staff Program - The WayWe are thrilled about THE WAY program and believe it has the potential to help students create a legacy of faithful Christian service. To be a part of this program, students must fill out an application. Their application is reviewed and if accepted, students are offered one of the limited number of volunteer or paid positions. Once accepted, students participate in mandatory training sessions prior to the summer commitment. Each participant is also asked to help raise support by sending out approximately 20 support letters (LeTCC will provide a sample and will mail these letters at no cost to students) and pray for the Lord’s provision. The goal for each student is $100 a week. The funds help to pay for the student’s missionary stipend, meals, lodging, training, discipleship materials, and special activities. Those unable to raise the $100 will still be invited to camp! To guarantee every student has the opportunity to participate in THE WAY, LeTourneau has established the Avis & Gerri (Summer Staff) Fund. Our A&G Fund will make up any support still needed. For those not requesting financial compensation, we also accept volunteers!           

Thank you for praying about joining THE WAY program. We are excited to meet the team God is building for the summer of 2017!

In Joyful Service,

Jamie Fischer
LeTCC Director

To be considered for this summer staffing program, please complete the application and reference form below and send them to the LeTourneau office via e-mail to contact@letourneau.org

Share

Director’s Update: Faithful Laborers

For this I toil, struggling with all his (the Lord’s) energy that he powerfully works within me. – Colossians 1:29 ESV

12719355_968862949860218_7493503101861342055_oThe Lord is faithful in every season. It is important to remember God is always at work within us through Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all He has prepared for us to do. At LeTourneau, we see the Lord’s provision and know He is empowering this ministry. He has blessed us with such wonderful volunteers and financial partners. We were so encouraged this past month (February) by the dozen or more volunteers who came to help us serve guests and by those who helped paint and renew the Rec Hall (Check out the photos on our FB page!). What a blessing these volunteers have been to us all!

We are also so blessed by all those who have given financially to help this ministry serve the Lord’s people and bring glory to Jesus Christ. The winter is always a slow time for LeTCC and our bills always outpace our group revenue, so thanks to each of you who gave to help see us through this slower season. I have to mention one gift to encourage all of you. As you may know, our Dining Hall carpet is 20 years old and in desperate need of replacement. Thanks to one very generous partner, we will be replacing our Dining Hall carpet this month (in March)! We couldn’t be more grateful for this gift and we know the Lord will use it to encourage all those who have a heart for this ministry.

Blessings in Christ,
Jamie Fischer, director

Share