A Note From The Director: a reflection on National Camp & looking towards the future

The Encourager

Recently, I have been thinking about the significance of this season we are in as an organisation. We have an amazing opportunity to honour the rich history of Elevate and prepare for the next forty plus years. Celebrating forty years of Elevate National Camp at Totara Springs Christian Centre highlighted this again to me.

Our National Camp this year was a time of remembering and celebrating. Both Ps Geoff Wiklund and Ps Bruce McDonald brought messages of hope, exploring God’s promises and the biblical significance of forty.

Three ladies with their arms around each other laughingPs Bruce speakingA man being baptised. He has just come up and his hands are up with his arm's spread wide worshiping God

We heard many stories throughout the weekend of how camp has been the catalyst for change in people’s lives, for the cherished place of acceptance and belonging that it is, and for many significant moments in people’s relationship with God. Such as Bonnie who experienced a life changing moment while being prayed for at National Camp. You can read her testimony here. Our other article this issue is from Jack Oppenhuizen, who while attending as a speaker, was changed both personally and professionally by his experience at National Camp. At a special banquet celebration on Saturday night, which the Totara Springs staff went all out for, we had the opportunity to honour Totara Springs. They have partnered with us and provided such generous support.

Di Willis, Ross Bay and Chris Kinman talking on stage, reminiscing about the last 40yrs of National Camp

Di Willis (co-founder of Elevate), Ross Bay (former manager & trustee of Totara Springs) and Chris Kinman (Totara Springs CEO)

There are two changes happening next year I wanted to let you know about. Many of you will already have heard that we won’t be holding our National Camp next year. This camp has been significant in many people’s lives, and we believe this next year we need to seek God and gather thoughts from those involved. What does National Camp need to look like to continue to have a significant impact on many more people’s lives?

The second thing is that The Encourager magazine will only have one issue next year. As a small team who all work part-time, producing three issues a year is a big time commitment. There is also the reality of increased postage, the impact of which you will have seen for many other organisations. We know that for some of you online isn’t accessible which is why we will still produce one issue and the team will continue to look at ways we can communicate with you all.

A group photo of young women at camp

As we move forward into the next 40 plus years of ministry, we remain committed to seeing people with disability and their whānau (family), leading, contributing, growing and belonging in Christian community and wider society.

Please join us in praying for this ministry, for those involved (campers, attendees, volunteers, leaders, supporters, staff, trustees), for God’s guidance and provision, and mostly for God’s presence.

Ngā mihi nui,
Kirsty Armitage | Director

National Camp group photo


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