One of the pleasures I have had as the new Director of Monadnock is to sit and listen to the many stories of those impacted by this ministry. I often ask why this place is so important to people. Oftentimes, they cannot get through their story without shedding a tear.
We recently received a comment from a young lady who has been impacted by our youth camps and serving on one of our mission trips to Haiti.
“During the 70s my grandparents moved my dad’s family to Jaffrey and my father was introduced to MBC. It was there he learned to be a godly man, a leader, and a wonderful father. Then in the 80s my parents met there and married and my life began only a few short years later. I grew up at MBC. My earliest memory there is playing in the “corn crib” with other staff kids while my mom cleaned or worked as a counselor. Then I became a camper myself and loved every minute of it. I believe I was saved when I was five years old and prayed with my mom, but when I was 12 years old and was at camp was when I truly embraced Jesus as my Lord, my King, my Love, and my Best Friend. I spent every summer at MBC fr om when I was 6 years old until I was 22. When I was 18 I took my first trip to Haiti and God again used MBC to change my life. I fell in love with the country and I began to do more and more mission work there. Then, in 2009, in Haiti, I married my husband. I may not have met my husband at MBC, but MBC certainly helped me find him! Finally in 2013, I brought my husband and two of our daughters to MBC to see where I truly fell in love with Jesus and where all my heritage leads me. I have tears in my eyes at this moment and I cannot truly put to words the thoughts that are going through my heart and mind. How many tears of mine have stained the floor of Williams Hall? How many joyous moments of laughter have lingered in the rafters? I love MBC and no matter where I go, MBC will ALWAYS be HOME!”
I love what she wrote, “How many tears of mine have stained the floor of Williams Hall?” Such types of experiences shape and mold who we are and what we believe at Monadnock. To see life change happen week in and week out isn’t something we take for granted. It’s a very humbling aspect of our story that we want to steward that well. It’s these stories that stamp on our hearts that Monadnock is “home.” Mark Batterson writes, “Work as if it depends on you and pray as if it depends on God.” Life change happens simply because of what God wants to do in each of the stories that visit our grounds.
What’s even more amazing for us is that many of the people behind these life changing stories want to be a part of something amazing here at camp, so they volunteer.
Which gets me to the point of this entire blog post. Volunteers are the very heart and soul of this camp for one simple reason. They want to give back.
I asked our some of our staff to share why volunteers are so important to Monadnock.
John Theriault is our head chef. Of course, if that’s all I said, I would be selling him short for all that he is and does for Monadnock. You see, John has been a part of MBC for more than 39 years. Yep, 39 years. He has not only become a quick mentor for me, but also a dear friend. He wrote the following about our volunteers:
“When we start thinking about volunteers our minds go through a history of people who came to MBC to volunteer who have become lifelong friends. If they come once or hundreds of times they are quickly assimilated into our family and are appreciated more than they know. It has been a privilege to work with literally thousands of volunteers over the 39 years that God has allowed us to serve Him and to be part of this ministry. The amazing people who give of their time unconditionally are not only an answer to prayer but a special gift that God has given to MBC. We could not continue without the kindness of these loving servants. Some volunteers with youthful energy keep things moving and shaking. Others have a lifetime of wisdom and skills that they share without reservation. Each person who comes is part of the body of Christ and fulfills a role that God has designed them to fit into for this place and time. Volunteers quickly become partners in this work that God has set before us of building up the body of Christ and reaching the lost so they can spend eternity with our heavenly Father. We love them and are so glad they are part of our lives and family. Thank you Jesus for our volunteers!!!!!!”
Chris Luksha is our Coordinator of Marketing and Promotions and IT and…well, you get the point. He pretty much fills in where we need him. He has a great heart and has also been serving this ministry in some shape or form for almost 30 years. He says this about our volunteers:
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of camp. Volunteers give of themselves because they care and want to see Christ shouted from the mountain tops.
My two favorite quotes from volunteers are “I delight in taking part in such a mission.” and “Volunteering at Monadnock is my way of giving back to the place and people who have taught me, loved me and supported me growing up and continue to teach, love and support me to this day. Monadnock has been a second home to me. When I go to volunteer, it’s like a family reunion.”
I began as a volunteer and hope to end as a volunteer.”
Nate Cook, our Program Director for Youth and has been on full-time staff for over 3 years:
“I firmly believe God used volunteering at Monadnock to groom me to be the man I am today. Volunteers are the backbone to our organization. Without volunteers, Monadnock ceases to exist. Volunteers, are God’s provision to Monadnock. I cannot thank our volunteers enough.
They do all of the work that many times, our guests, donors, board members and staff never see. Volunteers do everything from helping with games finale on a Saturday night during Encounter, to running paintball, to prepping a meal and of course cleaning pots and pans. They make this camp run, and for that Monadnock is forever grateful.”
To serve a cause greater than yourself is something I believe all of us long to be a part of.
As the new guy I have spent a considerable amount of time getting to know our volunteers’ names and stories. I have asked many of them why they come and serve. Oftentimes as they describe their love of Monadnock, they do so with tears in their eyes. Many times this is where Christ’s story invaded their story, and therefore the family of Christ became tangible and real. Their response then would be ‘How can I be a part of something special?’
I would encourage you to check out our volunteer and staff profiles to learn more about the wonderful and amazing people who are a part of our MBC family.
How about you? You interested in being a volunteer? We would love to have you join our family. Something amazing happens here every time pursuers step onto the grounds. They are seeking and longing for something so much more. They come with an expectation to hear from God and find hope. You can be an integral part of their experience. And you, too, will find yourself in the midst of a larger story.