Recently, I made a presentation to a church group about the Epworth Forest Project. The group sat with coffee cups in hand, politely listening and nodding their heads. The video showed the need to reach an additional 10,000 kids a year for Jesus Christ. All were in agreement that this would be an amazing step in evangelism and discipleship. To touch the lives of an additional 10,000 youth a year would be amazing. Their nodding continued.

As I completed the presentation, one of the folks in the group said, “my son decided to go into ministry at Epworth, do you know how many other pastors in our conference did that too?”

I told him I had no information on the numbers of pastors who accepted their call to ministry at camp, but from what I’ve heard, it seems as many as 80 percent of pastors had heard their call in a church-camp setting.

One of the others in the group shared that his daughter had become a missionary, had been to India and was now back in the states for education and training so she could be more effective. More and more stories began to be shared of lives changed by the word being shared through church camp – through Epworth Forest.

Even when the economy is down, this church group decided to support the Epworth Forest Project with their prayers, with their financial support and with their work. And, following the presentation, like most United Methodist groups, this group formed a committee and began to plan how they would share their knowledge, support and passion for bringing our children and youth to experience Christ in their own lives.

Yes, the Epworth Forest Project promotes construction and renovation of camping facilities, however at the end of the day, this project is really about providing facilities for our children and grandchildren that they might hear the Gospel and accept Christ into their lives, no matter what their calling in life.

Please join us and churches like the First United Methodist Church in Auburn, as we share in “doing everything it takes to reach the next generation for Jesus Christ.”

For more information about the project and this effective ministry or to make a charitable contribution, visit or e-mail Jean Brindel at

The Rev. Jean Moorman Brindel, CFRE, AFP, serves as Development Director: Camping Ministry.

To touch the lives of an additional 10,000 youth a year would be amazing.