Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This past weekend was Camp Beechpoint's 7th Annual Benefit Auction and Steak Fry!  Every year the auction is a great day of food and fellowship for the great big Beechpoint family and many new friends of the ministry.  With a crowd of 400 we enjoyed a live band, a steak and chicken dinner with a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar,  and camp activities like go carts and rock climbing.

During the live auction we have a time where we auction camper scholarships for the coming summer.  It is an incredibly moving, Spirit-filled, beautiful time.  To see God move in the generosity of His people to provide a way for kids to come to camp - where they will experience His love and learn of His sacrifice for them.  I am teary just typing about it.  I was most definitely teary watching it happen.  In less than 15 minutes, $46,000 was given in camper scholarships!  The song Grateful by Hezekiah Walker has been flowing from my heart for days.  The total received from the auction was just over $68,000!  Praise God for his favor and provision!  Praise God for allowing me yet another opportunity to witness His faithfulness and mighty hand.  Praise God for the children who will be able to attend camp because of the giving of others!  Here are a couple of camper testimonies from last summer.  Lives are changed at camp!
"Thank you for sending me here, because without you I wouldn't have had my first experience of seeing Jesus and talking to him.  I thank you for sending me because Alaina, my camp leader, she has shown me a new light and taught me how to be a teenager.  I love her so much!" - Latanza, age 13
"The counselors here treat you as if you are their children.  Which in this case I love that cuz I don't have anyone to care or pray for me back home.  It's real heartbreaking living in the ghetto and now I know what real friendship is between me and another Christian.  Some of the older counselors, they have experience with a lot of things like manhood, and I applaud them for it.  If you want to grow in your faith you have to come here." - Mario, age 13

I have not used this blog as a platform for giving before, but if you were unable to attend the auction and would like to give toward camper scholarships you can still do so.  Many of the families who come are unable to pay the full cost.  Camp actively seeks out children who would not be able to attend otherwise and does not turn children away who are in financially difficult situations.  $300 will sponsor one child for one week of quality Christian camping and any amount will help us to provide assistance to families.  If you would like to be a part of giving camper scholarships you can send your check to:
Camp Beechpoint
3212 125th Ave
Allegan, MI  49010 
Please indicate that your giving is for camper scholarships.  You will receive a tax-deductible receipt and, at the end of the summer, a thank you letter written by the youth you sponsored.

A couple of photos from the day:
This bike was a raffle item this year.  They tell me it gets 100 miles to the gallon!  Can you just see me zipping around camp on it in the summer?  I'm guessing Mr. D was having similar thoughts while he was getting the auction set up. :-)
Live auction in the Lakeview Lodge.
My friend Daniel and I.  Daniel is our Water Front Director in the summer, has on his chef coat from working in camp's kitchen, and handled the financial check out for the auction.  He also "made" me watch Fast Five on Sunday, explained the parts I didn't get, is not offended that I don't all the way love his dog Lucy, stayed up late with me to process the auction paperwork, and fusses at me like a brother.  Ya gotta love a camp friend!
I love that this was the donations bowl for the steak dinner.  It made me smile that a bowl full of cash can sit on the table at the end of the buffet line and be just fine.  Someone made fun of me for taking this picture, but this moved me in some deeply restorative way that I can't quite put into words.
It was a beautiful day and I love camp in the late spring!  (Not to be confused with the early spring when it rains every day and camp is one giant mud puddle.)  I am "moving" to camp in 10 days!!!  I'm happy to be reunited with a deck chair!

It's The Little Things

I've been making a written list of the things I love:
* brand new notebooks, full of empty pages
* Easter Sunday baptisms
* being useful
* making lists
* an empty sink cuz all the dishes are clean
* good night texts

One of my very favorite things is having children in my home.  I love the laughter and chatter of children playing.  I love the little things like finding one lone army man on the windowsill behind my curtains the next day, left over from Tavontay's army fight.  And the etch-a-sketch that's sitting in the toy box with a building still drawn on it by a very focused Jakarri.  And the drawing Jireh put up on the fridge.

My affection towards these things works out well, since there are lots of times when children come over.  I love that my role at Camp Beechpoint is centered around discipleship.  And I truly believe that life-on-life discipleship is the way God intended it.  Look at the ministry of Jesus - the disciples were a part of his everyday real life!  The very most influential people in my life are people who let me be a genuine part of theirs!
Myree learning how to stuff manicotti and grill chicken.  (Big shout out to Miss LaVerna, Miss Shari, and Ilise for making this picture possible! :-)
This is probably most definitely an obnoxious amount of pictures, lol.  The kids have been over during their Spring Breaks - we had a good time. :-)  Tavaris, Tamyra, Antwon, Tavontay, Mr. Derrick, and Nakeisha came over for the afternoon.
Tavontay, age 8, playin with the potato people.
Tavaris, age 12, playin with the light bright and perler beads.  This light bright takes the most unusual battery size ever, so there's a good chance it will never light up.
Tamyra, age 10, showing off her pretty Easter eggs.
Antwon, age 7, dying Easter eggs.
Joshua and Christopher came over so Miss Jessica could take their pictures.  Betcha can't guess which one enjoyed that more?!  Lol
Christopher, Joshua, and Ziya Angeline - Miss Jessica is amazing!
I kept the JAYs and Jaylon over Spring Break and we had a blast together!  We had free passes to the Brookfield Zoo, which was a blast!
Jabri said she was being sad because the penguin was sad.  I guess he does kinda look sad, lol.  Me and Jabri are going to be friends FOREVER!  I just know it.
Jabri also has this thing for snakes.  I don't get it.  At all.  But I am willing to pretend like I am okay with her affection towards snakes since we are at the zoo - where they can't get out.
Jabari and I.  We had time to kill while Jabri was lookin at the snakes. :-)  Also, my eyes are clearly green.  I mean, they can't be brown like Jabari's are, right?!?!  Come on now, people!  Jabari willingly carried out backpack for the entire time that we were at the zoo.  I love the young man he is becoming!
Jaylon with the gorilla.
Jabri and Jireh kissin the frog to see if it turns into a prince. :-)  Demetrius said she wasn't convinced by Jireh's picture, that Jireh was kissin it like she didn't really care: "You can turn into a prince if you want to." Lol.  (Side note:  This may be the last time I get to braid Jireh's hair into barrettes.  She told her mom that "I don't think these barrettes were a practical choice because they keep click clackin."  I mean, they ARE loud.  But cute!)
Jireh, age 5
Jabari, age 14
Jabri, age 13
Jaylon, age 9
In other news, we went to Ed Debevics downtown - an old school diner where everyone is supposed to be rude.  Jabari has been wanting to go here with me for like 2 years.  It was fun!  Jabari said he has figured out where he wants to get his first job at.  Working here would not be a good idea for me!  Lord know I have enough trouble with my tongue as is - practicing saying things I shouldn't say for 8 hours a day sounds like a bad idea!
We taught Jaylon how to play Settlers.  He was the quickest learner ever!
Jireh came up with her own fun.  I think she spent almost an hour playing under my table.  Remind me why we buy them toys again?!  Both of these pictures are so endearing to me!
Jabari built this and then he took the picture making it look like he was smashing it.  I love his creativity!
We all went to Jaylon's baseball game.  I love, love, love this picture because of how sugar-sweet Jaylon looks.  Makes me just wanna kiss those cheeks!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day! 

Thank you for giving me a fairy tale childhood!  Thank you for making sure I had the security of a consistent schedule.  Thank you for making it possible for me to find any toy I wanted to play with because they all had their own spot to be put away in.  All three of your children have the organization bug - apparently it was catchy!  Thank you for letting us get filthy dirty, even though dirty children were not your favorite.  I remember more than one hose bath before we were allowed to enter the house - it was a good compromise. :-)  Thank you for moderating a thousand disagreements between us kids - we didn't mean to be so petty.  Everything just seemed so important at the time!

Do you know that one of my favorite memories was getting to pick the vegetable for dinner?  I used to hover around while you were making dinner just so I would be the easiest kid to send to the pantry!

I remember playing with your doll house furniture for hours - please tell me you still have that in one of your boxes!

I remember running through the snow in swimsuits after getting out of the hot tub.

I remember you putting a blanket on the front porch for us to watch the lightening from. 

I remember you making us dolls out of flowers and tooth picks.

Thank you for documenting all our many memories in photos that I will never forget:
Mommy and Megan vacuuming together.  Everything about this picture is endearing to me... including those care bear curtains I had forgotten about!
This picture is excellent!  We spent hours and hours playing one kind of dress up or another.  Poor Matt, I'm sure to this day he wishes he had been the oldest!  This picture is confirmation that he was a victim of my persuasion, lol.
You were always good at matching outfits. :-)  I love this picture of Sarah and I.
You tried to talk dad out of letting us climb on the shed and run down the roof to jump on the trampoline.  Praise Jesus we are all alive to laugh about this!  Thank you for being the voice of reason in that craziness!  Before I drop my kids off with their grandparents for the summer we are having a long conversation about how grandma gets to make all the safety decisions!!!
You made sure there was never a dull moment at Vacation Bible School.
And you made sure that we were never the kids who didn't have a costume.  It's hard to guess what Christmas event you had us all dressed up for.  Probably Awana.  But no one was ever gonna catch a Schenk kid not participating on dress up day! :-)  I'm also guessing that not everybody's Awana came with so many dress up opportunities, lol.

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy.  I love you!

Blindfolds+Egg Hunts=Entertainment

In the past few months God has connected me with Examples Ministries, an organization that desires to equip families to grow, model, and invest their faith.  I love the heart and mission of this organization, because I think it echos God's heart.  It's God's divine order that parents raise up their children to love and follow Him.  It's also God's desire that we support each other on this faith journey! 

Every other Friday night Examples hosts a mom's group called A Mother's Heart that provides an opportunity for moms to connect with other moms and hear relevant, Biblical teaching on parenting.  I provide transportation for my friend Nakeisha and her children to attend the group.  While the mom's are meeting, I get to minister to their children.  I love the fruit from A Mother's Heart, because the more a parent's heart is submitted to God, the greater access God has to that child.  God's design is for parents to reveal God's love and grace to their children and to intentially establish faith in their home!
I'm also thankful for the new friends I've made by ministering with the Examples team.  Deanna co-directs Examples with her husband, Eddie, and leads the teaching and discussion at A Mother's Heart.  We don't have any pictures together (yet), so I stole this picture of Deanna with her son Quad from her facebook page.  :-)  It never ceases to amaze me the many ways that God brings people into my life.  I am thankful for you, Deanna!

A Mother's Heart hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for all of the families this year.  It was a great day to be together!  We did the bounce house and barbecue gig - always a winner. :-)  Especially since I let it be known ahead of time that I should not be the one to work the grill.  (riiiiight, Miss LaVerna?!  lol)
Our smaller children hunting eggs.
Marianna in the bounce house!
Since Nakeisha comes to A Mother's Heart, that means an extra day I get to spend time with Tavaris, Tavontay, and Tamyra!  They LOVED this bounce house.  Tavontay has like a hundred of those little wrestling men, so I'm sure that's what he was thinking about up in there.
Quad enjoying the bubbles.  I love that he is in his socks in this picture. :-)
Jayla blowing bubbles.
So, we decided that the mom's should get in on the fun of hunting for eggs as well.  Deanna had some fun prizes for them and got everyone excited to be involved ... then she told them that they would be doing the hunt blindfolded!  We spread the eggs out in one big pile, just like for the small kids, and the moms felt around for them.  It was hysterical! 
The tricky part was knowing where to bend down.  Since they were plastic eggs they kinda just moved out of the way if you shuffled your feet.  Again: HILARIOUS!  I love this picture of Marcia!
T.J. and Isaiah
"Dear Lord, please let my children have dimples.  Amen!"
Jayla, Heaven, and Tamyra waiting while their eggs were being hidden.