Dear Parents and Guardians,
Every year at this time, I get a bit nostalgic and I wonder where the time has gone. Walking past empty classrooms and quiet dorms feels strange, and I miss the laughter and greetings of the wonderful students we have here at WOLBI. What a blessing they are!
Thank you for letting me serve your students this year. I’m praying for them–and for you– as they transition home for this time, and I can’t wait to have our campus filled with young people serving Jesus during summer camp this year.
New York Youth Camps
We’re excited about summer camps! The Ranch, The Ridge, and The Island will all take place on the Bible Institute property, which has already been outfitted in most areas to meet current COVID Guidelines.
The Ranch (elementary school) program will continue to operate on a separate schedule from the older youth programs. While Ranch campers may cross paths with other age groups on the property, all meals, meetings, activities, and cabins will be unique to our elementary school-aged campers.
The Island (high school) and The Ridge (middle school) will leverage a blend of individualized and combined programming. Some activities that lend themselves to larger groups and are less age-specific will take place together. However, we will still have separate cabins and many activities that are operated specifically for each age group.
We are planning on not only opening The Pines this summer but expanding the season to 11 weeks of camping! The Pines was the only facility that was able to open at all last summer in New York, and based on current regulations and best practices, we are confident that we can operate safely and bring back most of our regular programming at the Pines.
We would love to have you visit us for a week at The Pines–reserve a spot at The Pines website.
Return from Break and Key Dates
Pines Team 1: Arrive on Friday, June 4th (Finish on Friday, July 23rd)
Pines Team 2: Arrive on Friday, July 16th (Finish on Sunday, August 29th)
Youth Camp Team: Arrive on Friday, June 18th (Finish on Saturday, August 14th)
Graduation: Saturday, August 14th
Missions Reality looked very different this year, as we did not take our sophomore students on an international missions trip due to COVID-19. Instead, over a two-week period, our sophomores were able to participate in Ethnos360’s (formerly New Tribes Mission) Wayumi program (Why-YOU-Me) in central Pennsylvania. This program is designed to expose people to the unique nature of crossing significant cultural and linguistic barriers, translating the Bible into a new language for the first time, and planting churches amongst people with animistic worldviews.
At Wayumi, our students not only learned the biblical foundation for ministry to the unreached, but they also got a taste of culture and language study as well as Bible translation exercises with the missionaries there. The week also included multiple cross-cultural dining opportunities, most notably a Papua New Guinea “mumu (MOO-moo)” dinner where the students participated in the preparation and cooking of the meal throughout the day.
It was amazing to see God use the missionaries at Wayumi to help our students understand that God’s plan involves reaching every tribe, nation, and tongue with the gospel (Revelation 5:9)–and they can be involved in that mission as goers or senders for the rest of their lives! We are all called to help fulfill the Great Commission; the only questions are where and how.
Open Air Evangelism
Over the course of two weeks, all our freshman students went to various cities around upstate New York to take part in Open Air Evangelism (OAE). It was an incredible opportunity for students to get experience sharing their faith and talking with people about the gospel in a casual way.
During those two weeks, the gospel was shared with 470 people, and 26 of those trusted Christ on the spot! It is not about the numbers, but seeing such an incredible response to the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ opened our students’ eyes to the desperate need for hope all around us. We trust that many seeds were planted, and we are grateful for the blessing of a fruitful time during OAE.