Breaking Ground

Imagine watching the opener in a building with 26 feet high ceilings.

Imagine having a big indoor area for Winter Camp.

Imagine having the room for more churches to bring students to camp.

Imagine how many more students will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Imagine how it will impact their lives to know they are loved unconditionally.

Imagine how they will then impact others.

Soon you won't have to imagine because we have very exciting News!! The ground has been broken, and construction began on July 26 for new 7,500 square foot multi-purpose building. We are pumped to have this space and we know that God is going to use it for incredible, transformational things.

The way you, our ministry partners, can help us, is to pray!

  1. Pray for the construction process - that it would be smooth and safe.

  2. Pray for our contractors - that they would see Jesus in us throughout their time here.

  3. Pray for our town relations - that they would be supportive of Hume and that we would be a blessing to our community.

  4. Pray for Hume - that we would use this building for the Glory of God.

 

NEW MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING - 7,500 SQ FT - COMING FALL 2018 

NEW MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING - 7,500 SQ FT - COMING FALL 2018 

Men's Retreat!

We live busy lives, pouring ourselves into work, family, ministry, friends and so much more. It sometimes feels like to do well in one area means having to neglect another. That is why in times of exhaustion as well as in times of great enthusiasm, it is so important to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and take time to withdraw to a quiet and secluded place.

This Fall we are excited be hosting our first Hume New England Men’s Retreat. We will take care of all the details; all you have to do is come. Our speaker for the weekend is Adam Weatherby, president of one of America’s premier firearm manufacturers. He is passionate about communicating God’s Word and we can’t wait to see how God speaks through him. There will be opportunities to for you to eat, play, rest, adventure, worship, bond and grow.

Our favorite thing about a Hume Men’s retreat isn’t the recreation, which will be amazing; it surprisingly isn’t the food, which will be hearty. It is seeing men from different churches, different ages and generations, different denominations come together as Christ’s church to worship Him. It is experiencing the unity that has already been given to us through the Gospel. It is watching men leave this place refreshed and spirit-filled, ready to bless those in those in their circle of influence.

Invite a friend and join us!

Coming This Fall

Many great ideas begin with a walk through the woods. One such walk happened early this spring as Kip and Hume's adventure guru, Tim (a New Jersey native) walked the grounds in search of a spot for an upcoming High Ropes Course. 

Once they settled on a site in the woods adjacent to the trail on the north side of the pond, they began dreaming it up. A well-designed challenge course will give its participants a sense of nervous excitement as they walk up and see it for the first time. It should look exciting and fun to the average participant and be just scary enough to make them feel challenged. What they came up with will do just that!

They designed the course to provide a great deal of options. Participants can simply climb the stairs, go down the zip line or they can spend time climbing the walls, trying the ropes courses, or free falling on the quick jump. The real beauty of this design is that we can make the experience simple and quick or challenging and dynamic depending on the individual's and group's needs and desires.

Seeing a challenge course in action is an amazing thing. Our plans sport thirteen ropes course elements, at least two rock climbing faces, at least two vertical climbing elements, a zip line and a free fall device. Think “American Ninja Warrior” with harnesses on!  

So many transformative moments, both personally and spiritually, happen through ropes challenge experiences. This will be a very exciting addition to our current facilities and programs and we can’t wait to see how God is going to use it!

Construction is planned to begin later this summer and we are hoping to be ready for the Fall Season.

Time, Treasures, And Talents

Every fall and spring something spectacular happens at Hume New England. We see signs of it around the pond, in the Heights, even on top of the Chapel; and just this spring we saw it all the way up on one of the mountain peaks in camp. As mysterious as it may seem, it’s simply volunteers giving of themselves to support this ministry.

Sometimes they come alone or in pairs, sometimes we have youth groups, sometimes retired firefighters, and other times we have big church families where even the little ones participate. They rake up massive amounts of fall leaves and fallen branches, renovate old buildings, repair decks, redo roofs, create trails, paint, and help with so many other projects. Just this spring a group of volunteers worked alongside our staff to create something really special, something that will impact campers and staff for years to come.

The project took place on one of highest peaks, one that only had a steep, rough trail leading to it and couldn’t be reached by motor vehicle. The vision was to put a cross on the peak with seating that overlooked the beautiful Berkshire hills, a lake and valley below. All equipment and supplies had to be carried up, including 700 pounds of concrete. God supplied a natural clearing in the trees,  and the cross was made from a large tree next to the site. The effort would require a hole large enough to place the cross into and we hit rock after only twelve inches. One faithful volunteer spent the next day and a half jack-hammering to reach the depth of three feet.

The challenge of lifting the equivalent of 28 feet of solid oak standing 20 feet tall into a three foot hole was daunting.  But with God's provision of Hume's rigging expert and the combined ideas and manpower of a crew of volunteers, the cross was put into place quickly and safely. Thanks to the ingenuity and sweat of another volunteer couple, comfortable seating for 50 campers is now in place.

Hume is a place built on prayer. One of Hume’s founders was known to climb a mountain overlooking the camp at Hume Lake to pray. We see the example of Jesus, who went to a garden to be alone to pray to His Father. At Hume New England we wanted a destination to pause and worship God, be reminded of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, His power over death and how He made a way for us. Just as those faithful men who founded Hume Lake desired revival in the San Joaquin Valley, we find ourselves here in the Berkshires praying for revival in New England. The trail up to our peak, ending with the cross, is called “The Trail of Hope.” We know that God is faithful, we await revival, and we are so very thankful for the men, women and children who come alongside this ministry and volunteer their time, treasures and talents.

Staff and volunteers working together to place the cross.

Staff and volunteers working together to place the cross.

Volunteers serving Hume New England in a variety of ways. 

Volunteers serving Hume New England in a variety of ways. 

The Escape Room

Every once in a while you have one of those moments where you see God more clearly, understand more about His character, and realize how much He love us. You expect to have those moments in a chapel or during an amazing victory circle, but what we didn’t expect was for God to speak into our hearts in an otherwise unused space at camp. Every season we create new activities that we think the students will love. This winter we made the Escape Room.

The adventure begins with a group of students and their counselor entering the Escape Room, along with our staff operator, Kip, who explains to them how it works: there is a lock on the door and to open it, a four number code that must be entered correctly; if not, the group has just one more try before the lock times out. Forty five minutes are placed on the clock, the door is locked, and the lights go out. The only light that can be seen is the red glow of the of the digital clock ticking down. On the table, unbeknownst to the players, is a glow-in-the-dark flashlight which the students must use to find the glowing footsteps that run along the floor, stopping suddenly. In the rafters above this spot is a key that opens a box covering the light switch. The group must work together in order to turn on the light, and solve the puzzle of the room.

There is an area in the room where a few of us could observe the group in action, and it was the most fascinating social experiment. One particular day, as the game began, we were watching with one of our youth pastors and discussing how one could write a thesis on what we saw. We had a group of about 12 high school boys and two counselors. Immediately they started digging into the room and we saw several things happening. There were those that formed smaller groups and were communicating only within their group, and there were the lone wolves. The counselors had great intentions, but often lead the students further away because they were over-thinking things, and seldom trusted that the boys might in fact know better. The group wasted time checking things that had already been checked by other groups. The lone wolves were generally on the right track, but didn’t have the support of others and were either talked out of their ideas or ignored altogether.

One particular camper who tended to work alone, was consistently close to solving the next step in the puzzle. Several times we heard him say something that could lead to the next clue, but no-one would listen or give him the tools to carry out his idea. There were those who would not let go of the clue or tool, failing to entrust it to anyone else.

As we watched we made the connection: Kip’s relationship to the group was a beautiful picture of God and His church. He knew all the answers. He knew all the mistakes people would make. There weren’t any surprises. He was the keeper of time, the holder of hints and essentially he controlled the room. When the group messed up, Kip wasn’t disappointed, he was really rooting for them. He wanted to give them hints and answers and solve all their problems. It was almost painful to watch them get so close and miss it, but he knew that if he interfered, if he took their experience into his own hands - not only would they learn nothing, nor have any fun, they would miss out on the joy when their efforts paid off, and escaped the room.

We sometimes view God looking down on all our inadequacies and failures with disappointment. The room showed us something else. We know life isn’t a game. It’s filled with greater joys and deeper sorrows, but this simple activity reminded us that God isn’t a micromanager. He doesn’t manipulate His church. He has gifted us uniquely and desires that we work together because He created us to be relational. He created this way because He is love and we are made in His likeness! He doesn’t give us all the answers because He Himself is the answer, and in His goodness, He provides us hints, ah-ha moments and His Word to help us understand how much He loves us. We do a lot of activities at Hume but there is something special about the Escape Room!


 

Coming This Summer!

Fall is beautiful, winter is fun, spring is full of new life, but summer….summer at Hume New England is amazing!!! It’s beautiful, fun and full of the new life that only comes from knowing and growing closer to Jesus!!

Last fall our camp directors sat around a table, discussing conversations they heard during the summer from youth pastors, regarding things their students were wrestling with. They began to see a pattern emerge. Identity, obedience, and perseverance in their faith, seemed to be issues plaguing the student culture. After much prayer and discussion, they landed on the life of King Saul with a hope to challenge students with the same words Samuel spoke in 1 Samuel 12:24 to the Israelites: “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”  The story of King Saul shows us that he did not have a reverent awe or fear of the Lord, nor did he choose to serve God faithfully. As a result the kingdom was stripped from him and his life was a tragedy.

For many years at Hume, we have chosen characters that students can relate to in their failures as well as their victories.  We have also encouraged them to strive to have the type of faith that compelled characters like Paul, Peter, and Elijah. However, this year our hope is that students can see they also have the tendency to fall into some of the same traps that Saul and the Israelite people fell into.  Our hope is they would instead choose to trust the Lord, to find their identity and worth in Christ, and to serve Him faithfully with their lives. We know God is going to teach them amazing things!

And we can't forget to mention...the story of Saul will be told through arguably one of the most exciting genres of all time. So grab your shields and swords, your horses and armor because Hume New England is headed into the Medieval times! 

Broom Hockey Baby!

Amazing recreation is a big part of Hume, and broom hockey is no exception. We even make funny videos to explain the rules. An old camper favorite is Broom Hockey Baby (circa 2006). We use competition, not for the sake of a winner, but to pull people together for a shared experience. Broom Hockey is basically the game of hockey played with brooms and tennis shoes. The challenging part is controlling the puck without falling down. However, the great part is that it’s a game for students of all sizes and abilities, it fosters teamwork, it moves really fast, and therefore is a lot of fun to watch.

Coming this winter camp season, we’re excited to announce the construction of a new rink! It’s synthetic which means outdoor broom hockey is guaranteed regardless of the weather. It’s all set with a skybox for an announcer to give the play by plays, a large screen TV for scores and timers and the best part is, we put it right next to Hebron, so it’s near food, fun and facilities.

NewRink

When we create programs, we like to design them big to small. When students come to camp we want them to experience unity in being a part of something bigger than themselves, but something that can still impact them uniquely. This models being a part of the body of Christ. To keep anyone from feeling a sense of being lost in the crowd we create opportunities for them to be a part of a team, a group of people coming together for a specific purpose. This provides a way for students to really connect with one another as an example to them of the local church. Lastly, when kids come to camp we want them to be an individual because our ultimate goal is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them and that is a very personal experience.

For us Broom Hockey is not just an epic game, but a way for us to usher people to the feet of Jesus. Ultimately He is the foundation for everything we do, even ridiculous videos like Broom Hockey Baby!

 

 

That's It!

In just a few weeks students will be walking through our chapel doors, some for the very first time. It is our second season of winter camp at Hume New England and we can’t wait to see what God is going to do.

At Hume we choose a theme as a way of creating a parallel to scripture which allows students to see God’s Word in a new way. For those students who have never read the Bible, we want them to see it in a tangible way. We create relevant media to expand Biblical truth and in the case of this winter, God’s greatest commandment. In our theme “That’s It” we will be taking a look at Mark 12 when Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He replied, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

In light of living in a culture that puts an emphasis on social justice, all the good we do to love people is only good works if we’re not loving God. In seeking to love our neighbor, as a culture we have forgotten God. We want students to understand that goodness is a form of Godliness but denying His power. God asks us to love Him with everything that we are and to love people as we ourselves desire to be loved. That’s it!

This winter we eagerly anticipate how God is going to use the church, youth leaders and this ministry to reach young people for Christ.