A word spoken encouraged Israel and allowed him to encourage others.


Last summer was the first time Israel (aka Izz) attended Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp (YSSC) as a leader. He had attended YSSC before as a camper and a co-leader, but he was reluctant to step into this new level of leadership. Not knowing any of the teens going, he wondered if they would respect him and listen to what he had to say.  Izz still said "yes" despite not knowing what to expect.

Once at the camp, Izz was surprised to see an old friend whom he had connected with as a camper in previous years. In the same shoes as Izz, this old friend was also attending as a new leader. Discovering a common bond with this friend gave Izz some space to let go of the weight of expectations and allowed him to simply be himself as a leader. Through the various camp activities, Izz started to connect with the teens in his cabin.

Each night, all the campers engaged in worship and the teaching of God's Word. The speaker for the camp, Tommy, was a long-time friend and respected leader in Izz's eyes. During one of the breaks, the two connected about how things were going for Izz as a camp leader. Izz shared about his struggles and insecurities. They were able to talk it through, but what really impacted Izz was Tommy's affirming word of "leadership."

Encouraged, Izz continued to push forward and attempted to connect with his cabin's campers. Later in the week, after the teaching, Izz and his cabin went back to their bunks to debrief. One particular teen opened up and shared vulnerably about some challenges in his life. When they finished the debrief, Izz stepped outside with the teen to follow up on what was shared. Izz listened, asked questions, and prayed. As the teen continued to share, Izz kept hearing a word of encouragement for this student. Knowing that God was giving him this word, he boldly decided to say it out loud to the student. This was a word of blessing and encouragement that the teen needed to hear.

Izz walked away from camp in awe of how God had moved in him as a leader. Before YSSC, he wasn't sure if the teens would listen to him. After camp, Izz recognized that it wasn't about what he had to say but instead what God wanted to speak through him.



Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp is a 5-day long camp where we take our IMPACT leaders who have completed Level Two. Located by Bass Lake, our students get to enjoy various water and adventure activities that challenge them to take positive risks. Relationships are formed and deepened with other campers and counselors. Each night, campers experience the work of Jesus in their own lives and those around them through worship and the preaching of God’s Word.


We want to send 100 individuals to camp.  It costs about $150 per camper.  Would you be willing to sponsor just one day of camp ($50), or a camper for the entire weekend ($150), or even a cabin of six campers ($900).  Each and every donation helps.

Click the link below to sponsor a camper.