A Pastor's Heartbeat


Hello and welcome to Joy City, I’m your host, Stuart Welch the Lead Pastor of Life Connection Church located in Modesto, CA. I want to welcome you and let you know that our central theme is God Almighty and our relationship to Him through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ and how to maintain that relationship. 

John 17:13, “…that they may have the full measure of MY joy within them.” Jesus is the very Source of our joy. Not things, achievements, accomplishments, money made but Jesus is our joy. The Apostle Paul says, “I die daily…” It all begins and ends with Jesus. 

Executive Director, Kevin VanDonselaar, of Christian Berets joins me on today’s show. You can learn more about Christian Berets on their website at: Christianberets.org

Summer Camps for those with special needs. Retreat Center for approved groups. (christianberets.org)

Kevin is marred with (3) teenage children, they all serve in ministry together. Kevin has been an attorney, practicing law, for over (25) years and has served as a volunteer, board member and now the E.D. for Christian Berets. I met Kevin when I was invited by members of our own church (Brice & Sandy Ringsby) to Christian Berets camp last summer.

Christian Berets ministers to such a diverse group of needs; from those with Down Syndrome, or those on the spectrum, to those with physical limitations and yet there is a wide variety of ministry for those who attend camp. They provide amazing, compassionate and caring counselors. If you know someone with disabilities, a family member or you would like to volunteer, go to the website and get engaged. 

The pillars of the ministry are: Love, Serve, Protect, and Share the Gospel. The staff desires to demonstrate the Gospel and then share the Gospel. There is chapel, songs, bible stories and live-active learning experiences. Another highlight is the camp talent show, the fire department comes to have “water-wars” with the campers and staff, as well as a suds mountain. Go carts and a 4 seater Razor with a Superman wrap on it. Volleyball, Wiffleball, carnival activities, outdoor amphitheater and board games. Add the amazing chef that provides tremendous meals for the campers, staff and family. 

Christian Berets camp is also accessible to non-Christians and Kevin shares an amazing story of a camper who wanted to go home and felt “tricked” into camp because she was not a Christian. Kevin called the parent, Mom told her to stay one more night and if she wanted to come home she could. It was that next day, that particular camper said YES to Jesus and is now a self-professing Christian. 

Kevin was called to this ministry and then was tasked with leaving his career and talking about this with his family. His wife and kids all prayed, all came into agreement and they wanted to experience the ministry as a family. All Kevin’s kids serve in the ministry and his wife travels to camp after her work hours. Serving when it’s convenient is one thing and sacrifice is another. Kevin goes through this transition in our interview. 

No one can come face to face with what God is like and ever be the same. Welcome to Joy City. Seeing His true image, touches the depths of our soul and beholding His glory will renew our minds, transform us and give us strength to live this life for Him. Come on in, where the table is spread and the feast of the Lord is going on. I want to invite you to be a part, a resident of Joy City. A place where the Body becomes stronger and our love for others only increases. 

I’ve enjoyed being your host and you can comment below, or email me at pastorstuart@lifeconnection4christ.org or call me at (209) 522-3583.