Sunday, December 15, 2019

week 13-14: End of First Semester

There were mixed emotions this past couple of weeks between students finishing their last class of the year: Foundation of Church Ministry with David Lee, and also finishing their last week here at camp before heading home for Christmas!

On Thursday, the whole camp had a Christmas banquet filled with amazing food and times of reflection together. The next day, the students finished their last class of the semester, during which they learned all about what church ministry really entails.

All throughout last week, many students were also preparing in their spare time for our staff & student talent show. It was funny walking around the building because every other room you could hear students singing or laughing behind a closed-door as they prepared for the show.

Monday came along and they blew us away! There were lots of singing and music acts; singles, duos, and even trios with a little bit of choreography. Along with singing, we had a magic show and a skit and parody put on by the Kaléo leaders. Some of the staff here at camp concluded the night with a "creative" Carol of the Bells skit.


The students also battled in a Christmas-themed Family Feud game to decide what students would have to switch rooms for the second half of the school year. The ocean-view side rooms battled against each other to see who would keep their room and who would switch with the forest-view side room for next semester. It was Room 312 for the girls and room 212 for the guys that got to keep their rooms. While the students are home over the break, you may hear some of the them yelling, "Glad tidings!" as a humorous reference to this game.

We had our last chapel and small group of the semester this Tuesday, which prepared us for going home. Students spent time reflecting on the ways they have grown so far this year, what they are most excited and nervous about as they go home, and their goals for second semester. This was a great time of sharing and praying for one another.

Then on Wednesday we had our Christmas gift exchange. All of us bought a mug that represented us in some way, wrapped it up, and then played a gift-game with the wrapped mugs. In the end, the mug that each person received was a reminder to pray for the person that it represents every time they use it. 

During this last day together before the break, we also joined together in an encouragement circle. We passed a ball of string around the circle as we encouraged one another- as one person caught the line, they were encouraged, and then that person passed the string on to someone else and encouraged them. Soon the students witnessed how interconnected we are, and how meaningful encouragement unifies and builds up the body of Christ.

Lastly, students swapped rooms and then spent the rest of the day hanging out together before they all dispersed for the next few weeks. After many airports runs, the Pacific Woods Lodge now feels terribly quiet and empty...

We are excited to hear of all the stories from Christmas break when everyone returns! The students have transformed so much over these last few months. It has been a beautiful privilege watching them embrace challenges, grow in their understanding of God and His kingdom, and draw together in Christ-centered community. 

Prayer requests:
  • We ask prayer of protection over all the students flying and travelling during the holidays.
  • Many are excited to see friends and family but some are also nervous about the challenges they may face at home. Pray that during the break the Spirit would continue to guide and enable them to live out of their comfort zones.
  • Please pray that during the break students would find time to rest, reflect on the work God is doing in their lives, and connect with friends and family.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the new year. Glad Tidings!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Week 12: Christmas and Rock climbing

 This week was packed full with lots of different activities. Ice skating, rock climbing, Christmas parties, guys and girls day; the students had a blast.

We started off the week sending out all of our mission's trip support letters. After praying over the letters, a bunch of students went indoor skating in Duncan.

 The next day, we headed out to Victoria. Students got to tour around for a few hours before meeting at Craig X. They loved climbing together and were encouraging each other the whole time. We soon discovered we have a lot of great climbers in the group.

 We also had a Christmas festivities day. We started off with a run to Starbucks and then headed to the Christmas tree farm.

The students were split off into teams and prepared some sort of way to convince us leaders that their tree was the best one to pick. After songs, commercials, and jokes, it was the rap and dance moves that won us over.

 Here is the tree we decided to get. Jamin did the honours of cutting it down and bringing it back to the van.

When we came back to camp, we had our Christmas party. There was a cookie decorating competition, and time to create our own decorations for the Christmas tree.

We were fortunate to have one of the Camp families bake all the cookies and bring all the toppings for us.

These are what some of the decorations looked like.

But wait... just when you thought that was it, there was even more Christmas fun. After all this, the whole camp watched the Ladysmith Light up. There were over 30,000 people who came to watch the town light up with Christmas lights and fireworks.

We ended off the week with guys and girls day. The guys went to a trampoline park in Nanaimo, hiked up mount Benson, and had a Mario Kart tournament back at camp.

The girls had brunch at Dianna Derksen's house (the family that made the cookies), did Zumba in Victoria, went to a Christmas market, and came back for pizza and Macrome. 

It was a fun-filled week, and the students are now in the middle of the Foundations of Church Ministry. We'll keep you updated on this week.

Prayer requests:
  • Prayer for determination in finishing off well as students are in the middle of their last class before the semester ends.
  • One of our students Abby McQuarrie has run into numerous problems trying to pay for her second semester at Kaleo. She and all of us here at Kaleo are praying for finances to come in. Follow the link below if you are interested in financially supporting Abby.
  • To push through the tiredness and for students to continue to have soft hearts for what God wants to teach them in the coming months.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Week 11: Love Crofton

This past week, the Kaleo program had the opportunity to love Crofton. Each morning they had a team meeting, hopped in the vans, and headed off into town for the day.

For three days, the students went from house to house meeting their neighbours and serving in whatever ways possible. There are so many welcoming and hospitable people in the community. Many students became friends with those they worked for, had meals together, or even homemade snacks.

There was a whole lot of raking as you can see. Thankfully, the sun was shining and they were able to clean up a lot of yards. But that's not the only job they did...

Some walked dogs...

others cleaned out ponds... (Jenna really enjoyed this one)

And others did some miscellaneous work.

Some students even chopped up wood for the day. These pictures don't do justice to the amount they chopped.

Afterwards, we all met up in the guest house around the fireplace to debrief about Love Crofton. Many shared about the experience of what it means to serve and the impact not only did it have on the community, but the impact it had on them too. 

Every chapel, we stand together and say The Jesus Creed. This is where it became more than just words. "To love your neighbour as yourself" became practical in a new way and challenged many to keep on serving in the community. 

We finished off the week with serving the men's retreat. Again, students participated in leading challenge course activities, dishes, and events.

To add to all the fun of this week, Janelle (Our Kaleo program assistant leader) and her husband Levi announced that they are pregnant with their first child. And just when you thought that was exciting, Korey (our Kaleo program leader) and his wife Kassi also announced that they are pregnant with their second child.


- Continued unity within the group.
- Prayer for determination in finishing off well as students are heading into their last class before the semester ends.
- One of our students Abby Mcquarrie has run into numerous problems trying to pay for her second semester at Kaleo. She and all of us here at Kaleo are praying for finances to come in. If you would like to support her, you are welcome to donate towards her tuition  at

To keep up to date with the Kaleo class, you can follow us on Instagram @kaleoprogram. Feel free to comment on our blog posts or send us a direct message on Instagram if you're wondering more about what our program is about.