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Father to the Fatherless Camp
McMahan, TX

Back Story. Children can be fatherless in many ways: physically; financially or emotionally. Absentee fathers come in many forms by various means: death; incarceration; divorce; and desertion. And sadly, some fathers are simply too busy to maintain a healthy relationship with their children, leaving them emotional orphans. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – Jesus Christ, the son of God, who is our Father in heaven. Indeed, God is a father to the fatherless.

The father to the father summer camp is a primary focus of our global ministry efforts. This area of ministry had its genesis in the life story of Ken Gërhart. Born into a devoted Christian family who had four boys in four years and a special needs adopted daughter, Ken’s parents also opened their home to some 27 additional foster children over a period of two decades. Growing up in this environment, he saw firsthand the practical application of modeling generosity. Fast forward several years later, Ken was in a Bible Study assembly at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, Texas when the words of Psalm 68:5a jumped off the page at him like a blinking neon sign: …a father to the fatherless…At that moment, God seemed to be pointing him to an eventual fatherless ministry. During this period, three fatherless boys graced his home, which unbeknownst to him was the foundation of this ministry. Later, a fourth boy sojourned through Ken and Barbara’s home solidifying the foundational concept of the ministry.

Vision. Ken and Barbara Gërhart have prayed for many years about a ministry opportunity with which God might bless them during their retirement years. After several years of seeking the will of God in this matter, rather than retire, they feel led to re-fire by doing global missions, church planting, teaching, writing, and singing in support of this summer camp. Barbara has been singing in church venues since her teenage years and was a music minister for 15 years. The vision is to travel from September through May doing ministry to raise support for the camping season in June and July. August will be a time of rest and renewal so that the cycle can be repeated again each September.

Summer Camp. The father to the fatherless summer camp is a week-long camping experience for fatherless children with a vocational theme and lots of fun wrapped inside an evangelical Christian world view. Campers are exposed to trade crafts like auto mechanics, wood-shop, metal shop, plumbing, electrical, carpentry and dry wall, tile setting, roofing and leather working as well as computer operation, maintenance, and repair. Other vocational training may include graphic design, photography, culinary arts, auto cad drafting as well as arts and crafts. Those campers who show a strong interest in a specific vocation, will be aligned with a trade school in their area and financial aid to further their education.

The vocational exposure offered campers will be done in the context of a loving Christian environment where the Gospel is shared in worship time each night. Music, testimonies, and mentoring will be led by Godly men and women who seek to pour their lives into the campers. Small group devotionals each day will reinforce the message offered during the worship hour.

Beyond the spiritual and vocational training, campers will enjoy fun activates like fishing, hiking, skeet shooting and archery. Basketball, sand volley ball, and other sports will be added as the facility is built out.

Venue. The venue for the fatherless camp is the Broken Tree Ranch in McMahan, Texas, a working cow-calf operation which is situated on State Hwy 86, 17 miles due north of the Buc-ee's on I-10 at Lulling, TX and approximately 25 miles south of Bastrop, TX. The build out period of the facilities is anticipated to take three – five years. Initially, campers will sleep in tents, but bunkhouses, cabins, a pavilion and dining hall are planned for the near future.

Staffing & Volunteers. The camp will be managed by a small full time staff who will be responsible for the day to day operations and activities. This core staff will recruit adult volunteers to mentor the campers in the vocational trades and in spiritual matters. A camp pastor and worship leader will be utilized to conduct the worship service for each camp. Student interns will be employed each summer to assist the adults in the multitude of activities that keep the camp running throughout the summer.

Spiritual and Financial Support. Those who wish to partner with us in this life changing endeavor can first of all pray. Without the favor of God, we cannot succeed. So, please join us in praying for this ministry, that God would use this effort to lead many into His kingdom while pointing them to a productive life with a good job in the vocational trades. Also pray that God would raise up adult volunteers in the trades to mentor these fatherless children. And finally, pray for the teaching and singing ministry of Ken and Barbara as they travel in the off season to raise support for the camp ministry.

Financial support takes many forms: Cash contributions, food to stock the camp pantry, construction material and labor to build out the facilities. All contributions are tax deductible as the camp is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Churches may support the camp by sponsoring one or more campers each summer. Since most of our campers will have very limited means, the plan is to raise support from individuals, churches, and other like-minded Christian organizations so that each camper can attend camp cost free.

Another way an individual, church or other group can support the camp is to purchase items from the Cornerstone Collection website. In keeping with the philosophy of ministry and reversing the tithe, a full 90% of the net proceeds of each sale will be contributed to the ministry. So, gather your friends and visit our site often with the full assurance that each purchase helps a fatherless child attend summer camp each year.