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The Story Chapter 2: The Big Hearts

“…love one another deeply, from a pure heart.” I Peter 1:22.  The first time I met Arvin and Darlene Van Hall was at our overnight camp in Michigan.  They had come, per Joe Yahner’s recommendation, to see what SpringHill was all about.  They wanted to understand what it takes to build and run an effective camp for kids.

My friends Arvin and Darlene visiting SpringHill.

After spending a few hours with the Van Halls it became apparent that these business people, parents, spouses and now grandparents from Pella, Iowa had big hearts to help kids. Especially kids who don’t have all the advantages that “normal” kids have in life.

Over the next five years I, and some of our staff, made a number of trips to Pella to visit with Lakeview Camp and meet with the Van Halls and enjoy Dutch pastries and coffee together.  It was apparent every time we were together that they wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of kids.

This is why the Van Hall’s were involved with a camp that served kids who had a parent in prison.  They want to help these kids have experiences and opportunities that impact their lives today and for eternity.  It is their big hearts that have moved them to give of their time, talents, resources and their prayers to ministries that serve kids, especially less fortunate kids.

Over the years the Van Hall’s have become friends of mine and friends of SpringHill. They are the type of people who make me love my work.

It was on my last visit to Pella in May that I witnessed the Van Hall’s, because of their big hearts, take a huge step of faith. They were moved by a photo of a SpringHill camper they had never met. One, from all appearances, who did not come into the world with all the advantages of other kids. This camper, Colin, as it turns out, has a habit of moving the hearts of people in ways they could never expect.

In Chapter 3 you will meet Colin and see how God is using this young man to move the hearts of others.

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