Summer Camp season is upon us… many of you will send a loved one off for a week of swimming, kayaking, paddle-boards, crafts, volleyball, camp songs & loads of fun!  We are so grateful to the many selfless camp counselors who impact our kid’s lives by making the time for play & adventure.  There are so many awesome camps… but one that is very close to our hearts is Royal Family Kids Camp.  This camp is special…  the children who are guests come from very challenging and painful situations and their week at this particular camp is designed to give them a little piece of heaven on earth.  One of my favorite things about Royal Family Kids Camp is the Princess Party… creating a space to celebrate & show the campers how beautiful and worthy of love they are is a highlight and memory I will cherish in my heart.  Tammy Nelson is my dear friend who invited me to be a part of this camp activity and I am so grateful for the opportunity.  I admire her compassion, strength and seamless way she handled all of her many responsibilities associated with running the camp.  I am so inspired by her and all of the amazing staff who give weeks of their lives each summer & throughout the year to show kindness to the hurting. Tammy, you are most definitely and Oak… a place of safety, nourishment, strength and rest for people.  I love your heart for kids and specifically kids who have been abused.  Thank you for taking your personal heart aches and not wasting your pain but instead using it as fuel to be a bright spot in the life of someone else. 

Name: Tammy Nelson   

Occupation: Lead Preschool Teacher for Meridian’s Preschool Program

Family background:  Mother of 5 boys, married to John for 17 years

How many years in Midland:  Grew up in the Midland area and attended Sanford and Meridian Schools

Community Involvement:  The June Camp Director of Royal Family Kids for 7 Years

Personal Testimony of Grace:  I was a young & lost single mother of 3 and needed a guide.  I had so many questions… I was looking for answers and would ask what book of the Bible would talk about family?  My mom suggested Midland Assembly of God… it was there that I found what I needed!  I was encouraged, nourished, taught the Bible, challenged AND eventually met the love of my life there.  Together now for 17 years, we are such a good team.  It has been John who has challenged me to step out into leadership.  He continues to prod our family on to the next yes.  Farming has become our latest adventure!

Personal Philosophy:  Embrace people where they are, notice the unique gifts and talents they possess.  People just need a little encouragement and confidence.

Favorite Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11-13New International Version (NIV)11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

What are some of the defining pruning moments of your life:  When I was on my own with my boys… I had to learn to discern between what God had for me and to learn how to not define my worth outside of other accolades.  I had to ask myself, am i okay to just be?  I had to find my worth in Christ alone.

Where do you get your grounding?  My husband, and the relationships with Pastor Joel Stocker & Pastor Kelly & Traci… they love people the way they are and are everyone’s cheerleader

How have the winds of life made you stronger?  The challenges of a blended family with strong opinions & strong expectations was something I had to learn to navigate.  I gained a lot of perspective and relied on Christ to be my anchor.

What are your most treasured connections?  My boys and my husband…

What are your dreams?  Simply to be healthy & vibrant & ready for the next yes.  I am excited for the future.  I desire for children to feel that they are okay, capable & valued.  I wish every kid could have a secure, healthy and loving environment.

What are you passionate about?  I want to give kids a solid foundation and challenge them to not waste a pain.  I want to teach them how they can use it as fuel to make things better for others.  

What breaks your heart?  Hurting children…. I believe every single child deserves to feel safe & loved.

How do you want to change or improve Midland?  I want to see families continue to be supported in Faith, Finances, Family and Friends.  And that we will know the needs better and do what you can to be a connector & a part of the solution.