Rising Light Ridge to Establish New Ministry Campus in Bear Creek Township

BEAR CREEK TWP. — Matt Anderson, president of Rising Light Ridge, said the ministry’s new campus in Bear Creek Township will be more than a camp and retreat center.

“It will be a place where the parents and siblings of our guests with physical, cognitive, emotional, socio-economic and traumatic challenges will be cared for, loved, encouraged and refreshed,” Anderson said. “Our respite care program will provide families with the opportunity to have their own experiences, enjoy the beauty of nature and activities designed to allow relaxation and foster connection with each other. Parents and siblings will experience a time of physical, spiritual and emotional renewal while their camper enjoys their experience at Rising Light Ridge.

Anderson said the Rising Light Ridge site off White Haven Road is the result of the Tim Tebow Foundation’s 2016 acquisition of a stunning 3,000-acre property in Bear Creek Township near Wilkes-Barre, made possible by “a generous gift intended to enable the property to be used to advance the Kingdom of God and serve individuals and families facing physical, cognitive, emotional and socio-economic challenges”.

“Rising Light Ridge will be a year-round accessible ministry campus serving individuals and families of all backgrounds and abilities in a community of belonging,” Anderson said.

Anderson said 3% of the 3,000-acre site will be developed.

“The rest will remain in their original state,” he said.

Anderson said there will be residential camping, weekend retreats, outdoor education programs, outdoor adventure elements, equine therapy and more for attendees from all walks of life. and capabilities. Rising Light Ridge will serve at-risk children, foster family participants, those with cognitive and/or physical challenges, those who have experienced trauma, and veterans groups.

“The things that unite us are far more important than the things that divide us,” Anderson said. “We are all children of God – we all bear his image.”

Ellen M. Ferretti, Executive Director, North Branch Land Trust, said she “excitesly” looks forward to seeing Rising Light Ridge’s mission accomplished and looking for opportunities to work together as partners.

“North Branch Land Trust preserves the natural, functional and scenic landscapes of northeast Pennsylvania that enrich our lives,” Ferretti said. “We have enjoyed working with the folks at Rising Light Ridge to modify the existing conservation easement on this beautiful property to meet both the future needs of the campus and our responsibilities as natural resource stewards and landowners. servitude.”

• A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Tuesday, September 27 at 9:00 am at the Rising Light Ridge site.

Anderson explained that Rising Light Ridge seeks to serve each of its guests together in a community of belonging, which will emphasize ability rather than disability – focusing on the inherent value that “we all possess as as image bearers and children of God”.

“Our year-round programming will include seasonal residential camping, weekend retreats, adaptive outdoor adventure classes, equine and canine programs, outdoor education, community programming opportunities and respite. for caregivers,” Anderson said. “In the long term, Rising Light Ridge will provide job training and employment opportunities for people of all abilities.

Anderson said Rising Light Ridge will expand the conversation around special needs to include physical and cognitive challenges, as well as socioeconomic, relationship and trauma challenges.

“Our guests will participate in programs that will challenge everyone to their level of ability, serving and learning from each other, reducing the misconceptions and fear of the unknown that currently plague the special needs community” , did he declare.

Anderson said a long-term strategic goal of Rising Light Ridge is to impact the narrative surrounding how people with physical, cognitive, emotional, socioeconomic and traumatic challenges are viewed and valued in society. society.

“We will seek to provide business, church, school and community leaders with opportunities to better understand the challenges they face and practical strategies to bring about real change, remove barriers, expand opportunities and create communities of belonging in their businesses, schools, churches and communities,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Rising Light Ridge plans to begin programming, starting with rustic camping experiences with platform tent camping and outdoor activities and looks forward to expanding program offerings in the future. as they pursue their vision of building a ministry campus that is fully accessible year-round serving people of all abilities and backgrounds.

On the Rising Light Ridge website, a 13-year-old participant said:

“I don’t really feel joy at home or anywhere else, but I feel joy here.”

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

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