Welcome from Paul

Camp Penuel Costa Rica has a specific focus to give children ages 7-11 the opportunity to know their heavenly Father through Christ Jesus and the abundant life that he offers through the power and love of the Holy Spirit. The Vision is to rally a multi-ethnic team of support to work towards providing facilities of excellence and diversity so that each child can have a wealth of new, safe, and fun experiences that they will remember for their lifetime, but more importantly, that are God-anointed and forever will change their lives for good.

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November 2015 - All Aboard the Gospel Train, 10th Year CPCR Anniversary Update

Posted by on in Kingdom Talks
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Dear Friends of the Camp,

On January 8, 2006 Pastor Harry and Carole Douma, founders of Camp Penuel, USA, and Dave Stuehmeyer, who has many, many years with the organization joined us as Carole cut the ribbon to officially open Camp Penuel Costa Rica.  Now, ten years later, we are about to open a new chapter in the life of this mission camp.  We have had our share of struggles, but we’ve hopefully learned from a lot of our mistakes and will move into the second decade of this ministry ready to face the new sets of challenges that await us so that each child who comes to camp is placed in an environment where the Holy Spirit can do amazing things to heal the child from many heartaches and disappointments and move him or her into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.

This theme is based on Isaiah 53:10 that shows us what Jesus’ suffering and punishment on the cross has produced – “He (the servant Christ) will see his descendants (his line), and he will prolong his days.”  The church of Jesus Christ is gaining steam, because the gospel train is fueled with the dynamite of his gospel, and it is power that raised Christ from the dead!  His days are forever, and it is the same power that has made you and me his descendants, a new line destined for glory!

I challenge you as we move closer to Christmas and the new year to contemplate three things:

1.      Where is the Jesus who we confess? Is he in a manger?  He was, and we rejoice in his first coming, but he’s not there now.  Is he on a cross?  He was, and because of his work on that cross, all of human wretchedness and pain and disease and my sin and your sin was punished once and for all in the person of Jesus Christ.  But he isn’t there now!  Where is our Jesus?  The bible says that he’s seated at the right hand of the Father, and he’s interceding for you and me before the throne of grace (Romans 8:34).

2.      What is the destiny of your family?  I’ve tried to raise my family and do a lot of things based on my own knowledge and selfish will.  That is doomed to fail.  But God is gracious, and he’s placed me in his lineage, a godly lineage, a new lineage of adoption.  Isaiah 53 states that “we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”  This applies to many other herds of animals than just sheep, but God doesn’t want us to act like dumb sheep anymore, doing it our own way.  He has a bigger plan.  He has made us a part of a new line, a divine race, through the sacrifice of Jesus when he completely surrendered his will to become the first-fruit of a new people, a people bought by his precious blood.  When Jesus died, he didn’t have a wife, he didn’t have children; it appeared as though his lineage was cut off.  Who can speak of his descendants says Isaiah (53:8)?  You and I can speak of his descendants, because his children are born from the same royal seed that made the Virgin Mary conceive, the seed of the Holy Spirit.  Joseph, Mary’s husband, pointed Jesus to his real Father.  We point our children to Jesus, and to their real Father.

3.      What changes are in store in my life?  I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to make a new year’s resolution to say I’m going to change.  Isaiah 53:11 says that because I have repented of my sins and given them to Jesus, who suffered my fire of hell for them, I’m justified right now and walk a new life in him.  I’m on his gospel train right now, and I’m destined for glory!  That’s what we all who believe confess.  While on the train, I spend time in his word to get to know him better.  I see that I have a long ways to go, but knowing that Jesus covers all of my defects, I can go on in victory.  The train is going to make a lot of stops, and what I do in those places is important because the conductor knows when, where, and why he’s stopping the train.  If you’ve been off the track, don’t wait until new year’s to get back on the track.  If you hear his voice, act today!

In closing, some of you might want to view the video below (or the link below) called “The Gospel Train,”  It’s a children’s song put out by the 7thDay Adventist Church.  I actually only found it in Spanish, so this is just one more opportunity to brush up on your language skills.  We’ll be using it at various times with each group of children who arrive at camp.

Finally, I’ll be posting weekly updates on our website www.cp-cr.org  Click on “camp blog,” and you’ll see my latest entry.  Once you open it there are a couple of options that you might want to consider so that I can have more personal contact with you:

1.      When you open the “camp blog” link, one of the options you’ll see is “comments.”  You can make a comment, post it, and then, I will look at it and I can post it for others to see.

2.      After you read the camp blog that you select, one of the options that it gives you at the end of the article is “subscribe to updates from author.”  By doing this, every time I send a new camp blog, you will then receive a reminder automatically when each new blog is posted.

I look forward to interacting with many of you in the days and weeks to come and into the new year, which, by the grace of God, we will enter riding in victory on the gospel train!

God bless all of you in the powerful name of Jesus!


Kingdom Talks
Staff and Mission Team mixing it up



  • Guest
    Steve Pheneger Friday, 06 November 2015

    Great message Paul...


    I love this theme for the year. It reminds of a song that Elissa's choir sung in high school that I'll try to send to you. We look forward to coming down in January and experiencing the kids in person!

    Let me know what other responses you get to the blog.

    God's Peace,


  • Guest
    Paul Bernhagen Wednesday, 11 November 2015

    RE:Great message Paul...

    Thank you for your encouragement, Steve. I lady in our church has offered to paint a mural on one of the walls of the Casa de Pan so I asked her to paint a train heaven-bound with lots of children on it. Our prayer is that everytime the children who will go to camp see a train, they will remember everything that God let them experience while at camp.
    All aboard for the gospel train,
    Seats reserved and the tickets made.
    Gonna be there when the conductor says
    "All aboard for the gospel train.
    All aboard for the gospel train."
    (Written by David Meece)

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