From Camper to Counselor!

Jesse is 17 years old and came to the Home when he was 9.  He has been with us all but 3 of the last 8 years.  To say that Jesse came to us from a difficult family situation would be an understatement.  With the exception of a couple of turbulent years when Jesse was not at our Home, he has been a regular camper at Ponderosa Christian Camp, Ponderosa, New Mexico.  Our generous donors make it possible for young men like Jesse to attend Bible Camps during the summer.  Anyone who has been to Bible Camp knows what a life changing experience it can be for our young people.  The impact that godly Christian leaders and childhood friends from camp have had on Jesse underscores the importance of experiences like this. 

Jesse and Barry Hobson. Barry is the Youth Minister for the Canadian, Texas Church of Christ. Jesse lists him as one of the people who has mentored him over the years. Barry encouraged Jesse to lead the last devotional of the week that Jesse was a counselor.

This year, Jesse attended the High School session at Ponderosa.  A couple of years ago he served on the kitchen staff at the Camp and got to know many of the leaders.  His enthusiasm and leadership skills were evident to the staff there so they asked if he could return later in the summer and serve as a cabin counselor.  Jesse returned for the Middle School Session and served as a counselor for 11 and 12 year old boys. 

Jesse shared about his experience as a counselor.  He stated “Because of what I went through, I can help others and I’m thankful for that.”  During camp, one young camper learned that his parents were getting a divorce.  Jesse explained to the young man that it was good that he learned of this news at camp while he was surrounded by people who love and care for him.  Jesse talked with him, shared his own experiences of a broken home, shared scriptures that would encourage him when he went back home and prayed with him.  Jesse shared that he spent the rest of the week focusing on this young man to encourage him and make sure he had fun while he was at camp.

Jesse and Misty Andrews. Misty is a co-leader for the youth group at the Santa Fe, New Mexico Church of Christ. She has been a big influence on Jesse’s life for many years.  Missy was adopted through NMCCH in the 1970’s.

Jesse finds great comfort in James 1:2-5:

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you ma   y be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

 Jesse told me in our interview, “Because of the things I’ve been through, I’ve learned to rely on God, to read my Bible for encouragement and to pray regularly.  I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been through because it made me the person I am today.  And I like the person I am.” 

Jesse is entering his Junior year of high school at Portales High.  He plans to stay here and live in our after care housing when he turns 18 and finish high school here.  Then, Jesse would like to attend welding school. 

It is a great privilege to work with fine young people like Jesse and watch God change their lives!  This is why you give to our Home and why we do what we do!  

Jesse with his co-workers at Ponderosa Christian Camp. 



  1. Bette Kimbell on August 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Love you, Jesse, and I am so proud of the the strong young man you have become! I know that God has a mighty plan for you! Love you!
    Bette Kimbell

  2. NIKKI Nance on August 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    We were so blessed to meet Jesse during 4th session of camp this year! He is so fun and down to earth, despite his turbulent story. Praise God for his great gifts!

  3. Misty Andrews on August 12, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Jesse is a young man that I have grown to love deeply over the years. He serves God with so much joy and conviction. I am beyond thankful to NMCH for the role it plays in so many lives including my own.
    Jesse blessed all of us this summer with his huge heart.
    He would lead singing as well with a friend of his and his Friday night devotional touched us all to the point of tears.
    The world needs to keep an eye on this amazing young man.

  4. Scott Sayer on August 14, 2019 at 4:47 am

    I’ve known Jesse for most of my life because of camp. I only get to see him there, but luckily that is where I grow closest to people. I can honestly say Jesse is one of my best friends and one of the greatest people I have ever met. I miss him so much and I wish I could get to see him more than just one or two weeks per year. I love him to death and he has helped me grow closer to God I’m so many ways. I hope to see him soon and spend more time with him. I am sitting next to him in that bottom picture and I got to be with him through many experiences at camp. Love you bro

  5. Garrett Schmille on August 14, 2019 at 5:57 am

    Super proud of this guy! Stay faithful my brother, friend and dear child in the faith, God will do great things with you!

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