Camp Splash 2014 – Tell a neighbor! Bring a friend!

It’s our 3rd annual Camp Splash – in partnership with Hope Church! Hope to see all our neighbors and friends! Here’s the video from last year… And….keep reading for more info. Print the flyer to share with a neighbor, please!  Thanks!

Camp Splash 2013 from Marti Williams on Vimeo.

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Camp Splash 2013 In Review

WOW! For most of the late afternoon and evening, I had so much fun going through about a gazillion pictures from Camp Splash a couple of weeks ago! What a GREAT time! I was grinning from ear to ear as I took a little walk down memory. As I flipped through pictures – cropping and enhancing, selecting and deleting, sorting and resorting – I was reminded  that I have to be the most blessed person in the whole-wide-world!


  • I made many new friends that week…from our neighborhood and from Hope Church. And our friendships continue to grow as we gather weekly.
  • I am sure that everyone who attended heard God’s Redemptive Story taught that week. It’s important to me that my friends and family hear clear message about Jesus, not a watered-down version.


Monday                 Creation/What God is Like

Tuesday                 Effects of Sin/Fall of Man

Wednesday            Trusting God, the Rescuer

Thursday                The Promised Savior

Friday                      Living Like Our Perfect Lamb

  • I am sure everyone got plenty to eat. Bellies were full and relationships were deepened as we broke bread together. The meals were generous and AH-mazing! And so were my friends and their churches and small groups who provided them!


Monday                  Cheese Pizza and Pepperoni Pizza

Tuesday                 Subway Sandwiches, Chips, and Brownies

Wednesday            Chicken legs, Mac and Cheese, Watermelon

Thursday                Sandwiches, Chips, and a dessert

Friday                      Community Cookout and EVERYONE contributed!

  • God doesn’t need us to live on His mission. But, He chooses to use us.  For that I am abundantly grateful.  I often wonder what my life would be like I had not moved here 8 years ago. Louis and I may not have a lot of money, in comparison to some.  We are rich in comparison to many. And we are abundantly rich in love.

I am so grateful for the many friends and churches who come along side of Louis, me and our neighbors.  Thank you. Hope you feel as blessed as we do!

Enjoy just a little taste of Camp Splash 2013 in this video! Thanks!

Other posts on Camp Splash 2013:

Makin’ Waves…at Camp Splash 2013

Games, Creation, Rain, Hope, and Pizza!

God-Size Surprises



I don’t the energy to post pictures and lots of words describing the last 2 days of Camp Splash. But, feel like I MUST share with you the wonderful things going on! I am so encouraged with what God is doing in our midst! Our Hope Church friends have ENDLESS energy and are giving sacrificially of their time to share the love of Jesus with the community. Our friends are TOTALLY rockin’ the meals every night! We are so grateful for their generosity!  Moms continue to attend, and today we met separately to get some adult time, to share with one another, and to pray. I’m thrilled to hear their dreams and desires for the community, their children, their lives.

Today, we pray for hope, joy, and peace that only God can provide. We pray for jobs and provision. We pray for safety from abuse, guns, drugs and alcohol. We pray for our neighborhood children and their futures. We pray for transformation.

May Jesus be made famous in our community…our city…our country.


Games, Creation, Rain, Hope, and Pizza!

Our 2nd Annual Camp Splash – backyard VBS –  kicked off today with 19 community kids and 7 moms who hung out with us, too… along with the youth and college folks from Hope Church, the community and my niece!!  Quite a team that God has put together!

We started our time playing parachute games.  The numbers steadily grew as the evening progressed. The sounds of laughter echoed through the community.



Then, we took a break to hear the story based on God’s Letter to us – the Bible, specifically Genesis 1 and 2.  God made everything including you and me! He spoke it into being. We also learned that God is eternal, powerful, loving, perfect and very kind.



Then, it was time for the water games….





Although the rain hit about 45 minutes or so into the evening, the timing worked out perfectly. We quickly got everyone inside before the torrential downpours! Which gives a whole new meaning to Camp Splash!



Just in time to play some inside games….IMG_0210


before we had pizza dinner and craft time, where the kids could create something out of Model Magic! And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to our neighbor and friend, Claudia, for making some killer cookies! They were a HUGE hit!

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Tomorrow…We play more wet games! We learn about SIN (boo!!!!) and craft time is scratch art! Dinner…wow.  Dinners this week are going to be amazing because I have some WONDERFUL, LOVING, GIVING friends who are providing meals… Subway sandwiches are on deck for tomorrow.

I have to admit, one of the biggest surprises and best blessings is the fact that 7 of the moms chose to hang out with us. I love getting to know my neighbors!!!!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures…


Makin’ Waves…at Camp Splash 2013

It’s that time again! Sign up for our annual backyard Vacation Bible School called…

Camp Splash!

For more information and pictures from last year…check out this link…

Splish Splash, I was taking a bath…. 

Be sure to RSVP, so that we will have enough supplies for all the youth.

In addition, note that weather permitting…we are having a community cookout on

Friday evening at 7pm!!!

Bring something to share! Thanks!

Camp Splash Flyer - Front

Camp Splash Flyer - Back

Splish Splash, I was taking a bath….

Well, no…we didn’t take baths.  But we did have a ton of fun and got really wet in the process!!  Last year, Louis and I partnered with Hope Church to hold a back yard VBS called Camp Splash! We are prepping for this year’s Camp Splash.

Camp Splash 2013

July 22nd – 26th

early evening 

Stay tuned for more details and ways you can help! To get email updates, be sure to follow on the right!  ————>

In the meantime, please join us in praying for the safety of the kids this summer, for the Camp Splash volunteers, for open hearts during Camp Splash 2013.  Thanks!

If you want to learn more, check out these posts from last year and check out this video I put together from last year’s pictures.

Camp Splash Comes to SBH 
Backyard Camp Makes A Splash
60000 Words
Clouds Rain Sunshine
Gods Kingdom Come in SBH

God’s Kingdom Come…in SBH

God continues to amaze me! He works in such awesome ways!  When I moved into Southern Barton Heights, just a ½ mile from Gilpin Court seven years ago, I had no idea what He had in store.  He continues to WOW me, and Hope Church is now a part of my ongoing story.

Seven years ago, I had no idea what I was doing….just trying to learn how to love my neighbors, who were  different from me in many ways.  Seven years ago, I felt all alone in this work.  Since my move, there have been some difficult times, and some really exciting, wonderful times. The lonely days are more few and far between than they were back then.  And, today, Louis and I feel even less alone than we did 4 months ago.

Why?  It was over 4 months ago when I learned about Camp Splash, hosted by Hope Church.  Hope Church made the conscious decision to take VBS to the streets.  Instead of taking a ‘come and see’ approach, inviting the community to the church building, Hope took a ‘go and tell’ approach.  Camp Splash is a backyard weeklong Bible Camp with water games (the kids’ favorite part!!!), crafts, Bible lesson, and a snack (a light dinner in our case).

So…how did we get hooked up with Hope Church?  My mom received an online newsletter from Hope Church when Camp Splash was first announced…asking the congregation to consider hosting Camp Splash in their backyard.  We prayed about it, considering an email asking if Hope would be willing to partner with us – someone pretty unknown to them.  Well, we weren’t completely unknown….Louis had taken some classes with Hope’s Senior Pastor, David. Then, I thought to myself, “Why not?  What’s the worst that could happen?  That they would say ‘No.”?  I sent the email.  Less than a week later, I received an email from Anne stating that they had been praying for an opportunity to serve the inner-city.  This was an answer to our prayer…and Hope’s.

Over the next four months, Anne and I got together to talk and pray about what that might look like, who in the church would be interested, when we would host it, etc.  I received a copy of the program, plus the host/family package.  I got to check out a camp held on a very hot day in the West End, just to get a feel for the rhythm.  And just 2 weeks before the camp, Maddie, a few of the Hope Church youth, and I got together to get to know one another and brainstorm how we would roll.  On another visit, the girls helped to flyer the community.  Then, we prayed.  I had NO idea how many local youth would come….whether it was 5 or 15.

Over the 5 days of Camp Splash, the love of Jesus – through Word and deed – was shared with over 30 Northside children.  The week was amazing!  Sometimes kids can be challenging, but they were terrific this week.  One leader, Gregory, had 2 occasions to help mediate in what could have been a physical fight instead of lots of hurtful words being exchanged.  Just this morning, Louis and I chatted with one girl who quoted great advice and thoughts that Gregory had shared during one of those times just last night.  Praise God for providing Louis, Gregory and Robert wisdom to handle the difficult situations with grace, love and firmness.

And what giving friends we have!  Since we hosted Camp Splash from 5:30-7:30pm, we also served the kids a simple, light dinner provided by some GENEROUS friends!  They were such a huge hit and greatly appreciated!  Thank you!!!!

Friday night at the closing community cookout, we welcomed many parents and neighbors, as well.   The parents of our youth and college age students were also excited to join in the work by attending the Friday night community cookout.  And…can I just say WOW!  Spencer Simmons totally rocked!  Spencer is an up-and-coming artist who happened to be in Richmond last night.  (check her out at Despite the rain that challenged us, she eventually got to plug in when the clouds rolled away and the sun came out.  Not only did she honor us with her God-given talent, but she also shared the mic with our neighbors for an impromptu Open Mic Night.  We had at least 6 churches who worked together to help us set up and tear down!

This cookout felt a little like God’s on earth, as we joined together in our differences – race, church, worship style, socio-economic status, geography, denomination, education, cultures, etc. to worship our God by loving our neighbor and proclaiming His name and His name alone.

I pray that God takes the love shared through words and deeds and multiplies them 10-fold.  May this be a week that changed Southern Barton Heights and its children.  May the hearts of those from Hope Church and everyone involved continue to be moved to love and serve their neighbors in the inner-city of RVA.  God…bring your kingdom here in Richmond…in Southern Barton Heights as it is in heaven. Make it so, Lord.  Make it so.

Take a peek into the last day of Camp Splash and the Community Cookout….


Just a quick sneak peak at tonight’s activities!  It was definitely interesting.  Although I know we need the rain pretty badly, we prayed that the rain would hold off…..


But, the rain came….and this is what it looks like when it rains….




Then… the clouds went away and the SUNSHINE came out!  WOO HOO!!!! I know I should say something spiritual here, but I just don’t have the energy! But, what I do know is…God is really good…all. the. time!



What a super night of great fun…and a night of learning about just how loud it can get in our house….and I can say I appreciate the sunshine today more than most!  🙂  Again…super thanks to new and old-time friends from Hope Church (BIG TIME!!!), Movement Church, Cornerstone Christian Church, Parham Road Baptist, Bethesda House Ministries, New Hanover Pres, Tuckahoe Pres, Spencer Simmons (check out this talented musician at and soooo many more who helped out this week and tonight in some way!  I always hesitate to list groups or people because I know I will forget some one….forgive me if I did!!!)  More pics to come!

Thanks to community for coming out….and blessing us!


60,000 Words

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words.  Well, here are 60,000 words to describe Day 3 of Camp Splash!  So far, a total of 26 youth have experienced the love of Jesus through the Hope Church leaders, friends (old and new) who made dinners, friends who came to help, and also through those of you who we know are praying!!  Thanks!  Now…we are praying about the future of this group of young people who need ongoing discipleship…not to mention fun!

To see Day 1 – Check out this link > Backyard Camp Makes a Splash

To see Day 2 – Check out this link > Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain, Rain Go Away

Day 2 of Camp Splash presented some challenges Tuesday.  It’s called thunderstorms!  So, we improvised and just brought it all inside…minus the water games!  Man, those Hope Church leaders totally rocked it!!!  So spontaneous!  So flexible!  SOOOO patient!  So awesome!  So blessed by friends packing dinners….sandwiches, chips, pizza roll-ups, cookies, fruit, water bottles!

Learning about S I N after a few games and dinner!

GREAT TIP:  Get the big 24oz water bottles and use a sharpie to mark each bottle with a name.  Then, refill it as needed throughout the days/week ahead.  Worked out perfect!

Thankful that sunshine is on the way!!!  I’m a day behind in posting…but super pictures from Wednesday are on their way tomorrow!