The Christian life is one of growth and we acknowledge Him in each step of the journey.
IAWAH. “In All Ways Acknowledge Him.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6
IAWAH is centrally located to serve the communities of Eastern Ontario. IAWAH sits tucked against a backdrop of pristine wilderness made visually stunning by over 200 acres of forests, ponds, trails and 2.5 kilometres of private shoreline on Wolfe Lake.
We offer summer camps, youth leadership and development programs, family retreats, retreat facilities and school programs with emphasis on a Christian message, personal development and growth in faith. Our dedicated staff are committed to providing children, youth, young adults and families a place to connect with one another, with God and with the natural world.
In 1955, Charlie Leach and a group of devout Christian men contemplated building a summer camp for Southeastern Ontario. They came across the Derbyshire farm on Wolfe Lake and although the road was impassable, they walked in on foot. The men prayed, asking God for guidance and wisdom. With resounding clarity, they knew in their hearts that the farm was the perfect location for a retreat centre and children’s camp.
Charlie and two other men felt powerfully compelled by God to make an offer of $5,000 and 25 years to pay Mrs. Derbyshire who lived in Westport. En route to the meeting, they stopped in a Westport restaurant and were informed that another organization was offering $30,000 cash for the farm — far more than what they had available. Concerned but undeterred, Charlie and the committee proceeded with the meeting and by God’s grace, came face-to-face with a wonderful Christian woman.
Mrs. Derbyshire was receptive to their plan, noting that their proposal and vision for the property was exactly what her late husband would have wanted for the future of the farm. From this humble beginning, IAWAH has since grown into a year-round centre for learning, adventure and growth. Thousands of people, both young and old, have met the Lord at IAWAH, while others have grown deeper roots of faith. Today, we continue to journey with youth as they grow in leadership and intimacy with God.
IAWAH was founded in 1956 as a non-denominational summer camp. The not-for-profit organization is governed by the Corporation of IAWAH Christian Ministries — a dedicated group of people who voluntarily serve as stewards of the ministry. A Board of Directors is selected to provide leadership to the Executive Director, within the framework of policy governance. Additionally, there is a small year-round staff team supported by over 150 seasonal staff and volunteers, all of who are carefully vetted and chosen to help facilitate the growth of each participant and guest.
IAWAH Christian Ministries seeks people who know and love the ministry, and are committed to seeing the organization grow in its effectiveness to achieve its vision. Members serve and stay connected to the organization - contributing to its overall health by:
- praying for the ministry
- financially supporting the ministry
- volunteering time, energy and skills
- promoting the ministry, programs, events
- attending Corporation meetings (especially the Annual General Meeting each November)
Anyone 18 years or older who is a deeply rooted follow of Jesus Christ and agrees with the Foundational Documents is welcome to apply to become a member of the Corporation. Applicants will be interviewed informally and appointed by the Board of Directors. A one-time fee of $10 legally formalizes the membership.
Faithfully growing the talent, gifts and confidence of our youth
IAWAH plants seeds of faith, nurtures disciples and cultivates Godly character and leadership in each participant. Our vision is to grow deeply-rooted followers of Jesus who are equipped for God’s harvest — wherever they are planted.
To read more about our mission, vision and values, we invite you to read them here.
Annual Ministry Report
Over the past year, IAWAH facilitated more than 60 guest group experiences and welcomed over 3,000 people to its grounds. This included nearly 50 retreat groups and half as many spring school programs.
To find out more about our year of growth and stewardship, view our Annual Ministry Report for 2016-17.
IAWAH seeks to develop safe practices that anticipate and respond to needs of those it serves and maintains membership with the following organizations:
- Christian Camping International (Canada)
- Ontario Recreational Canoeing & Kayaking Association
- Lifesaving Society of Canada
- Association for Challenge Course Technology
IAWAH is dedicated to thoroughly screening, orienting and training staff and volunteers. If you would like to discuss our safety and current standards, please contact our Director. Camp IAWAH is an accredited member of the Ontario Camps Association.
It is increasingly complicated for young people to grow up today....deeply rooted
Jeff Friesen, Executive Director
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and learn not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Plantings seeds of faith...Nurturing Disciples...Cultivating Godly Character and Leadership
We have a vision to grow deeply-rooted followers of Jesus who are equipped for God’s harvest – Wherever they are planted.
We create an experience where guests are welcomed, nurtured, inspired and transformed
When you step on to the property, it is powerfully evident that God is at work here. It is clear that God has a purpose for the people at IAWAH.