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11350 Hidden Acres Ln
Kaufman, TX, 75142
United States

Hidden Acres is a camp and retreat center whose mission is to serve individuals, our community, and the world by sharing Christ’s love.

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Field Notes

HA News & Updates

Leadership Retreats from the perspective of a counselor

Rebeca Carpenter

This was my first time to work at a Hidden Acres Girls’ Retreat. I was not sure what to expect going in, but I left seeing some amazing impacts from God. In just two days, many of the young ladies broke out of their comfort zone and gave God control.

On the first day one particular young lady in my group told me she wanted to be a leader for Christ. However, she said she did not believe she could. By the end of the weekend this same young lady was helping in every activity. She helped me in our small group, sharing her testimony and being a great encourager to the other young ladies. You could see God opening doors for her to be a leader throughout the weekend and she took every opportunity. On the last night she shared with me that she knew she could go out and be a leader in Christ wherever she went.

This was such an amazing opportunity. I am thankful to be a part of this retreat. I onlyshared a story about one of the girls because it would take too long to share them all. I cannot wait to see the things that God is going to do with these extraordinary young ladies. It was such a privilege to get a glimpse of it at this retreat.

Leadership Retreat from the Perspective of a Counselor

Rebeca Carpenter

This was my first time to work at a Hidden Acres Girls’ Retreat. I was not sure what to expect going in, but I left seeing some amazing impacts from God. In just two days, many of the young ladies broke out of their comfort zone and gave God control.

On the first day one particular young lady in my group told me she wanted to be a leader for Christ. However, she said she did not believe she could. By the end of the weekend this same young lady was helping in every activity. She helped me in our small group, sharing her testimony and being a great encourager to the other young ladies. You could see God opening doors for her to be a leader throughout the weekend and she took every opportunity. On the last night she shared with me that she knew she could go out and be a leader in Christ wherever she went.

This was such an amazing opportunity. I am thankful to be a part of this retreat. I onlyshared a story about one of the girls because it would take too long to share them all. I cannot wait to see the things that God is going to do with these extraordinary young ladies. It was such a privilege to get a glimpse of it at this retreat.

30th Anniversary Celebration

Rebeca Carpenter

On Saturday, November 8, 2014 Hidden Acres will host an

Open House and Picnic in Celebration of Hidden Acres’ 30 Years of Ministry

Make plans to attend and to invite your friends. 

Doors will open at 10:00 a.m. for fishing, hiking, archery, canoeing  and for enjoying the great outdoors. 

Lunch will begin at 12:00 pm with program following

After the program we will have a time capsule burial and a large group photo.

We will have a Photo Booth, door prizes, and informational booths.

More info on our Facebook Page Hidden Acres Summer Camps

Please RSVP with Tim Carpenter at tcarpenter@hiddenacres.org or by texting him at 214-673-5117.  Please bring lawn chairs. 

Hidden Acres will have a 30th Anniversary gift registry at Target if you would like to donate items needed for our facilities, gifts are tax deductible.

Sethi: Once a Camper, Now a Counselor

Rebeca Carpenter

Sethi is a refugee from Tanzania who now resides in inner-city Dallas.  He spent several weeks this summer serving on staff for Hidden Acres Mission Camps.  As we talked with him about his life, Sethi told about some of the hardships of being a child growing up in a refugee camp.  He remembers hundreds of families displaced from their homes and struggling to meet their daily needs.  He and his family were given the opportunity to leave Africa as refugees and relocate to the USA for their safety and well-being. While the transition to life in America is not easy for refugee families, Sethi thanks God for the freedom he has found in America.

When asked what Hidden Acres means to him, he replied, “Hidden Acres is like a second home to me.” He remembers crying on the bus ride home his last day of summer camp at Hidden Acres several years ago.  “I did not want to leave.  People would tell me that I would be back next summer, but next summer felt so far away. I always wanted to stay at least two more weeks.” Through the years we have seen Sethi mature into the young man he is today.  His dream to spend more weeks at camp came true when he was invited to join our summer camp staff in 2013.  It has been a blessing to see him become a leader for God’s glory.

Amanda Elery: Hidden Acres Intern

Rebeca Carpenter

Once a very fun and energetic camper, Amanda Elery is now using her enthusiasm and energy to help campers have the same life-changing experience she enjoyed at Hidden Acres Summer Camp.  She started attending camp at age eight and has returned every summer since. Amanda also goes by  Baby-E and has carried that camp name since her middle school camp in 2003. Hidden Acres grown, she began moving through the stages of camp: from camper to assistant counselor, then head counselor, camp coordinator, and now to our first ever Hidden Acres Ministry Intern.  

Amanda is thankful for growing up in a Christ-centered home where her parents instilled in her a love for God and a love for people.  She is thankful her parents sent her to camp where she could learn from the example of godly leaders who encouraged her to seek God and not the ways of the world.  Some of her favorite memories of camp are heart-to-heart conversations with her counselors and her annual talent show act with her brother, Toby, who is also a leader at our camps.  She hopes to be involved in the ministry of Hidden Acres for years to come, and is excited to see Hidden Acres reach out to more children as they build for the future.

Fundraising for New Dining Hall

Rebeca Carpenter

We have asked our summer camps staff & volunteers to help with fundraising efforts for a new dining hall by sending out letters to their family and friends.  Here is a copy of the letter that they are sending out.  

Hidden Acres: Building for the Future

Hidden Acres is a camp and retreat center whose mission is to serve individuals, our community, and the world by sharing Christ’s love.

The vision of Hidden Acres is to impact lives with Christ’s love and the message of His word.  We seek to make a difference in this world by training up leaders with a Christian worldview and servant-leadership skills as exemplified in Christ.  We have seen many lives changed through the camp ministry at Hidden Acres and have seen both campers and staff grow in their leadership skills. 

Our ministry would not exist without the help of friends who contribute to the daily costs of maintaining a welcoming place for churches, families, and campers.   Hidden Acres has been enjoyed by many people for the past 30 years, and it is a place that we do not want to keep hidden.  Hidden Acres’ ministry has increased by leaps and bounds for the last several years as we have grown in our camping ministry that reaches out to children in the Dallas area.  Our mission camps provide opportunities for churches to share the gospel with children from around the world who now reside in our community.  Because of the growth in our numbers we have a pressing need for a new dining hall.  As you can see from the picture above we have outgrown our current facility.  $500,000 will enable us to build a dining facility so that we can continue to grow in our outreach.  

Will you partner with us and invest in our future? Your gift will allow us to reach many more young people for years to come. Our communities desperately need godly leaders. With your help, we can share God's love with the young people who will be our future leaders.


Diffee Dining Hall Project 

In order to say “yes” to more campers and volunteers, the Hidden Acres Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to begin the campaign to raise money for a much needed dining hall.  A new state-of-the-art dining hall will enable us to more than double our day camp capacity (Our overnight camp capacity is limited by bed space.)  Hidden Acres needs help from friends like you to raise $500,000 for this project.  We can only reach more campers with a larger dining hall. More campers will mean more children and youth like Amanda and Sethi with whom we can share the Gospel!  

 
Charles and Lavina Diffee

The dining hall will be named in honor of Charles and Lavina Diffee. Our founder, Charles Diffee, has been involved in camping for over 50 years, and Hidden Acres is the result of his love for young people and desire to share God’s love with them. Lavina has spent countless hours keeping the books, producing newsletters, and corresponding with our many donors. They are truly a couple worth honoring.

Meet Innocent, one of our campers

Rebeca Carpenter

“My favorite memory of camp is when I asked Jesus to be my Savior.”  Innocent told us this summer as we did a video interview with him.  Innocent remembers that his first summer at Hidden Acres was actually his first summer in America.  He was only nine years old when he traveled on an airplane to America from a refugee camp in Tanzania.  At the refugee camp he remembers going without food at times. Those memories of being a refugee in Africa are now mingled with new memories of summers coming to camp at Hidden Acres for seven years.  During those years Innocent has formed friendships with our staff members.  He looks forward to camp where he says he has grown in his faith and coming to camp has also encouraged him to be more involved in church.  


That young nine year old who did not know much English when he first arrived at Hidden Acres is now a young man who tells us with a charming smile, bright eyes, and humble and sincere voice, that Christ is everything to Him and it is only through Him that he lives.  His desire is to be a professional soccer player who honors God and points to Him on and off the field.

Amanda Elery aka. Baby-E, Innocent, and Program Director, Tim Carpenter aka Carp

Amanda Elery aka. Baby-E, Innocent, and Program Director, Tim Carpenter aka Carp


A New Mission

Rebeca Carpenter

    During the Fall, we ventured into a new facet of ministry God has given us with refugee children.  We opened our doors to a new Mission Camp program.  With a large group of unreached children in the Dallas area we are excited to have an opportunity to reach more children with the gospel by partnering with church groups to lead Mission Weekend Retreats at Hidden Acres.  These weekends are similar to our Middle School Leadership Retreats we lead in the Spring, except that they are open to a wider age group.  
    Our first group to experience this was a single adult group from Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Tx.  We were blessed to have such a great group full of excitement and ready to plug in and serve our young refugee campers.  Their group leader had been sending out devotionals with prayer leads asking God to prepare everyone’s heart for this special weekend.  It was great to see these children being lead through the various camp activities by godly men, women, and youth.  God moved in an awesome way.  The participants were moved by the experience of serving these young campers.  
    We hope and pray to be able to replicate this many times over.  If you or your church group is interested in partnering with us to reach more children with God’s love please contact us.