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Stories of Renovation

Brian’s Story

My name is Brian Brooks and I’m the Director of Student Ministries at Crossroads Community Church in Leesport, PA. Since I became the Director of student ministries in 2005, and since then God has used many experiences as a catalyst for spiritual growth. In particular, one of the catalysts for this growth was the “soul thirst” experiences through Project Renovation.

At times in my ministry, I felt my spiritual health declining. I knew the importance of daily devotionals and taking time to fill up first, but sometimes I just didn’t know how to reverse the process. Fortunately, that’s where the Project played a huge part in helping to sustain me through dry times.

“Soul thirsts” as they were called, were incredibly powerful weekends where other ministry leaders took time to invest in my spiritual well-being. Through practicing solitude, rest, worship, digging into the Biblical text and encouragement, my soul was filled once again. Through those times, my passion and health were rekindled.

Those “soul thirsts” helped to restore my relationship with God. One thing that I will always keep with me from those experiences is the core conviction: “Healthy Student Ministry Leaders produce Healthy Students”. The project renovation helped me to remember that truth and most importantly showed me how to practice it.

God has done some amazing things in our ministry from my time at “soul thirsts”. In particular our volunteer staff has become healthier. By taking time to focus on my spiritual health, I could help them focus on their spiritual health as well.

Honestly, we have seen healthy leaders produce healthy students. Thank you for investing in the hearts of many ministry leaders. You have truly helped to provide guidance and health in deep times of need. Thank you for serving Jesus this way.

Brian Brooks
Director of Student Ministries
Crossroads Community Church – Leesport, PA
April 23, 2012


Dan’s Story

I can’t remember stepping foot into a church unless it was for Christmas or Easter Mass at a local Catholic Church. After the death of my father God started to work in my heart. I met a Christian that showed me an unconditional love I never thought was possible. After 17 years of anger, pain, abuse, and hopelessness Jesus began to renovate all that was broken in my heart.

I remember during the winter of 2007 stumbling into Rick’s office, as a brand new Christian, I had a strong calling to see God change the lives of middle school students. Rick paired me up with a mentor from the Project and I have been involved ever since.

Throughout my first couple of years in ministry, I had experienced so many ups and downs. I couldn’t have imagined doing it on my own. The project helped me navigate the challenges of youth ministry and gave me the support that only other youth pastors could provide. My mentors were more interested in my personal spiritual formation than my productivity as a youth pastor. I couldn’t be more grateful for how the project has invested in my life and ministry.

Dan Puz
Jr. High Director
Living Word Community Church – Red Lion, PA
December 21, 2011


Ed’s story

Each time that Project Renovation crosses my mind, or I am able to participate in part of the Project, it is  a breath of fresh air in my life and view of ministry.  When I first heard of the Project and was introduced to Rick, it was exciting to see that others agreed that something needed to change in the way we do ministry today to get more on board with Christ’s way of doing life and “Ministry”.  Through participating in prayer meeting and weekend retreat, Project Renovation has helped me to step back and refocus on purposefully living a Christ centered, healthy life, and connecting and building relationships with those who share the same passions.

Ed Campagna
November 1, 2008


Jason’s story

The Soul Thirst retreat changed my life!  I don’t just say these words in passing.  I was burned out and looking for a way out of ministry.  Around this time Rick invited me to be a part of a soul care weekend along with some other fellow Youth Workers.  During that time God spoke to me in a mighty way.  I was asked the question, “How is your soul?”.  My soul was tired, frustrated, and dry!  I was challenged to spend an extended time with the Lord every week.  I made the commitment and have been refreshed ever since.  At the lowest point in my life, God met me sitting on a rock out in the middle of the woods.  Project Renovation has had a huge impact on my life.  Now, I am still in ministry, still meeting with God for extended time, and excited about what God has for my future.

Jason Williams
Lead Pastor
River’s Edge Community Church – Sumter, SC
November 1, 2008