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Contact Us

  • Phone: (831)465-3300
  • Email: 
  • Address:
    2701 Cabrillo College Drive | Aptos, CA 95003

Service Times

  • Saturday: 6PM
  • Sunday: 9 & 10:45AM

Santa Cruz Fires

If you've been impacted by the fires in Santa Cruz County, we are here for you. In the links below you'll find ways to contact us for help, and the latest updates on Camp Hammer.

 

FIRE RESPONSE FAQ

Thanks for your prayers as we provide shelter for fire evacuees here at TLC, and also process the grief and practical details related to our own fire destruction at Camp Hammer.

Here are the three most frequently asked questions:

 

1. HOW CAN I HELP WITH FIRE VICTIMS?

The absolute best way to help our shelter for fire evacuees is to contribute to the fire relief fund here:

These funds will be used to help fire victims in the weeks and months ahead. At this time we are no longer accepting donated items except for Target, Safeway, or Costco gift cards

 

2. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO CAMP HAMMER?

From multiple photos taken by first responders we can confirm that, with the exception of three of the original cabins and two sheds, all other buildings at Camp Hammer were destroyed by the fire. Of the three surviving cabins, Azalea appears to be untouched. The other two, Maple and Oak, were damaged but are still standing. Whether or not they are salvageable remains to be determined. 

We will provide further information when we are able to inspect the property. In the meantime please continue to pray for our Camp Hammer staff. Housing has been arranged for all of them in town, but they carry the grief and shock of losing their homes and workplace. Please pray also that God will bless and direct our steps as we seek His will for the future of Camp Hammer--a ministry God has used to impact thousands upon thousands of lives for the past 55 years. 

 

3. HOW CAN I HELP CAMP HAMMER STAFF?

Our camp staff are now all without permanent lodging, because most of the buildings at Camp Hammer were destroyed. Please keep them in your prayers as they process this difficult loss. We are providing for staff— both their material needs and emotional needs such as trauma counseling–– through the staff benevolence fund. You can contribute to that at tlc.org/give and in the memo write “STAFF BENEVOLENCE”.

We are also seeking good long-term housing for them, both family homes and apartments for singles and couples; we are able to pay reasonable rent. Contact Kathleen Lineberry at  

…thank you!

 

CAMP HAMMER FIRE UPDATE

CAMP HAMMER FIRE UPDATE  

INTERVIEW WITH ERIC AND SARAH
Many of you have been asking how our camp director Eric Swanson-Dexel, his family, and the staff are doing. Rene met via zoom with Eric and Sarah to answer your most frequently asked questions about the fire. 



UPDATE FROM RENE & MARK

Hello dear friends,

Our Camp Hammer was severely damaged by the wildfire on Tuesday night August 18. First let me say we are very grateful our staff are all safe.

However, after two visits to the site, we can confirm that, with the exception of three of the original cabins, the field stage, and two sheds, all other buildings at Camp Hammer were completely destroyed by the fire. Of the three cabins, Azalea appears to be untouched. The other two, Maple and Oak, were damaged but are still standing. Whether or not they are salvageable remains to be determined. We are assessing the situation with expert consultants. While we hope to rebuild, many questions about remain unanswered; our next steps will become clearer as debris is removed over the next several months.

Please continue to pray for our Camp Hammer staff. Housing has been arranged for all of them, but they carry the grief and shock of losing their homes and workplace. Please pray also that God will bless and direct our steps as we seek His will for the future of Camp Hammer--a ministry God has used to impact thousands upon thousands of lives for the past 55 years. 

On hearing this news, those of us with personal ties to camp are   shocked, saddened, angry, in denial—in other words, we are   grieving.   All of these emotions crash in on us at these moments.  And all those emotions are valid. They are all a part of the grief process. 

But there is one emotion we must resist: Despair.

We must resist despair because first, we know that the ministry of Camp Hammer goes on today in the lives of thousands of campers and staff who were born into the faith there, and grew in the faith there. Today Camp Hammer alumni live all over the world, many in full-time ministry, the Camp Hammer Effect rippling out across the globe every day.   No fire that can extinguish that.   Is Camp Hammer destroyed?   No.   Today Camp Hammer is still in California and New York and Japan and Europe and Africa, through the lives of all those shaped there spiritually over decades.

Most of all, in these moments we must recall   the central story of our faith:The   death and resurrection of Jesus, the most awful tragedy and the most joyful triumph anyone ever experienced. 

The cross was real, and tragic, but the empty tomb is real too.   Jesus lives.   He lives today. 

And this is our hope.   This is what keeps us going. This is why we can   go forward with new hope for the future.   No matter how dark it gets, we remember that God ultimately transforms each terrible cross into joyful resurrection. This is the arc, the plotline, of our faith, and through faith I believe we will experience it again even in this.

So today, let’s grieve together, but let’s not despair.   Let’s not lose hope. Yes, in life we live through agonizing crucifixions. Loved ones, cherished hopes, and even beloved places, sometimes die. 

But our faith reminds us that   this is not the end of the story. Not ever.   In unexpected ways,   resurrection always follows.

Thanks for reading, and for your continued prayers.

Much love in Christ,

Rene Schlaepfer & Mark Spurlock

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

 

FIRE HELP

We are here for you!

  • We have a temporary evacuation center on our campus for those with RVs, campers, vans, cars, etc. We provide meals, necessities such as toothpaste and shampoo, and free showers and laundry. While our parking is currently at capacity, you may check in for food, showers, etc., and we can refer you to shelters with available space. 
  • If you need help with evacuation from fire danger, please call or text us at 831-440-8262 or tlc.org/help. We have a team standing by.
  • If you need food, we can help from our food pantry. Public drive-through food distribution is on Wednesdays between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm, and at other times you can make an appointment to meet with our benevolence team at 831-465-3300.
  • If you would like someone to pray with, call the church at 831-465-3300 during office hours (Mon-Thurs 9 am – 4pm), after office hours call or text 831-440-8262 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • For other ways we can help you, go to tlc.org/help
  • Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the fires, including residents and firefighters

ENCOURAGING MEDITATION

God’s promise is not that fires won’t come; his promise is that we will not be utterly consumed by them, because we know our hope is not in our homes or material goods; our hope is ultimately in Him, and He will shepherd us through every dark valley…

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Isaiah 43:1b-3a NLT

 

Click HERE to Donate to Fire Relief