John & Louise
Both John and I were born and raised in South Africa. In 2007 we immigrated to New Zealand and lived there for 10 years with our 3 children. They are now all adults and we have 2 grand children with number 3 due in July this year. John worked as a Health & Safety advisor for the last 5 years and I as a Facility Manager for the last 6 years. Growing up in South Africa we went to the Dutch Reformed church. We knew about God but did not have a relationship with Him. As one can expect our arrival in New Zealand was difficult for us as a family. On the 1st March 2011, I had hit rock bottom and in that place I had an encounter with God. At that moment the direction of our lives changed forever. We fell in love with God and are pursuing a life living for Him. God gave us a deep love for Christian camping and we pursued this with all our hearts. This is the reason we came to Australia and we believe that God opened the door for us here at Ridgecrest. We are very excited about the future of Ridgecrest and will not rest until we see the abundance of God in this place.
I've been a Christian since a fairly young age, but like a lot of people who have grown up in Christian families, My faith perhaps wasn't very real to me until my later teen years. I came to Ridgecrest in 2008 following a short lived stint at university (I'm apparently not much of an academic). My parents - Clive and Jenny Gibbes happened to be managing Ridgecrest at that time, so I decided I would stay with them and help them out for the short term whilst I decided what to do more long term. Well it turns out I wasn't too bad in the kitchen and could also do a nice bit of dry and wet stone walling, so that "short term" turned into around 10 years (not counting a few stints where I left briefly to try other jobs). My parents have since retired as managers and handed over the reigns to Johnny and Louise, who have a new vision for where to take the camp centre and I'm happy to be a part of that.
I became a Christian in 1999. I came to a few camps with Emmaus and while I was here on one of our camps I was Dining Room Co-ordinator. God used that camp to show me an opening for me to join the team here. That was in 2008. I have been here ever since. One of my gifts would be my servant heart, and I love that I use this gift everyday. God has taught me so much in my time here. It has been my greatest time of spiritual growth. I believe that God has brought together each person in the team at the right time. There has never been an overlap of gifts. God has used our pasts to shape us to be exactly what Ridgecrest needs when we get here. My hearts desire is to see each person that comes to Ridgecrest for a camp experience the touch and love of the Lord that only he can give.
I became a Christian in 1973. Before coming to Ridgecrest I was living in Wellington. I am currently a member of Wellington Baptist Church and attended camps at Ridgecrest with this church. I first started helping out at Ridgecrest on weekends. After some difficulties with housing in Wellington, Margaret offered for me to live with her onsite. In 2014, I began to share a house with Margaret onsite and have held a volunteer position ever since. Last July I turned 70. I love being onsite in the peace that God provides here. I love to serve God and am committed to serving with the team, even through the struggles and tough times that come. In every high and every low, God has always met every one of our needs.