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Hello! My Name Is….Cliff McCalister

Posted by Dan Bolin on OA10er @ 10:29



Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in the United States.


How did you become a Christian and did camp play a role in your spiritual development?

I grew up going to church with my parents, and in fact, I never remember a time when I did not know God. Yet a time came when I was 12 years old and was confronted with my sin. I realized I was a sinner and needed a Savior. It was a camp as a high school student that I heard God’s call to ministry. At the time I did not know what that would look like, but through many more camp experiences (counselor, maintenance, cleaning, guest group coordinator etc.), I came to realize I was called specifically to camp ministry. That has now taken me to Mexico and Latin America.


Tell us about your family.

I am blessed to be married to my best friend, Joy, for 25 years. We have three wonderful kids. Our oldest Molly is married and living in Gunnison, Colorado. Cailey is attending Champlain College in Vermont and our son Jack is living with us and attending high school. What a blessing to watch my kids grow up with room to roam, with a community that has believed in them and mentored them along the way.


What role(s) do you have in Christian camping? How have you been involved in CCI?

I am currently the Director de Eventos in CCI AL/Mexico and have been involved in Christian camps since I was 18. I have been a counselor, cook, cleaner, maintenance, guest group coordinator, discipleship director, learner, and interim Director. I continue to grow and learn with so many great people.


What do you do on your day off?

I like making things, mostly with wood, but right now I am learning to weld and have all kinds of projects in my mind. Anything outdoors, from mountain bikes to snow shoeing, with my wife. I love cars, but basically just read magazines about them. (I hope my son becomes a mechanic.) 


Besides the Bible, what is your favorite book?

Spiritual Leadership by Blackaby, and The More the Merrier: Lead Playful Activities with Large Groups.


What kind of music do you like? Any favorite recording artists or song?

My favorite artists would be Third Day, but I love good old rock ‘n roll from the 80’s.


What is your favorite Bible verse? Any story that tells us why?

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37

There is more to the story than I can share here. My wife and I went through a failed foster adopt. It was very difficult, and I did not want to pursue adoption again. We got a phone call about Jack, and we were going to meet him on this particular day. This was the verse I found in my devotions that morning.


What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I got two pieces of advice during our pre-marital counsel that has been invaluable.

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.

Don’t get a bed bigger than a full size (in Mexico it is called a matrimonial).

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