Join Me on a Trip to Discovery Mountain

Join me on a trip to Discovery Mountain, where the air is clear—clear enough to hear your imagination—and where every day is an exercise in faith. Join me today for an expedition to Discovery Mountain . . .

I am so excited about Discovery Mountain! No, it’s not our next mission trip—although it’s an important mission. And it’s not a physical location, even though it’s a very real experience. The words above are the opening lines of our brand-new, cutting-edge children’s program.

Let me explain. My wife, Jean, is a creative genius when it comes to children. In addition to her duties as associate speaker of the Voice of Prophecy, she has a drive and a passion to produce and create programs and stories for children of all ages. 

And while I was speaker for a sister ministry, Jean single-handedly created My Place With Jesus, the now well-known interactive Bible study series for children.So I can tell you from experience that children are Jean’s specialty, and reaching young hearts for Jesus is her mission.

One thing Jean noticed—because she notices these things—is that there are a lot of reading materials and visual aids for children, but few audible options. And while audible books and materials for adults have been gaining a huge following during recent years, and today enjoy unprecedented popularity, children are being left behind in this area.

Years ago, H.M.S. Richards encouraged the creation of a storytelling program for children on the radio, called Your Story Hour. Many of us grew up listening to Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue, but over the years, there hasn’t been much more in the way of high-quality audio programs for children.

And that brings me to Discovery Mountain. The idea started a few years ago when Jean worked on the Bible studies for children. It was a great project, but it was web-based, and once children completed the 14-part series, that was the end of the program, and children wanted more.

“I learned a couple of things in this process,” Jean said. “First, almost all of my mail from kids was about one thing—they wanted stories! The kids wanted fresh, new content they could listen to. Second, I realized that because this program was web-based, it didn’t have as much reach outside of church circles. The parents and grandparents who knew where to find the website used it, but it wasn’t as easy to find outside the church. Discovery Mountain meets those two needs. It includes ongoing dialogue-based stories, and we have planned it to be accessible and relevant to kids from any background.”

The reason Discovery Mountain will be so accessible is because its distribution methods will reach far beyond our website to include radio stations and all of the major podcast platforms. Our goal is to reach as many young people as possible with the Good News of the gospel. We haven’t had a children’s program in years outside of established church networks, and this will be a first!

Jean and the staff have had so much fun creating the first episodes of Discovery Mountain. They figured if they didn’t have fun doing it, children wouldn’t have fun listening. And without a big budget, they improvised with talented volunteer actors and some creative ingenuity.

The setting for the series is the town of (you guessed it) Discovery Mountain and the summer camp there. The target audience is children ages 5-12. We know from sample data that children in this age group enjoy listening to quality audio, and this will be fresh and relevant material to help our children with the issues they face every day, done in present-day dialogue.

“There is a huge benefit to creating an audio-only program, and that is that kids are using their own imaginations to fill in the rest of the story. Audio, therefore, can be timeless. It doesn’t date itself as easily and appeals to a broader group of kids,” Jean said recently in a Disclosure radio interview about the program.

This is crucially important because children can develop listening skills when the mind is trained to visualize the unseen in the spoken word. And this includes the unseen spiritual realities in God’s Word as well.

As children enjoy listening to stories about the people on Discovery Mountain, they will also learn about different Bible characters. But the most important thing of all is that Discovery Mountain is a fun way for kids from all backgrounds to get to know Jesus as their personal Savior. And if our children learn nothing else but this, then they will have learned it all.

A sample of the first story series introduces the main recurring characters and sets the scene. The Simon family moves to Discovery Mountain while the main character, Jake, stumbles on the town by accident. But nothing is by accident—God is calling him out of his Jonah experience and to this little town. We learn the history of Discovery Mountain, and how and when it was founded, and answer a question that many kids struggle with—how can I know that God is calling me to do something? How can I be absolutely sure?

I have already listened to the first program and I loved it! From the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves to the barking family dog to the mountain breeze and the sudden thunderstorm—I could hear it and imagine it all! You can almost feel the warm spring sunshine and smell the flowers in the fields. But most fascinating of all are the characters. They’re so interesting that they will keep kids coming back to the program to see what happens next:

  • Who is the stranger in the woods seen near Discovery Mountain?
  • What secret is Mr. Simon hiding behind his store?
  • Who is Jake running from?
  • Will Jamey make new friends on Discovery Mountain?

Discovery Mountain launched on April 19, and right now we are working feverishly to finish as many programs as possible so that the flow will not be interrupted. We are also mindful that children will want to actually see Discovery Mountain, and that’s why we’re building a strong website with sketches of the main characters, plus behind-the-scenes videos relevant to each story.

Above all, we want Discovery Mountain to be so much more than entertainment. We are working for the salvation of our children, because, as we reach the world for Jesus through our many mission projects and Bible studies, we must never forget our children. They, too, need to learn that Jesus can be their personal Friend and Savior. Our children need to know that no matter the circumstances they may face in life, Jesus is the Answer.

I want to ask you to support this precious project. Right now, out of necessity, we are finding creative ways to cut corners without cutting the high quality of the programs. God has been opening doors as key people have come forward with their expertise. But we also need your financial support. Please prayerfully consider a gift for the ongoing production of Discovery Mountain. Your generous gift will help make a difference in a child’s life.

Your brother in ministry,

Shawn Boonstra

P.S. I’m excited about Discovery Mountain—our brand-new children’s program is now live! It allows children from all backgrounds to have fun as they follow the lives of the people in the town of Discovery Mountain. And as they learn to confront everyday issues, they will also learn that Jesus can be their Best Friend. I want to ask for your special support of this project. It’s a project very dear to my heart, because even as we share the gospel message in the mission fields of the world, we must also share it with our children. Thank you for making this project possible!

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