My name is John Trayer and I would like to share my calling with you….

Please take some time to read this story and my prayer is that God uses our story to inspire you to follow him for the first time or reignite the passion that you once had for Him in your life….

Our desire that is that God ignites a passion in your life for what He has called you to do in your own life.  We hope that as we share our story that it inspires you to challenge yourself to wholeheartedly seek God’s purpose for your own life!!!


Here is the story……..

God used a loss of vision to give me vision….

I was with my family at HersheyPark and enjoying all the rides and food.  I noticed what only could be described as a bug in the corner of my left eye.  I thought very little of it and went to bed.  When I awoke it was still bothering me.  Throughout the  day the annoyance grew to the point where I decided to head to the emergency room.  Before I  knew it I was about to embark on a difficult and exciting and frustrating and challenging and scary experience like I had never experienced…..

Doctors discovered a torn retina in my left eye.  It required surgery and it needed to be done asap.  I had the surgery and was excited for the outcome.  A gas bubble was inserted in my eye to hold the  repairs in place until healing occurred.  This procedure required me to lay face down for a number of days….I used this time to spend with God.  I flooded my mind with scripture and sermons.  God became very real in these moments when there was little possibility for distractions and I could only focus on Him and His Word.  

He shared two things with me: 

1)  You need to know the Bible better.

 2)  I want you to open a campground.  

I was energized and immediately got to work.  I started looking for a campground.  I was focused on finding it and getting to the work God called me to.  I found what I thought was the campground.  I made plans for my best friend to drive me to it and I thought God would give me the directions when I got there….

I was planning to go but I had a doctor appointment before we left.  The doctor examined my eye and he seemed perplexed.  He then went on to tell me that my retina had torn again and that I would require another surgery.  This was difficult to hear but I still remained positive.

The doctor performed the surgery and I repeated the same pattern of scripture reading and time with God.  I made plans to go to the camp again.  I was determined to see what God was going to do.  My post-op visit revealed the same result….my retina had torn again.  I was starting to feel a little shaken.

After the third surgery, which involved filling my eye with silicone, I again spent time with God.  I was passionate but I also began to question.   I, however, still made plans to go to the campground.  The third time was a charm and Russ and I arrived in Meadville, PA to visit what we thought would be  our next great adventure….

Well, nothing happened….with time and distance I began to realize that I was not getting anywhere.  I had lost vision in my left eye and I was slowly losing my vision for what God wanted me to do…..

Through a time of struggling and wrestling with God and life, God reminded me of something very important….I had skipped step one and I wanted to rush into step two.  I wanted to go after the campground and not spend the time learning and studying His Word.  So I struggled until I got it….(some of us are slower than others).  But God put a renewed passion in me to study and learn His Word.

I began to study and teach at my church.  God was blessing me with a passion and desire like never before.  I began a youth group that grew quickly.  I began teaching the Bereans class (the grey hairs) and also was leading a families small group.  I was excited and ready to do more…

I began to think about part two again and started trying to give God the ideas of how he could accomplish His plans for my life (again some of us are slower than others).  God with His patience and love allowed me to fail and fall so that I would realize that He is in control and that He can do it better than I can ever imagine….

At this point in my life I could say that I had  a pretty good adventure….Then I met Mac Eifert.  Here was a man that did and does what I felt God wanted me to do.  God knew that I needed a man that could inspire me, make me mad and tell me the things that I needed to hear.  Thus began the greatest mentorship relationship of my life.  God used many men in my life but none came close to what God would do through Mac.

He challenged me and taught me.  He taught me to always go to the Bible and God before  you do anything.  He did this through Bible study, our work relationship and by a Godly example in his daily life.  He mentored me through ministry, church planting and mission trips.  He helped me learn that with God “all things are possible”.

Through five or so years of experience God  led me and my family to South Carolina.  I explored this area and thought God might use my experience at Milton Hershey School to start a campground ministry to tell those who do not know Him about Him.  Also I feel called to challenge those who do know Him to live a life “worthy of the calling”.

Then as part of my journey nothing happened.  This was a challenging time for me and my family.  I was unsure, unconfident and contemplated quitting.  Doubt had reared its ugly head and I was listening to the voices.  But God wasn’t finished with me yet.  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”   Phiippians 1:6 (NASB)

I am now on a journey to Liverpool PA.  God has brought me to almost 600 acres that is pristine and shouting out his name.  Now the work that is ahead of me is great, however, the one who is with me is greater.  The desire is to create a place for allowing many to come to Him and/or to get doing what God has called them to do through the use of His created nature.

There is more that I could share and I want to… will have to come take a visit and we can “contemplate the situation” (Bud quote-my neighbor in Lawn,PA)

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One thing I can guarantee is that we can have a great time around a campfire.  If you come I will light it….I want to hear your story and I want to help ignite God’s fire in your life!

There is nothing more exciting than letting go and allowing God to take control of your life.  Our desire, as a family, is to be serving God in a ministry  where youth, families, children, both young and old come and discover that no matter their circumstances that God has awesome plans for their life!!!!

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

God has put a passion in my life to create and run a campground that allows for a variety of different people and venues to be used for His honor and glory.  My desire is to have multiple programs and opportunities which will allow for a wide variety of opportunities to present the gospel or reignite a lost passion for Jesus Christ.

The mission statement for Eagles Wings Ministries is twofold:

1)  Share the gospel with those who do not know God

2)  Reignite the passion in those who already know Him

My family knows that we are called to be in  full time missions and to use our gifts, passions and talents to serve the Lord in this ministry.

Please consider and pray if you would like to be involved in this process….I will start the fire….it will be up to God and you to keep it burning!!!!

Our Background

I wanted to share some of my experiences which God has used to shape me for His purpose…..

I have been fortunate to be on mission trips to Russia, Romania, Hungary and the Bahamas.  I smuggled Bibles, visited orphanages, led street evangelism, vacation Bible schools through these experiences.  These circumstances have allowed me to see the need all over the world.  God has these situations to plant a seed for us to adopt later in life as well as work with kids and youth in our own community.  They have also reignited my desire to work with kids and youth right in my own community as well.    

I have been working at Milton Hershey School for the past 18 years.  My wife and I spent eight years as house parents.  We were responsible for caring and raising 8-12 kids in a residential school setting.  The past ten years have been spent in student programming.  I design and run programming for almost 400 kids in the elementary division of the school.  Programs are designed with physical fitness and learning goals in mind.  We want kids engaged and excited about healthy choices and continued learning outside the school buildings.

Milton Hershey is most known for his chocolate bar.  However his greatest accomplishment is starting and funding a school for children in need.  Children are able to attend the school free of charge.  While living there they are provided with anything they need.  Students receive clothing, health care and a state-of-the-art education.  

Please visit the website for more info:

Suzanne and I have been involved with foster care and international adoption.  God has always put a burden on our hearts for childen less fortunate.  We have always been passionate about helping them and teaching them about God.  Through our mission trips and work experience we have only become more motiviated to find ways to help children and families in need or who are struggling.  We look forward to see how God will use this campground for this purpose.

We are very excited to see God use our passions for His purposes.  We feel that this campground will have many ways to share God with people.  Our family has many passions as well to use to share as well from animals to music to outdoor adventure.  Please take some time to visit our Vision tab to see pratical examples of our vision for this ministry.

Our desire is to be a resource to the community.  We want to partner with local churches, ministries and families to provide a place to break away and experience a recharge in their lives.  We feel that the outdoors can provide a great way to accomplish this goal.  Isaiah 40 states that if we put our “hope in the Lord” he “will renew our strength.”  We want to provide a place for those serving to have a retreat to recover and get back to serving God.  We want to provide housing for missionaries home on furlough and allow for rest.  We want pastors and families to have a place to get away and recover or rest.

We want this ministry to be led by prayer and community needs.  We want God to use our talents and abilities to get his name out locally and worldwide.  The minstry we will be working with is serving in other countries.  We want to support their efforts to train and evangelize the countries they are involved with and provide potential short-term missions in those countries.

We would like to provide afterschool care and recreational opportunities for children who would benefit from parents work schedules.  We desire to be a place where youth can come and get away from stress and learn who God wants them to be.  We would provide physical fitness activities, homework help and FUN.

We would be open to Boy and Girl Scouts using the facilities for meetings and other outings.  As the Lord shares community needs we would like to be open to this land being used for him.  This may not be a typical campground but we feel the Lord wants us to be open to his plan and ideas.

We want to provide low cost family entertainment for families to spend time together without financial burden or stress.  We would like to provide mini golf, outdoor movies and concerts and other forms of low cost entertainment for families.

Now that we are involved with a global ministry in Liverpool this will also allow for us to make more aware of the global needs, train and inspire people to go into short and long term ministry.  This allows us to also give  those serving worldwide a location to come rest, serve and inspire others to serve in many new and exciting ways.

We would love for churches to use the grounds for retreats, weddings and Bible teaching.  Our focus will always be to get the Gospel and God’s Word to people.  We want to train the next generation to serve and go to all the world!!

 © Eagles Wings Ministry 2015