Special Feature

ROOFTOP FRIENDS‘ Camping Adventure Ministers to Special Needs Families


RTF fishermenThe mission of RoofTop Friends is to “love, serve, fellowship and share faith with individuals and families affected by disability.” One way this Alabama based non-profit ministry carries out its mission is hosting an annual Family Retreat at Camp ASCCA on Lake Martin. June 20-24 families from across the Southeast will gather at this fully accessible camp to enjoy a week of family respite. There will be age-appropriate fun activities for all family members, home-style meals, worship time and meaningful conversations from a network of families who understand the challenges of life with disability. A buddy is assigned to the family member who has a disability, is there to be their friend and give the best experience possible.

RTF horsebackThe inspiration for Alabama Family Retreat came through the personal experience of Retreat Director Ruth Brewbaker. In 2001, at the urging of a friend, Brewbaker traveled with her family, including a son with spina bifida, to Flat Rock, NC to attend a Joni and Friends (JAF) Family Retreat (www.joniandfriends.org). “It was one of the most incredible weeks of our lives! We were greeted right as we got out of the van by people who showed us the love of Christ until the time we packed up to go home. It was a piece of heaven on earth for families touched by disabilities,” explains Brewbaker adding, “It hit me… we have to bring this to Alabama.” Brewbaker and a band of tireless volunteers received 11 years of training under the JAF Knoxville, Tenn. Field Office. RoofTop Friends became a non-profit ministry and Alabama Family Retreat became a reality in the summer of 2015. Learn more about this year’s Alabama Family Retreat at www.alfamilyretreat.com.


Consider making Alabama Family Retreat your mission field this summer. Volunteer/STM slots are still available. Most STMs are paired with a camper with a disability as a “buddy” who enjoys camp right along with their camper… helping them participate in programs and activities; helping during meal time; getting to know their families, and building relationships that often extend beyond days at camp. You do not need training in special education or a healthcare field to be an effective STM. You do need to be a Christian over 17 years old with a teachable spirit and a heart to serve others. STMs arrive at Camp ASCCA on June 19 for training. The cost to be a STM is $450 but keep in mind, this is a mission trip! You are leaving home and availing yourself to serve and share the love of Christ.
Support can come from family, friends and your church- just as you would if you were going halfway around the world! Visit www.alfamilyretreat.com to learn more.

Lori Sealy
Jay and Catherine Wolf







Key Note Speakers at this year’s Alabama Family Retreat will be Jay and Katherine Wolf, both graduates of Samford University. The couple founded Hope Heals ministry after Katherine suffered a brain stem stroke at age 26. Music will be led by Lori Sealy, a singing artist who is on the autism spectrum.

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