Two Decades of Operation Barnabas Team Blogs

Two Decades of Operation Barnabas Team Blogs
The first Operation Barnabas summer ministry team photos were posted during the summer of 1999. Bill Clinton was President. A gallon of gas cost $1.22. The movie The Sixth Sense had just come out and high-speed Internet was just beginning to be available. Dial-up was the most common way to connect to the Internet.

I remember going on Operation Barnabas 39 years ago,” says Timothy Kurtaneck, (TK) now director of Operation Barnabas. “It was a fantastic summer, on the complete other side of the United States, with my new “best friends” doing ministry together.
I know our adult leaders gave us time to call home each week but I think I may have only called home once that entire summer… no news is good news, right?? 🙂
My parents heard from me because our leaders made us write a letter, put a stamp on it, and send it through the US Mail. This may have been the story for most families with students on OB through the first 25 years or so of OB tours… and then everything changed!
Twenty years ago we were able to start posting pictures and sharing updates on a website—and everyone back home could see what was going on! Every day they saw a write-up summarizing the day and got to see pictures of the ministry going on hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away. We got better prayer coverage. Plus people became more aware of Operation Barnabas and the opportunities high school students had in ministry.

In ’99 the leaders took pictures with digital cameras and transferred them to laptops. In order to send the pictures the leaders had to find a phone line in the church, connect through dial-up, and stay up late into the night waiting for photos to transfer. It was slow and prone to failure. Steve Koontz, now the IT developer for CE National, was a youth pastor in Florida in 1999. “TK asked me to post the pictures and reports,” says Steve. “The leaders emailed them to me overnight. I got up early in the morning to upload the photos to the website.”
Now the leaders use their cell phones and post directly to the Operation Barnabas Instagram accounts. Sometimes they video part of a program or an interview and post it to social media.
The mission of Operation Barnabas hasn’t changed over the years. But the advances in technology have made it much easier to share that mission with others.
Follow the 2019 Operation Barnabas teams at
Operation Barnabas 1999 Team
Operation Barnabas 1999 Team
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Testimonies from Urban Hope Philadelphia

Students from the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Valley Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland; recently visited Urban Hope Philadelphia.  Here are testimonies from the groups:

Urban Hope made me realize that even though people don’t believe in God they let you speak about Him to them.  I’m going to start really talking to people back home about Christ.
Urban Hope gave me courage to tell people I know about Christ and it taught me that I’m not better but forgiven.
I have felt God’s love and felt Him speaking to me this week to take me out of my comfort zone to share my faith and pray with people.
Everyone deserves a chance to hear about God.  Whether there on drugs or are to poor or anything.  Everyone needs to know the Lord.

This semester of college was terrible. I developed panic attacks and started to run away from God. I was really afraid to come to the trip because I wasn’t praying. On this trip I was forced to pray. The stories I heard broke my heart. I prayed and my panic attacks got worse, BUT, I prayed. My shattered heart began to mend. In darkness I saw light. I will never forget the people I met and I hope that they will give me motivation to continue to pray constantly.
It made me realize how much I am capable of doing in other’s lives if I started to act. For example, how I could have approached my classmates last year.

If you would like to know more about bringing a group to Urban Hope, visit

Staff Accountant Job Posting

Contact Jesse DeBoest at if interested.
CE National is seeking a staff accountant to work in the finance department and assist the chief financial officer.
CE National is a Christian ministry that serves as a catalyst to see all believers live ON MISSION. Our ministries include an annual youth conference, summer ministry teams, inner city ministries, urban and youth degree programs in cooperation with Grace College. As well as other ministry to help believers and churches to live On Mission. We are looking for a full time staff accountant to be a part of our team.
Scope of Responsibilities:
Trained in accounting and in preparation, auditing and analysis of accounts. Responsible for keeping all financial records including payroll information, accounts payable, accounts receivable, restricted funds, and information regarding investments held by the organization. Performs internal audits, to ensure that the financial records of the organization are accurate. Prepares annual reports and financial statements for planning, decision making and an external audit. Advises on tax laws and investment opportunities.
General Responsibilities:

  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Maintain internal controls and safeguards for receipt of revenue, costs, and program budgets and actual expenditures.
  • Assist in developing requested schedules and information for an annual external audit.
  • Assist leadership in the annual budgeting and planning process.
  • Support the CFO in engaging the board’s audit and finance committees around issues and trends in financial operating models and delivery.
  • Oversee all financial, project/program and grant accounting; ensuring that expenditures are consistently aligned with grants and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period; collate financial reporting materials for grants.
  • Manage organizational cash flow forecasting by working in partnership with the program directors.
  • Manage and track the performance of invested assets in keeping with policies and investment guidelines.

Team Leadership:

  • Leverage strength of current finance team members, help to clarify roles and responsibilities and develop and implement training programs in order to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals.
  • Provide leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization relating to financial performance.


  • Strong testimony and models living ON MISSION.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and unwavering commitment to CE National’s mission
  • A proactive, hands-on strategic thinker who will own, in partnership with the CFO, the responsibility for accounting
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Good team builder
  • Minimum of a BA or BS
  • Solid experience coordinating audit activities and managing reporting, budget development and analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments.

Status: Full Time, Non-Exempt

  • Salary would be based on experience.
  • Benefits include: health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, short-term disability insurance, life insurance as well as paid holidays, vacation and sick time. There is also an educational allowance available.

Download PDF of job description

Meet the Operation Barnabas West Team Leaders for 2019!

Meet the Operation Barnabas West Team Leaders for 2019!Timothy Kurtaneck, director of youth leadership training at CE National, said, “I am thrilled to be leading the West OB Team with this roster of adult leaders! I believe they will have significant impact and make an incredible difference in the lives of their team members for the cause of Christ that will go far beyond just this summer. I am confident God is going to use them in big ways.” See pictures and read the bios of the West Team leaders here.

Over 150 Attend Heritage Day 2019

Heritage Day 2019 was a great time of fellowship and growth. The special guests were Dr. Walt Mueller, Piercing Word, Ed Lewis, and Tess Schafer.
Ed Lewis, president of CE National, led worship with the vocalists from Piercing Word. Tess Schafer shared about a ministry at her church in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, where they are turning plastic bags into mats for the homeless. Tess even brought some materials so people could work on the mats while at Heritage Day. There was such a positive response from the crowd with many people discussing how they would like to introduce this ministry to their church.
One person commented on Piercing Word’s dramatic scripture performance, “I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy Piercing Word but I found their performance moving.”
Dr. Walt Mueller, the main speaker, did an amazing job connecting with the audience. Dr. Mueller provided helpful tips, and ultimately challenged the group to be effective grandparents and continue to impact the youth by living ON MISSION.
Heritage Day was held on Friday, April 26, at Shady Maple Smörgåsbord in East Earl, Pennsylvania.
See pictures…
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