It has been far too long since I have updated you on what has been transpiring throughout the spring. At the end of March I provided an update on the piers destroyed by the hurricane last fall. As you know, the piers are of critical importance to all the programs of the camp, and particularly the summer programs. It was our goal at that time to have the main pier complete by the beginning of summer camp and the secondary pier operational by early July.
I am glad to announce that the primary pier was completed by early May and the secondary pier completed (with the exception of a little vinyl siding) by the first week of summer camp, a timeline I could not have rationally expected 2 months ago. This would not have happened without the many very motivated volunteers who undertook with scores of hours of very hard work to make this possible. Furthermore, we have been able to accomplish this under budget. I cannot possibly express adequate thanks for those who labored and those who supported financially.
A matter I had not generally published was that, a couple of months following the hurricane when we were just beginning to re-establish camping programs, the deck boat that had been generously provided a few years back and was our main boat for fishing, cruising the lake (especially with adult retreats), and just general purpose boating was totaled in a collision with underwater debris left by the hurricane. While the insurance settlement was fair it would not come close to replacing the boat with anything similar or remotely as adequate as the deck boat had been. However, at the right time the Lord connected us with the good people at Chatlee Marine of Sanford, NC, who were able to locate a more than adequate boat at a very good price in time to begin summer camping. Although I had been working on boat replacement for some time, and, quite frankly, was quite frustrated in the process, that the Lord orchestrated the right people with the right boat at the right price and right time can hardly be dismissed.
A couple of other projects have been undertaken as well. The completion of the parking lots, the construction of a pole barn/boat shed, the improving of the HVAC in 3 of the cottage rooms, and the long overdue replacement of the front upstairs windows of the main lodge building have all been accomplished. Again, the Lord has provided the right volunteers with the right skills and a heart for serving to undertake these projects at this time.
NEW FOR SUMMER
For years the camp has been known for providing table fare far above the camp “norm”. New food offerings for this year enhance even that reputation. The specialty coffee bar in the snack shop area has been well received. Frappes, lattes, and other espresso drinks are now available for most camp programs as well as high quality, fresh ground “regular” coffee for less discerning coffee drinkers like me.
The Lee’s Creek grill, provided by friends as a memorial to a family member, is also now operational. While we are still getting our feet wet with this new food outlet the results so far have been extremely well received. The first official camp meal off the grill was served to our first ever couples’ retreat in late May. We are still formulating the best ways to enhance camp programs, particularly adult outreaches, utilizing this new tool, but it appears to be a very valuable addition to the food program of the camp.
As already mentioned we hosted our first annual Couples’ Retreat in late May. When the renovation of the portion of the property formerly known as The Good Shepherd Home into nicely appointed motel style rooms began in earnest in 2008 it was with providing adequate facilities to effectively minister to couples and families in mind. This retreat was a milestone more than 10 years in the making. We are thankful for the opportunity to minister to couples in strengthening their relationships through the teaching and application of God’s Word, trusting that families, churches, and even communities will be affected for many years to come through the time spent at the retreat.
We are well into our 2nd week of summer camping. It hardly seems possible that summer is actually here, much less about ¼ over. The attendance promises to be up some from last year. The first week saw more than a dozen make professions of faith. As we do each summer we are praying for at least 100 souls to put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Please pray with us towards that end, and pray that the summer staff—especially counselors—will be yielded to the Holy Spirit in such a way that their summer ministry will exhibit Biblical wisdom far beyond their years and experience.
The Lord’s definite provision to specific prayers always encourage me to continue both to pray and to labor in the work God has called us to. The funds that have been provided in response to the hurricane in such a timely manner; just the right volunteers with the right skills, motivation, and time when needed; the materials being available at a time when shortages were the norm; those who come alongside to move forward even in the midst of recovery have all proven to me once again that God has a continuing purpose for this ministry. It is my goal to be faithful in that which He has called us to do, to present the Gospel to young people and adults alike as the Lord grants us influence, and to seek out further opportunities of ministry to individuals and churches as the Lord opens the doors. I hope these provisions encourage you as they have me to continue in prayer and support as the Lord leads.
Yours for the cause of Christ,