I know that everyone reading this has plans that have changed due to COVID-19. I am praying for you to get to see God working through the chaos. Camp ministry is one of flexibility, and my personality does really well with small changes like chapel running late, or a camp activity taking longer than I expected. The places where I start to struggle is the big picture changes. Today, we sent a letter out to those that have registered for camp in the last year and half to let them know that we have to cancel all of our programmed camps. If you would like to read that letter, please click here.
In my last letter, I mentioned that we had a rough winter, with several trees causing damage to buildings and the camp van. We still have much to clean up from the winter, and are not yet able to have groups of volunteers up to camp to help. About 80% of our annual budget comes in during the months that we have to cancel camps. Due to the loss of income that is ahead of us, the camp has had to stop some of the ways that they were helping us, including paying for our utilities and our Executive Director's housing. Our support last month was also drastically lower than the previous 3 months. The amazing part of all of this is that we have seen God working through it all. Our insurance company is going to pay for the damage to the van and buildings, which is being done by volunteer contractors and tree fallers.
The money that comes in from the damage will help camp as we make it through this difficult season. God isn't just helping as we deal with various issues, but He has prepared before hand for the things that we need. Charissa's favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says that God knows the plans He has for us, plans for our welfare and not evil, to give us a future and a hope. I know that God has plans for Forward Bible Camp's future, just as I know He has been there for each of the last 80+ years. There are times when it is hard, knowing that this summer is going to be so much different from other summers, but I know that God is using this time to change us and how we think. It seems that every summer gets more difficult to get the Godly volunteers that we need, and this summer we have an opportunity to think way outside the box (maybe even in other boxes and such). Please pray for me as a part of my identity is in camp and camp hours. I am a camp guy. I work really long hours in the summer, and while I know my family looks forward to a summer where they get to see me every day, I feel pain. Part of the pain is a good thing, from the lack of knowledge of what is to come; knowing that I won't get to share Christ with as many kids, but part of the pain is selfish, knowing that I don't get to do things the way I am used to doing them. I know that I will have to think differently, be flexible, and seek God's will as I am far from in control.
If you would like to join our support team, you can do that here. If you would like to help Mitch and Tami McEfee, who lost a large portion of their support in housing, please do that here. If there is anything that my family can be praying about for you, please send me an email and we will definitely be praying for you. Thank you and God bless.