God never ceases to amaze me. The ways in which He shows up and shows off should keep up in awe of who He is. Certainly the Bible is thick with examples of His provision to sinful people who didn’t deserve it. His grace, mercy and kindness are extended over and over again. This is exhibited most supremely in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” This is the message we proclaim as Christians and that is exactly what we teach the children who come to camp. We are sinners in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ IS that Savior. God graciously offers us eternal life.
He also offers us everyday life. God delights in answering prayers and meeting daily needs. At camp that means He hears us when we ask for campers, staff, safety, fun activities, kitchen appliances, new cabins, and generous donors. He certainly responded when we asked for a great auction and fundraising event. From obtaining donated auction items to securing a snazzy venue, tables hosts, a packed house full of guests, good food and even nice weather- God was with us the whole way.
In case you weren’t with us that evening, during the program I explained how God has always been with camp, even from its humble beginnings as an orphanage during the Great Depression to its current status as a year-round camp and retreat facility. He has helped us reach thousands upon thousands of boys and girls with the good news of the gospel. He has enabled us to update and even expand our facilities.
The response that night was wonderful. I am happy to report that the silent auction, live auction plus additional donations brought in over $23,000 towards to development of a new gym and pool! I want to take a moment to say thank you to all those involved in the production of this event. First, thanks to all those who donated items and services to be auctioned. We truly had a worthy stock of quality auction items. Thank you table hosts for graciously giving of your time to contact guests. A big thank you to all who were present whose generosity is propelling us forward. And thank you to all the staff and volunteers who worked behind the scenes. I won’t embarrass you by naming you but you know who you are!
Now that we have our “sea legs” and survived the learning curve, our next auction effort should be a success as well. Follow us on Facebook and other social media to stay current on the latest happenings at CLC. We are still receiving donations for the new gym and pool as we are a loooong ways from reaching our goal of $2,000,000. The next step is the have architectural plans drawn up. The price tag for plans is $60,000. If you would like to help us achieve this goal, you may donate online or send us a check and memo “gym and pool.”
Fall camp is yet another opportunity for children to experience the great outdoors at CLC. This year the kids surveyed the book of Luke. They learned about the major themes from the book such as the teachings of Jesus, his miracles, and most importantly how Jesus never strayed from his mission of being the sacrifice for our sins.
The kids’ days are filled with activities such as building a fire for Smores, playing on the “Lava Rocks” (which we now own as I mentioned in the last newsletter!), and playing in the giant bubble balls. Fall camp also allows us to do a few things that simply aren’t an option during the summer such as taking the kids to a local petting zoo. They were able to interact with goats, miniature cows, sheep and even a camel. Apparently, bison enjoy bread (who knew right?!) and are 7 times stronger than a cow. FYI- a buffalo and cow hybrid is called a beefalo. Yes, I’m serious.
Consider sending your child to our spring break and fall break camps as a fun alternative to sitting at home watching TV or playing video games all day. These options may also be very beneficial to parents who cannot take off work while the kids are on break. Transportation is available from Cookeville for no additional charge.
Our latest lodging addition is approaching completion! Behemoth will hold 12 individuals with their own bathrooms and showers. Most recently, the grout was finished on the bathroom tile while lights and ceiling fans were hung. The exterior is caulked and almost completely painted. HVAC units were installed last week. Laying the hardwood flooring is next then completing the bathroom with sinks, vanities, and toilets. This winter will be a good time for our gap-year students, Ben and Parker, to build bunk beds. They are “chomping at the bit” for that project! If you would like to donate towards the competition of Behemoth, visit our partner page and follow the tabs to “Donate”.
Gap-Year Program Launched
Gap years are a win-win for both the student and the host organization. Students become better prepared for ministry while the host gains a chance to invest in the next generation of leaders. Our Gap Year is called Navigate.
Camp ministry can be diverse, difficult, dirty, and fun. Sometimes altogether! While serving at camp, students will have the opportunity to learn practical skills, grow in their faith, and explore God’s call in their lives. Each season presents new challenges and adventures. Where else can you learn to use a chainsaw, work with concrete, replace toilet parts, cook for over 100 people and prepare a Bible lesson? Building bunk beds, repairing railings, cutting grass and painting are a few more things students will learn. It’s not uncommon for any combination of those jobs to occur in the SAME day.
Working at camp gives young people exposure to such a wide variety of skill sets as to prepare them not only for ministry but, honestly, for life in the real world. Gap years in a camp setting is a vocational school of sorts, demonstrating how our labor, even cleaning, is used for the purposes of God’s kingdom.