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Journal Entries from Mrs. Ruth Geiger, Part III

In 1944 [Mr. Geiger] was approached by a radio station in Cookeville to start a bible program for children. He was offered free time. Later in the early 1950s, WSM in Nashville asked him to try the program on TV life. We were on at noon Saturday. The program was well received and rated above a Western (Roy Rogers) opposite us on another station. A month after we started on WSM – WDEF, Chattanooga opened and invited us to be the opening program- Sunday at noon which we did. It was quite a job with a green crew, etc., but somehow the Lord got us through. We continued on these two stations for 18 months but it was a killing job- getting groups of children lined up and traveling between 3 places- home, Nashville, and Chattanooga.  To make it a little easier we moved to Chattanooga. After 18 months, however, it was decided we should make films, and so they could be on more stations with the same amount of work and preparation and reach many more children. We knew this would involve the expenditure of a lot of money- thousands of dollars which we did not have. One of our best advisors told us $25,000 which we knew we could borrow- without interest, but dad and I recoiled from that idea. We had never gone in debt and had been seeing our little ministry slowly spread. Another friend gave us $500 toward making a pilot film. We were in Pennsylvania at the time and had been doing some research with a small film company that was eager for business. We felt led to go ahead with the $500 as a down payment on the pilot film. That was all we needed until the shooting began.

By that time, enough money in for the second payment, and when the film was finished, we had all we needed to get the film from the laboratory in NYC. We took this pilot film to 30 TV stations beginning in Baltimore, MD and going south in a big circle ending in Dallas, TX. Television was young then and there was no problem getting station managers to view the film. Each manager agreed to telecast a series of episodes if we would go ahead with our plans. On this trip, dad took every opportunity to speak to churches and individuals who might be interested. One couple invited us to go to lunch in order to learn more about our plans. When we told them, our goal was to make a series of 13 films they said they would pay the cost of the 13th film (around $3000). They later changed their minds gave their gift toward the cost of the first 6. It was wonderful the way the Lord supplied the money. On that same trip, we were guests in a home in Florida and one evening our hostess invited friends on to hear dad tell of our work and our plans to reach children with the gospel. She insisted on putting a small basket near the door to give people the opportunity to give toward the work. The next evening at a Bible conference one of the ladies who had met us the night before come to dad and told him how impressed she was with His message and said that she had put $10 in the offering- she continued- “If you will return it to me, I would like to give you a check for $50.00.” He returned it gladly. The next morning, we were leaving for home and as our hosts were seeing us off this same lady came hurrying up. She said, “Last night I was praying for your work and going over my accounts- and I would like to give you a check for $200- if you will return the one, I gave you last night.” She also said, “I have a dear friend whom I would like you to meet when your travels take you to Minnesota.” As a result of that introduction to Mr. Fred Weierhauser, another complete film was paid for.

Film making is very tedious work. It entails many hours of scriptwriting research- rehearsals and travel to say nothing of the expense. It amazes me as I look back and realize what a big undertaking it was to complete the 71 episodes which we did make, and the Lord provided money to cover. It added up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The films (and later videotapes) were telecast over hundreds of stations nationwide.

When videotaping came in, we changed to that method which was less expensive but harder to do. We worked in a Nashville station and our producer; Bob Hafner was good at his job. One day, after we had made several tapes with him, he called dad and told him that as a result of working our program he had become a believer in Christ. He said his whole life was changed- his home was a happy one now and he was active in church. We also felt the difference as we continued to work with him.

When the Lord took [Mr. Geiger], he was working on the script for his 72nd program. A few days later after he was gone Bob Hafner called and asked to speak to him. When I tried to tell him, what had happened Bob began to cry.

Our greatest joy while doing this hard work was in hearing of those who had accepted the Lord as a result of seeing the telecast or hearing our radio programs.



Won’t You Join Me?

Won’t You Join Me?

Part of My True Story

Written by Ryan Higgins

I made a new friend recently. We met at the local Crossfit gym. Before long he was telling me details of his story, how he took the scenic route to faith in Jesus Christ. His journey was similar to mine in many ways. There was much alcohol, immorality, and seeking for purpose and truth in all the wrong places.

I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s observation in Mere Christianity: “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water…If I find in myself a desire in which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

I concur with Lewis. There are few experiences this planet offers I have yet to partake. I have visited big cities and little villages on multiple continents. I’ve snorkeled with manta rays and sharks in Belize and ridden an elephant through the jungles of Thailand. I was accosted in Greece and hiked Mt. Olympus the same week. I’ve shared company with millionaires in America and spent time with the poorest of the poor in Haiti. I hold a Master’s degree; have a great job and a beautiful wife along with five children. I’ve completed an Ironman and most recently a triple marathon. I could easily write chapter after chapter of stories. I know gain and I know loss. I know health and pain alike, anxiety and contentment.

The Apostle Paul says it best, however: “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him…” No matter how great the experience, nothing compares to knowing Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

In my earlier days, I raced motocross, jumped off bridges, and lived for the party scene. (Adrenaline is addicting!) None of these things are bad in and of themselves but for me, I was seeking. Though I couldn’t have articulated it at the time, I was searching for purpose, acceptance, and love.  Those desires longed to be filled and no experience of the world could satisfy them. Despite repeating many of the same experiences over and over, the satisfaction was brief. Ultimately, I was left empty.

Once after fishing all day with a friend, we cooked over an open fire that night. We enjoyed fried fish and taters while sipping on suds from a long-neck beer bottle. The weather was perfect and in a rare moment, I was quite relaxed. I thought, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” I felt happy. And isn’t that the point of life anyway? I had no idea at the time how woefully inadequate that conclusion was.

What I didn’t realize was the depth of my offense against God. No, I wasn’t cursing God or even angry at Him. I was simply clueless to the truths of God. Not only was I searching for happiness, truth, and purpose in the wrong places but my sins were not making the Lord happy either. That’s an understatement. In reality, had I died in high school or my first two years of college, I would have gone to hell.

Stop being dramatic, Ryan. I wish I was. I’m talking about the actual place of eternal fire and torment. Jesus said there is much “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in this place. Why was I on my way to hell- because my sins were many? Believe me, they were many. Were they particularly bad? They were awful. But the reason was that they existed at all.

At the time, I might had generally agreed with Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yep. We all mess up. Nobody’s perfect. Including me. But recognizing the ramifications of that sin is best explained in another verse. Romans 6:23 says, “for the wages of sin is death …” Not just physical death but spiritual death- separation from God forever. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” This is a hard pill to swallow. Why does God send people to hell? Doesn’t He love people? Certainly. He doesn’t do it because He is bad but rather because He is so extremely good.

God is loving. But He’s also holy. That word means “set apart”- not like anything else. If we all sin and that sin separates us from God, with whom we want to be, what are we to do? It’s quite a predicament. How does one get rid of sin in order to go to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ? As mentioned before, it’s not through any experience this world has to offer. It’s not by earning an advanced degree, getting married, having kids, making money, accumulating material possessions, or accomplishing some goal.

The second part of Romans 6:23 is so important. The full verse reads, “for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eternal life is a gift and made available through Christ. Well, what did He do? Because He had no sin of His own, He was able to pay the penalty for OUR sin by satisfying God’s wrath through His own death. That’s how terrible sin is. Life must be given to remove God’s anger against it. In the Old Testament there was a whole system of animal sacrifices that kept God’s wrath at bay but as the author of Hebrews explains, “the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin.” But the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross is ONCE and FOR ALL.

No amount of good deeds can ever remove our sin. No amount of dollars can bribe our way into Heaven. And no other person or religion throughout all of history can grant eternal life. All other so-called religious leaders and teachers are still in their graves. But the tomb of Jesus is empty. He overcame sin on the cross and defeated death through the resurrection. And now offers to us eternal life through faith in Him and what He did for us.

Unless we understand the depth of our sin we will never grasp the depth of God’s love for us shown on the cross. Some like to argue they are good people. I would like to ask, based on what standards? Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever had lustful, adulterous, or even murderous thoughts? Have you ever been a glutton or gotten drunk? Have you ever coveted someone else’s property? You can see they add up in a hurry. Compared to other people, we can always make ourselves out to be saints. But when we use a fixed, absolute, immovable standard such as God’s law, our true self and situation is revealed. And it’s not a pretty picture.

We must be honest with ourselves and admit we are sinners in need of rescuing. We can’t do it on our own. And no one else can do it for us. We can’t go to Heaven based on our parents’ faith. It’s only through our personal confession of sin to Almighty God, the Judge of all the earth, and a trusting faith in Jesus Christ as the one and only remedy to our sinful situation.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Don’t you want that? Don’t you want to know FOR SURE that your sins are forgiven and you have a home in Heaven waiting for you? Don’t you want to go to Heaven and not Hell? Then simply turn to Christ in faith. No one else has the words of eternal life. Confess your sins, ask His forgiveness and make a commitment to turn from your sinful ways and start a NEW way by following Jesus. He’s already done the difficult work for us by giving His life. He did something for us that we could never do for ourselves. We need only believe then act on it.

I would be remiss if I did not warn you of the road that follows. Following Jesus is a difficult life, often marked with suffering. Jesus said, “Anyone who would come after me must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow after me. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Following Jesus is a daily commitment, nay, a dying of self. Some who heard the difficult words of Jesus turned away. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. Don’t be one who turns away.

When we give control of our lives over to Jesus we become new creations, says the Apostle Paul. “The old has passed and the new has come.” For those of you who have tried satisfying the cravings of your soul with the things of this world, the time has come to set those aside and surrender to Jesus Christ. He alone can quench our thirst for truth, purpose, love, and acceptance.

King David wrote, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” When we follow through with that invitation, when we taste and experience God in His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, promises, and all those entail, we will personally understand that the Lord is good. Then all glory goes to God. Not things of this world, not experiences, not any other human. Glory to God whose love compelled Him to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Glory to God who was, and is, and is to come. Glory to God who is completely whole in and of Himself, who doesn’t need us, but yet invites us to join Him in the life He offers.

In May 2000 I asked Jesus to save me from my sin and fix the problem I had so long endured. From this point on, EVERYTHING changed. The blinders came off. The old Ryan died. A new birth had taken place and I was a new creature with a new heart, new mind, and new priorities. Won’t you join me in this pursuit? Jesus is inviting. Will you join Him?

 



Fall Newsletter 2021

Summer Summary

Now, maybe more than ever, I want to see people come to faith in Christ. It took only a few weeks after I first believed in Christ during college to realize that if I need Jesus to be saved then so does everybody else. I began talking to my lost friends and family members who had no clue what it means to repent of our sins and trust in Christ’s death on the cross, allowing the “wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14) between sinful man and holy God to be torn down and the two reconciled. Then and now, I see folks seeking peace and satisfaction in the things of this world when those things ultimately cannot satisfy the true cravings of the soul. I know because I was one of them.

C.S. Lewis explained that “creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. … If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

The ultimate longing of souls can only be satisfied through a humbling of ourselves before Almighty God, acknowledging our wrongs, and trusting in Him to fix what is broken in us. And the days may be getting short for opportunities. Jesus promised he was coming back soon and who knows, the Day may be at hand.

This summer, campers heard the words of Jesus as he informed the disciples of his return to earth and how important it is to be found READY on that day. It is with much joy I report there are more young people who are, indeed, ready for the return of Christ because of their time at Cedar Lake Camp. But they are not just ready for His return, they are ready for death should that happen first. Even more, they are ready to LIVE. How is that? Because they trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Not material possessions. Not good deeds, even religious ones. But by the grace of God through faith in Christ.

One evening after campfire, I was approached by one of our junior counselor girls. She said one of her campers, *Amelia, wanted to trust in Christ for salvation but her counselor was taking care of other campers, and would I be willing to speak with her. The three of us sat on the swing set for the next several minutes discussing the human condition with all its shortcomings and the forgiveness and hope found only in Christ. Despite being only 11 years old, Amelia asked some really good Bible questions (kids have a way of keeping us on our toes, don’t they?!!). I could tell she was sincere in her desire to embrace the truth. At the end of the conversation, I asked, “Is this a decision you are ready to make?” She said yes. I said, “Then just confess your sins to Jesus and invite Him to be your Savior. Tell Him you believe in Him and that He rose from the dead.” Amelia prayed to receive Christ and is now a born-again child of God. What a privilege to witness the new birth!

In addition to stories such as these, we also see the Lord work in the lives of campers who have already made that decision to be saved but haven’t been the most serious about their faith. Sometimes we say they are “making their faith their own.” They are learning what it means to follow Jesus for themselves. Camp is a great place to learn how to do that. Camp is quite simply good in many ways. Praise God for another wonderful summer! We are so grateful to the Lord for shattering our previous record of 712 campers by granting us, 906 kids!!!

Facilities Update

We are pleased to announce that cabins 7 and 8 have been completely renovated! They were finished just prior to the start of the summer and still have that wonderful new wood smell. In all, over the past few years, four cabins have been completely overhauled. And during that same time, our newest cabin, Behemoth, was installed. Thank you to all who have helped us with the process.

The design team is busy working on the plans for the new gym and pool as we speak. Architects are busy folks these days and unfortunately, we have to wait in line like everybody else. It should only be a few short months from now when we have the finalized plans in our hands. At that point, we are free to break ground.

If you would like to join us in the Capital Campaign for this project, please contact us. As a non-profit, we are always looking for partners who recognize the benefit of contributing to the cause of the gospel by making an investment in the lives of our young people.

In addition to cash donations, we can receive gifts of stock, annuities, IRA rollovers, or even used cars, ATVs, boats, and jewelry. In whatever way the Lord has blessed you we would be so grateful for your gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

If you or anyone you know has experience in writing grants, please send them our way. We are always willing to learn more in this area.

Finally, if you would like to join us for our annual fundraiser banquet and auction on Thursday, October 21st, please let us know! We have a great time with food, fun, and fellowship as we hear reports and encouragements about the ministry of CLC. This year’s event will once again be held at Duck Pond Manor near Sparta, TN. We would be honored to have you as our guest!

Prayer Points

Praises:

  • All the campers who made professions of faith this summer
  • All the campers who became more serious about their faith
  • Our staff who invested in our campers
  • The record number of campers AND staff
  • Cabins 7 and 8 are re-modeled
  • Volunteers who mow, paint, and donate items and money

Requests:

  • For campers to continue seeking the Lord in their everyday lives
  • For staff’s experience at camp to develop into a lifestyle of ministry
  • Lots of kids for Fall Camp in October
  • For the banquet/auction to be a success


Spring Newsletter

Spring Newsletter

The End…?

Summer Focus 2021

Most books finish with the words “The End.” By this point, we know the beginning, characters, and plotline. The story then has a way of coming to an end that answers most questions and conflicts within the book. We close the book and return to normal life.

But the Bible is not a normal book. When we close it up, the story does not end. Everything written in the Bible is true and real– its history, details, laws, and promises. The Bible “ends” with an expectation, a hope, of something that is about to happen in real life. Jesus says at the very end of the Book, “I am coming soon.” Jesus Christ WILL return to take His people to be with Him.

The obvious question is when? The world seems to get crazier all the time. And the crazier it gets, the more people think we could be nearing the “end of the world.” Jesus left clues as to when He might return but didn’t give an exact date or even year. And that’s okay.

For those who love Jesus and seek to know Him, His return is something wonderful to anticipate. For those who don’t love Him, that day will have a different meaning. And it’s not good.

 Listen to the words of Paul the Apostle in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

How exciting it is to think about the Lord returning for His bride, the Church! And for those who happen to be alive at that moment, they will see Jesus Christ in the sky, calling dead saints to life followed by those believers who are watching.

If you are a follower of Jesus, don’t be afraid of “the end.” He never promised His people wouldn’t have hard times but He did promise to never leave or forsake us. And one day, He will fix all the pain, suffering, and evil in the world. He has a good place for those who love Him and one day will even make a new Heaven and new earth. “Behold, I am making all things new,” says the Lord.

Jesus is coming back for His people. For them, it will not be the end but rather a new beginning– a new chapter in the “book” of eternity. The question is are we ready for His return? This summer at Cedar Lake Camp, campers will learn what it means to be ready to meet Jesus.

Register your child for Day, Resident, or Canoe camp HERE!

Volunteers: A Non-Profit’s Friend

It sounded like a warzone during the ice storm in late February. As the rain froze to tree limbs and power lines you could hear them snapping and crashing to the ground all over. In the aftermath, there were limbs, trees, and lines down everywhere. I’ve never seen the camp’s grounds look so bad. We work hard to keep our 90 acres free from limbs and garbage along with maintaining the grass and well-trimmed trees. I dare say the effort pays off, based on the compliments we receive. The beauty of camp is one thing that makes it so special. And that’s exactly why it was so frustrating to see limbs everywhere.

I calculated the cleanup to take at least two solid months, if not longer. That’s two months we didn’t have with all the other summer prep and maintenance projects we have going on.

That’s when a friend sent contact info for the disaster relief team from the local Baptist association. After a quick survey, the leader agreed to rally the troops and help out. With a brush grapple on his tractor, four bucket trucks, and a team of about 25 volunteers they were able to clean up the entire camp in two weeks. What a blessing! After helping us out, the team tarried on to accomplish approximately 60 other jobs around the area. A big thank you to the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief Team and Riverside Baptist Association Disaster Relief Team! And special thanks to the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at Tennessee Tech University for lending a hand as well.

But the volunteer work didn’t stop there. We currently have three SOWER couples in their RVs staying a few weeks to give Cabin 7 a cosmetic makeover and deep clean the dining hall. (SOWER stands for Servants On Wheels Ever Ready). These are retired folk who travel the U.S. on their own time and dime helping out ministries in need. What a great way to spend retirement!

Cabin 7’s floor is now level (!), and getting a new roof, studs, insulation, sheetrock, flooring and door. Next up…Cabin 8! If you would like to sponsor any one of those items please let us know.

 

Spring Camp

This March saw a record number of kids during spring break! Campers were able to participate in activities such as playing octaball, caving, fishing, and zip-lining. Our gap-year students, Josh and Morgan, did a great job leading campers through the book of Ephesians! In chapter six, Paul uses the analogy of wearing the “armor” of God. On the last day of camp, teams fabricated their own armor from cardboard. Another great week of camp! Thanks to all the staff who helped and thanks to all the parents for trusting us with your kiddos!

 

Camp Open for Retreats

Cedar Lake is the perfect spot for a church or ministry retreat. With 90 acres of fields and water, there are plenty of opportunities for recreation and meeting space. Bring your group to enjoy games, worship, campfires, and great food!

Our most recent retreat group is a Christian film crew from Kentucky. This ministry makes faith-based short films aimed at reaching the deaf community for Jesus. During their stay, they filmed at a local coffee shop as well as on the camp property. Search for Unashamed Productions on Youtube and you just might see a familiar sight in their latest video (soon to be released).

No matter what the age or ministry focus of your group, we are here to help. We offer assistance with meals as well as recreation. All retreats are tailored to meet the needs of your specific group and pricing is more than reasonable for the quality. If you or someone you know could benefit from hosting a retreat at CLC, give us a call at 931-823-5656!

 

Update on Gym and Swimming Pool

Construction-ready plans are well underway for the upcoming gymnasium and swimming pool! Once they are fire marshal-approved we can begin building. The first item of business will be to run utilities then on to site work and plumbing. Some of those services have already been put to bid using the preliminary plans.

Constructing a building this size comes with a huge price tag. For example, the plans alone will cost approximately $75,000. Getting electricity to the site is $11,000. For those of you in the industry, you know how it adds up in a hurry. We are committed a debt-free build so we need your help!

If you would like to donate towards this effort please give us a call. Gifts of cash, stock, IRA rollovers, annuities, and even used vehicles, jewelry, and old coins are all welcome. And please pray with us as we collect funds and walk through this process of constructing a new recreational facility for our campers and retreat guests.

Items Needed:

  • Water Balloons – 3000 – $21 Amazon
  • Ball Pump Needles – 12 – $4 Amazon
  • Slip n Slide Nails – 50 – $11 Amazon
  • Tiki wicks – 12 – $7 Amazon
  • D Batteries – 12 – $14.50 Amazon
  • Arrows – 72 – $178 Amazon
  • Splash Bombs – 24 – $32 Amazon
  • Orange Marking Paint – 4 Cans – $24 Amazon
  • BB’s – 6000 – $8.50 Amazon

Approximate Total Amazon $287

  • Soccer Balls – 3 – $35 New England Camp Discounter
  • Volleyballs – 2 – $14 New England Camp Discounter
  • Water Balloon Sling Shot – 1- $21 New England Camp Discounter
  • Ping Pong Paddles – 12 – $20 New England Camp Discounter

Approximate Total New England Camp Discounter $80

  • BB Guns – 2 – $36 Walmart
  • Tiki Fluid – 8 Gallons – $80 Walmart
  • Sidewalk Chalk – 32 count – $3 Walmart
  • Slip n Slide – 20 x 100 foot  – $90 Lowes
  • Baby Soap – 20 bottles – $25 Dollar General
  • Pool Floats – 4 – $8 Dollar General
  • Hay bales – 10? – $50?

Approximate Total Miscellaneous $292

Prayer Requests/Praises

Praise for full summer staff!

Pray for summer prep: pool and cabin 7

Praise for the Disaster Relief Team and SOWERs

Pray for construction-ready plans for the gym and pool

Praise for a great spring camp

Pray for lots of kiddos to register for camp

 

 

 



Journal Entires from Mrs. Ruth Geiger, Part II

We had gone to Tennessee by faith- trusting the Lord to supply our needs. We had no organization behind us and no promise of support from any church. We resolved not to ask for money and not go into debt, and both these resolutions were kept to the end. However, a few churches whose pastors knew us began sending gifts, and these gifts increased, and the work grew. Our bank account got very low many times, but the Lord always supplied our needs. One example of this stands out in my memory. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and we were still living in town. As we left on horseback to go to Oak Grove, where we had a bible class in the PM for children and one for grown-ups that night, I mailed a letter to my parents- using our last 2 cents for the stamp. I did not mention that in the letter, and I cannot remember being worried. We stayed overnight in Oak Grove and rode home the next morning. In the mailbox, we found several letters which contained small gifts, which added to $85.00. We had a happy Thanksgiving Day- our first of many (1922).

After we had been in Tennessee about 5 years and had become better known, several judges and MDs came to us and wondered if we had ever thought of starting a home for needy children. The depression had set in, and the already low economy became lower. We were told of several really dire situations involving children. We prayed about it and became impressed with the need. By now, we had been in our new home for a couple of years. Adjoining our property was a small farm (40-50 acres) owned by a not-too-friendly elderly couple. We became impressed with what a nice place it could be made for homeless children. In the fall of ’29, we were on a trip East to Pennsylvania, and Mr. Geiger was invited to speak at a small chapel-like church in North Jersey on a Sunday morning.

 

Attending church that morning was a couple who came in a Rolls Royce- with a liveried chauffeur- Mr. and Mrs. Frank Erwin, a Wall St. broker from NYC. They heard Mr. Geiger tell of the work and the need for a home- and the nice farm for sale. After the service, Mr. Erwin told the pastor he wanted to give money ($3000). He would give it in stock (some copper company- I forgot the name). The church should hold the stock and sell it when we were ready for it. We went back to Tennessee rejoicing and made a down payment on the farm- promising the balance in two weeks. We wrote the church to sell the stock. The treasurer wrote back that we shouldn’t sell because the stock was going up-it was worth $3800. Mr. Geiger wrote back that he must have the money as the neighbor was being difficult. The treasurer wrote back that Mr. Geiger “had no business sense and was down in the sticks and didn’t know what was going on.” Mr. Geiger phoned him and had to demand that he sell- which he did- for $3400- and the next day, the market crashed, and the stock was worthless. I’m sure you will agree that demanding was not characteristic of dad, but I am sure the Lord was leading him in this instance.

We were about to take the first children in January 1931. Most came from one-parent homes where there was dire poverty. When we accepted a child, we always held out hope that the parent could rehabilitate himself or herself and have the children back. Sometimes that happened. During the 15 years that we the home, we never had more than 20 children at a time. In the late 1930s, the U.S. government and the state started a good welfare program whereby children such as we took were provided with funds when kept at home or in the home of a relative. All such children were under the supervision of State workers. When we saw this coming, we stopped admitting children and gradually depopulated our home and began having Bible camps on the property. The change-over was done gradually as some of the children stayed with us to finish school. The home was opened at the height of the “Great Depression,” but the Lord supplied all the needs. Funds were often very low, but there was always enough. We built the swimming pool about this time. The camp work continued.



Journal Entries from Mrs. Ruth Geiger

When he [Bro. Geiger] was discharged from the Navy and had returned to his home in Germantown; he enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania- Wharton Night School- to study accounting. He got a job in an accounting department where he seemed to be advancing steadily. But it was there at his desk that he felt that the Lord was calling him to give his life to him to serve him. The call was so definite that he quit his job and school and enrolled at the Philadelphia College of Bible to study the bible. [Bro. Geiger] never doubted his calling by the Lord or his leading him to move to the mountains of Tennessee. Shortly before graduating from PBC, [Bro. Geiger] met an elderly man from Livingston who was looking for a young man to carry on the ministry he had been doing- distributing scriptures and holding Sunday school in rural areas. He visited Mr. W. in the summer and felt that this was where the Lord was leading. Henry and I met in the Spring of 1921 and were married on October 11, 1922. We had a honeymoon at Seaside Heights, N.J.- the gift of a family friend who had a cottage on the beach. Seaside Heights is in north Jersey, and the ocean was cold, but we went swimming in it as late as October 17, according to his diary!

We went to Livingston by train, changing trains at Knoxville and crossing the state to Algood- where we changed to a gasoline-driven train of sorts. Livingston had a population of about 2,000- and the county had nine miles of hard surface roads. In the square around the courthouse, there were wagons (mules and saddle horses). No cars or trucks. We went to housekeeping at the home of Mrs. Addie Roberts, who was Mrs. Benton Young’s mother and lived there about 5 months before moving to the Oak Grove community. There we rented the only vacant house, which was 100+ years old and made of logs. Our rent was $3.00 per month. This included a barn for our horses, pasture, and garden. The rent was later raised to $5.00. We fixed it up, and it was adequate for two people. We had to learn to live primitively, and with some help from some kind neighbors, we got to be pretty good at it.

During the three years that we lived there, we traveled horseback. We bought one horse and boarded a second one for a friend. Openings began to come for [Mr. Geiger] to preach and organize Sunday Schools in the communities not too far away. On Sunday’s we would ride to Howard’s Chapel for morning services- on to Smith’s chapel for afternoon S. S. and back to Oak Grove for evening service. This trip made a circle of about 20 miles and crossed Linder Mountain. The next week it would be a community off the Monterey highway (Liberty?) and over Gullet Mountain to Happy Hallow and back to Oak Grove from Christmas to April- extending the public school year, which lasted only five months due to the shortage of funds of the county. The people appreciated this, and we had between 40 and 50 kids. Many of them were and are among our friends to the end. There was a one-room schoolhouse- pot-belly stove- no desks, just benches. We turned half of the benches toward the back of the room, and I taught my subjects back there, and dad taught in the front. There were no desks. In those days, the children owned their books, and we continued where the county teacher left off. We were not paid, but many parents gave us eggs, milk, potatoes, etc. Since we weren’t under any rules, we also had a bible class, and the children loved it.

After we had taught for three years, the county could pay teachers for eight months, so we discounted our teaching. Teaching this free school was a good idea- it was the means of getting acquainted with the people, and it gave the people a good chance to look us over too. Many lasting friendships were made. About this time, we were expecting an addition to our family (and got two), so we decided to build a more modern and more adequate home. Mr. Emmett Copeland, our most encouraging neighbor, offered us about 1 and 1/2 acres of land for $50.00, and in 1925 we built the house. The twins were born in Bryn Mawr, PA hospital, where they and I had to stay for three weeks because they were so small. I had a private room and nurses ‘round the clock part of the time- and our total bill was $99.00. Because they were so small, the M.D. would not allow me to bring them to Tennessee until they were four months old, so we stayed at my parents; house, and during that time, Dad taught a course (I forget the subject) at Philadelphia College. He also had opportunities to minister in churches and people because they were interested in the work we were doing in Tennessee.

Keep following us for more journal entries from Mrs. Ruth Geiger! Coming next month 🙂



Fall Newsletter

30-Hour Run

Running for 30 hours. It sounds crazy, right? Let’s be honest- it is! Over the weekend of November 14, a group of runners was able to fundraise for Cedar Lake by doing exactly that. I am honored to have been one of them. There is much preparation that goes into such a feat- training, nutrition, hydration, gear, and so on. Then it all has to come together along with weather, a support crew, and a can-do attitude. 

We were blessed with absolutely great weather, even throughout the night, until an hour-long rain came through near the end. The rain coupled with wind made the last few miles even more challenging. We also had great support from family and staff. They were there to serve food, offer encouragement, and sometimes pace with us. 

As the hours passed the miles added up. As the miles added up, so did the pain. Eventually, my feet became so sore it hurt every step. My knees had radiating pain every time they came down and eventually, the muscles in my legs were so tired all I could do was walk. Some of you reading this are saying, “Why in the world would you do that to yourself?” But others, who enjoy finding your limits, understand that in pushing yourself you grow. Grow what? Character. The Apostle Paul says, “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; character produces hope.” To be clear, he is speaking to a group of believers who faced persecution under the Roman Empire. But the principle remains. Hardships test our limits, cause us to dig deep, and we are tougher and better for it on the other side. 

In the end, notable finishes include a marathon from an 8-year-old, a 100K (62 miles), a triple marathon (78.6), and a 100-mile completion. Congratulations to all who participated! And a big thank you to our sponsors as well as all who offered their support. 

Auction Update

Our annual auction and dinner fundraiser was a great time of food, fellowship, and vision casting. Throughout the evening guests heard testimony from board member Todd Daugherty about his upbringing at camp and the influence Cedar Lake had on him and other young people. Associate Director Jared Marsh told the story of a camper who received the life-changing salvation of Jesus Christ this summer and went on to begin influencing others in the same direction. Executive Director Ryan Higgins spoke about the victories of summer 2020 and how greatly the Lord has blessed CLC.

We give a huge thank you to all the businesses and individuals who donated items for auction and for all those who participated in the online and in-person auction experience. Our thanks to Lee Ammonet at Eagle Auction & Realty for hosting the online portion of the auction as well as Ted McWilliams of McWilliams Auction & Realty for his assistance and auctioneering that night. In all, over $20,000 was raised towards the construction of a new gym and pool. 

Fall Camp

October is particularly beautiful at camp with fall colors and mild weather. It’s a great time to be outside playing Gaga ball, taking a hike…or making fun chemical reactions such as “elephant toothpaste.” Campers at our seasonal camps experience activities that aren’t available or possible during summer camps. Making pumpkin art is just not a summer thing! But what never changes is the message of God’s love toward the world displayed in the person of Jesus Christ. His life supplies the example we need of how to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. His death provides the pure and spotless sacrifice necessary to satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. But the grave couldn’t hold him- Jesus is alive today and beckons us to join Him in the work of proclaiming that message. Thank you to all the staff who spent the week investing in the kiddos!

Future Camper

Rejoice with our staff family as we welcome baby Graham to Cedar Lake Camp! Graham was born November 15 weighing 7 lbs, 11 oz. Proud parents are Associate Director Jared Marsh and wife Megan along with big sisters Evie and Emery. We thank the Marshes for their service to Cedar Lake these past seven years!

Life is precious from “womb to tomb” and we celebrate when we have it and mourn when it is lost. For the Scripture says, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Summer Camp Registration Open

Registration for summer camp 2021 is now available online at www.cedarlakecamp.org! We look forward to seeing all those smiling faces soon!

 



Auction 2020 Recap

What an incredible evening! Make sure to watch the recap to see how we did!

This night couldn’t have been possible without the donations so many of you made and for that we are THANKFUL! Once again, we want to give a big thank you to Lee Amonett with Eagle Auctions and Ted McWilliams with McWilliams Auction and Realty Company!



Come Join Us!

Come join us on November 14-15! Share this post and let’s raise some money for camp! 😀 

Register Here



5K and 30 Hour Fundraiser Run

Registration and Preparation Information
for Cedar Lake Camp’s 5K
and 30 Hour Fundraiser Run

 This year’s 5K Fun Run will be held in-person at Cedar Lake Camp on November 14, 2020. This portion of the race will begin at 8 am. The course will be, as usual, down the camp driveway then left onto Conatser Lane and back. The cost for this event is $25.00. Shirts may be additionally purchased at $10.00 each.

The cost for the 30-hour run is free but each participant will secure sponsors. There is no minimum or maximum for the number of sponsors but get as many as you can! (Yes, you can sponsor yourself as well.) Make a video or otherwise tell your friends and family you are raising money to help build a gym and pool for a non-profit children’s ministry. Give them your estimated total mileage so they can determine how many dollars PER MILE they want to sponsor. Keep up with your sponsorships. After the run, update everybody on your final mileage. They can mail a check made out to Cedar Lake Camp (not you personally) or donate online at www.cedarlakecamp.org indicating “Fun Run Donation.”

A virtual option exists for those who cannot attend in-person. Simply do either version of the run on your own and let us know.

Run as little or much as you want. YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUN THE WHOLE 30 HOURS! Take as many breaks as you want. Take a nap if you like. Quit whenever you want. Walking is totally okay as are RELAY teams. We’ll start at 6 am Saturday, November 14, and stay through noon on November 15. You’re welcome come set up Friday night and campout if you like. (If you plan to do this please let us know so we can better assist you.)

This is a no-frills race so bring your own hydration, nutrition, support staff, and sleeping arrangements. There’s plenty of space to set up tents. Our dining hall will be open for restrooms and eating areas. Park your vehicle along camp’s driveway for instant access to food and hydration. Your family can canoe, fish, and enjoy our beautiful 90-acre campus located just outside Livingston, TN in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau. There are no awards except knowing you are doing a good thing by helping a non-profit. 🙂

The course is an out and back. We’ll start at camp’s dining hall and run down the road, and turn around heading back for a 3.7-mile lap. It’s about half pavement, half gravel with small rolling hills.

Headlamps and tail lights are required for night running. Bicycle pacers will be allowed after dark as long as they have lights as well. This is NOT a closed course, so watch out for cars, critters, and the boogie man. We are a Christian ministry to CHILDREN’S so please no alcohol, tobacco, or inappropriate things as there will be children present.

For those who don’t know, Cedar Lake is a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching the gospel of Jesus to the next generation, training staff, and serving churches through retreats.

Why are we doing this crazy fundraiser? Because we want to build a gym and swimming pool to better serve the children and churches who visit our camp. With a price tag of over 2 million bucks, we need all the help we can get.

Register at www.cedarlakecamp.org. Look for the link on the homepage under “Featured Events.” If you don’t already have an account with us through our software, you will need to set one up. 

Visit our website at cedarlakecamp.org for more info or look us up on social media.

Camp’s address is 235 Conatser Lane, Livingston, TN. Email us at clcstaff@cedarlakecamp.org or call 931-823-5656.

I hope to see you here November 14th and 15th. Keep training!

REGISTER HERE



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