Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taking Action

Last summer a powerful lightning strike destroyed our entire high ropes course in one brief second. The bolt struck a massive oak tree in the middle of the course and traveled through steel cables to the other trees and climbing tower, blowing out massive chunks of wood at each connection point along the way. In total, three trees were killed, the tower was destroyed, and all the steel cable was compromised. It was a total loss, and we had to shut down the course for the rest of the summer.

At the end of that week of camp, a camper named Amber told me that she felt God was leading her to do a fundraiser for rebuilding the ropes course. I smiled and told her that would be fantastic. Inwardly, however, I wondered if she would really be able to follow through with it. Boy did she prove me wrong! Amber took action. She went home, told her youth group about the problem, and organized a bake sale. Just a month after camp was over, she called and said she had a check for $422 for the camp!

Her dedication and hard work inspired me so much that I began approaching other youth groups, asking them if they’d be willing to do similar fundraisers for us. We’ve had at least one other church make a significant contribution to the project, and several others have agreed to take on the challenge. This one camper with a heart for God may have started something big.

The task is formidable—it will cost an estimated $47,000 to rebuild the ropes course. We’re hoping to fund it through a combination of grants, sponsors, and fundraising groups like Amber’s. If you know a business or group that might want to help, you can find more information on the new ropes course design and the fundraising efforts on our website.

Regardless of how God does it, we have confidence that he will bring in the funds at just the right time. He always does. If you'd like to make a contribution to the project, you can do so through the DONATE button below, or mail your check to PO Box 9, Bostic NC 28018. Be sure to designate your gift as "Upward Tower" or "Ropes Course."


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas 2013

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14 NKJV

For many people, the highlight of the Christmas season is the chance to spend time with family, celebrating the birth of Jesus together. Time spent with those we love warms our hearts and strengthens our bonds with them.

The same is true in our relationship with God. There is no better place to be than in His presence. This was the amazing thing about the Christmas story: that God came to live among us. And when we understand that He truly is Immanuel, meaning “God with us,” we realize that we can spend time with Him continually, because Jesus doesn’t just live among us—He lives in us!

It’s that presence of Christ that we seek to foster here at South Mountain Christian Camp. We have thousands of guests every year, and we want each of them to experience God. Many will comment on how much they can sense the Spirit of God here. They receive a “taste” of what life is like in His presence, and, when they return home, they realize that they can abide in His presence continually.

The presence of God is also what keeps us moving forward. 2013 has been a big year at South Mountain. Our Summer Camp enrollment was up twelve percent over last year, and we witnessed 83 of our campers make a profession of faith in Jesus! Our disc golf tournament nearly doubled in participants this year, and our annual banquet in May had the highest attendance we’ve seen in 5 years. At times things seemed to be moving so fast, we had to pause to remember that God is still here and still in control.

This year also brought some unexpected challenges. Our facilities manager and housekeeping supervisor both resigned in early Fall. Then in mid-October, camp founder O.A. Fish suffered a heart attack. Tests revealed that he needed double-bypass heart surgery which he underwent almost immediately. We praise God for a successful surgery and the steady recovery which has followed. We also praise God for the many volunteers who devoted their time and energy to fill in the gaps brought by these unanticipated events. What a blessing to know that God is always here for us!

Another unexpected challenge came when our High Ropes Course was destroyed by lightning in July. The strike caused irreparable damage to three trees and two poles that support the course. Additionally, all the steel cable from which the course is constructed was compromised, rendering the High Ropes Course a total loss. We have a plan to construct a new course called The Upward Tower which we hope to have in place for Summer Camp 2014. Please pray with us that God will provide the $47,000 needed to build this new course.

God always meets every need (He has proven that time after time), and He does it in miraculous ways. Immanuel not only came near to us long ago, but He continues to make His presence known to us on a daily basis. We pray that you will sense the presence of Immanuel during the Christmas season this year and all through 2014!
If you would like to make a special end-of-year contribution to South Mountain Christian Camp, you can do so through the donate button below, or mail your check to P.O. Box 9, Bostic NC 28018.