I had heard some odd radio chatter among our staff, but I did not think much about it as I was taking my Christmas tree down. As I stepped out my back door, tree in arm, there it was; snow! Snow is a wonderful blessing of moisture, and often enough, our weather predicting phones are right, but sometimes the mountain does as it pleases, and it decides to surprise us. This may mean that travel plans with groups are put on hold due to road closures. Sometimes that means our staff caravans down the mountain to pick up a youth group from their tour bus because the icy conditions; which did happen. But that is life, unforeseeable things happen, and we must roll with the punches. Especially at the start of a new year.
Where do we as camp find ourselves at the beginning of this new year? Facing a bunch of unknowns, that’s where. We have actual plans laid out by architects, recommendations made by the board, possibilities proposed by a denomination, and Bill taking this all into account and devising action; but we know that God is completely in control.
Starting in 2016, Sacramento began fundraising for Mission:Transformation. Thankfully God inspired many to give, and saw us through Stage 1, the Front Porch, our retail-storage-game-room-general hang-out-space. In its year of existence, it has already seen so many air-hockey games, sales of t-shirts, roaring fires, and many, many, many conversations. We, as a camp staff, love the space and all of the many ways it can be used. And so far, we have heard nothing but good things about the building, and how lovely of an addition to camp it has been.
The work continues, physically speaking, as necessary groundwork (read: hauling dirt to new locations) is made on Stage 2. Compared to the Front Porch at 6,182 sq. ft. , this 36,405 sq ft. three part building seems giant by comparison. It will add 128 dorm style beds to camp, and 2 apartment style facilities as well. The need for more space to house people has been pressing for the past 5 years. But not only that, it will add 6 meeting rooms on the first floor, below lodging, and additionally 2 large meeting rooms in the central building that can hold 140 people each. If you have ever been a group leader, or ever plan to be, this is some pretty great news!
Due to the logistics of fundraising, the construction of this building will take place in two phases. This fundraising is no small feat. 4 million dollars is needed to make this a reality. But as life, and camp life specifically, has shown us, we are ever at the hand of the Father; He is the one who builds the house, the one who is both Alpha and Omega, the very breath of life, and He is at the helm of this ministry.
This is Sacramento Camp’s 89th year. 89 years of coming to the mountain to be refreshed by the presence of God in this place. 89 years of flexibility and patience, growth and sometimes stagnation. Right now we are blessed by growth as more and more people want to use this place to retreat from life. We are blessed by people who come, who pray, and who give to make this ministry possible. We are blessed by you. And we are blessed by the many surprises that teach us to rely on him more fully.