Working Together

Colossians 4:2-6 
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

The Family of God Working Together
Long ago, in the 1940s a group of churches met together to offer a summer camp experience for young people. In 1958 they chose to purchase 80 acres near Tiskilwa IL, soon after that, they purchased another 152 acres. Many High School youth and adults contributed hours of work to build a small kitchen and dining hall as the new campground began to develop. Herb Roth along with others raised funds and sent workers to help build cabins in the 1960.

It takes much work and finances to have such a beautiful and effective Christian-centered year-round camp experience and countless lives have been touched through these acts of generosity.

Doc Johnson, the camp executive director said, “It’s amazing how on some days, contribution checks that came from many would arrive in the mail which would equal or exceed the number of bills that needed to be paid on that day! One time, when funds were getting short and I was going to make a call to a generous donor, I opened the daily mail and found a check gifted for the exact amount I was going to ask of them! Sometimes, a family will gift an amount in a memorial for a loved one and it would match a need at the camp at that time! Even during this time of the Covid pandemic, some churches even went ahead and gave what they were planning for their retreat even though due to Covid it had to be canceled. Through the creative ways to connect during this time and the generosity of many, we have been able to replenish our reserve fund and continue to move forward.”

Besides financially, many have volunteered their time and energy. In one year, after tracking the amount of their time, they found volunteer hours worked equated to almost four full-time employees. Without these volunteers, Doc said that they would need to double their staff to operate. Volunteers are the unsung lifeblood of this camp!

Most volunteers would rather not be listed or known. They quietly come on the annual spring or fall workdays, perform regular maintenance, in the kitchen, and help in various special service projects.

Working, serving together, and giving to camp Menno Haven has been a wonderful display of generosity to see the Gospel proclaimed. Today, they have more groups seeking to come in the summer months than they have time on the calendar to host them! God’s generosity is seen again and again through the people of God connected with this camp!

Doc said that the verse the camp's Ministry Team rallies around is:
Colossians 4:2-6  “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

As Doc said, “We are inviting guests into this 'home' to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who arrive here.”

May we all work together and do our part to see Camp Menno Haven succeed!
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