By Andy Harrison, Director of Conference Centers
Running two campgrounds in the middle of a pandemic when no camp happens is quite an endeavor. I can imagine each of you would say the same thing about trying to figure out the constant logistics of holding church services with your congregations.
Though we had to lay off eight full-time employees because of financial concerns and lost another two for other reasons, we are grateful to still be operating and are looking forward to 2021. At the time of the writing of this article, everything is pretty much a “go” for 2021. Vaccines are on the way and some of the politics surrounding this pandemic might be quieting soon, hopefully creating a path to some level of normalcy.
Though it’s been a difficult season to navigate, it’s not been difficult to see God’s hand in the middle of it all. A fast-spreading virus causes us to deal with our mortality. Political upheavals cause us to find hope outside of elections. Societal unrest causes us to long for the heavenly home being prepared for us by our savior. C.S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
In his sermon at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Baptists, Dr. Dilbeck said, “Meeting as a church in 2020 is difficult, but we need to realize, it has always been difficult.” The early New Testament churches all had problems; problematic people, problematic attitudes, and problematic situations. We overcome this, said Dr. Dilbeck, “by keeping the cross at the center of what we do.”
When I see cabin owners on grounds working on their cabins, I always smile. It means someone from that city and that congregation is preparing that cabin for guests. And those guests will come on grounds, participate in a camp or retreat, and be confronted with the message of the cross. If you don’t hear it anywhere else, hear it from me…Thank you for loving our Lord and cooperating with other churches to support the ministry of the cross that takes place on these hallowed grounds! Your investment in this campground and its commitment to the Gospel will echo through eternity.
May God richly bless you all!