I will never forget the week of Family Camp, July 6-12, 1997. Bruce Wilkinson, then President of Walk-Thru-the-Bible Ministries, was the morning speaker and preached each day on John 15:1-17. He often camped on Jesus’ words where He said …
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Our lives were changed. Literally. One late night, with our kids asleep in our Lakeside Lodge room, Jane and I went into the only private room – the bathroom. We closed the door, sat on the floor, shared our hearts, confessed sins, and decided to make significant changes in our lives.
The result? I completely changed the topic of my doctoral dissertation and delayed graduation a year. Jane chose to lean into a difficult situation that had brought a lot of heartache, and the outcome was God-sized. And we decided to invest financially in Mount Hermon as much as a young pastoral couple could do.
When we returned home I bought a redwood fencepost, cut the top of it to look like the Mount Hermon chapel, and carved the following message into the wood: Jn 15, M.H. 97 (John 15, Mount Hermon 1997). I screwed the post into our fence and Jane and I planted a grapevine at its base to remind us and our children that Jesus is the vine, and that if we abide in Him we will bear much fruit, because apart from Him we can do nothing.
Where is that redwood fencepost now? In my office, as a daily reminder of God’s transforming work through the Christ-centered ministry of Mount Hermon.
Sure, it’s been a rough last twenty months, and for a time we were in survival mode. But, thankfully, God has lifted up our eyes, given us a renewed sense of purpose, and we’ve begun to dream again! God has placed within our hearts an urgency to see …
- A wide welcome for a greater influx of people with varied ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds.
- An expanded ministry to children and youth, finding creative and relevant ways to reach them in our rapidly changing culture.
- Increased global partnerships, to come alongside those in foreign Christian camping venues.
- Impactful ministry to ministry leaders, especially their spouses, who are often the silent heroes – and sufferers – in the daily spiritual battles.
Perhaps God is prompting you to help fulfill these ministry dreams for the coming future. Please pray and ask God as to how He’d want you to respond. No matter the amount, God will use your gifts for His purposes and glory.
Until we see each other again, may God bless you as you have been such a blessing to us!
With much love and gratitude,