It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a unique year. It seems like forever ago that Covenant Pines Bible Camp made the difficult decision to cancel our summer youth camps. Although we continue to mourn the fact that we were unable to welcome hundreds of kids to camp this summer, we rejoice in the impact that our summer getaways have had. It has been wonderful to welcome first time families to camp and watch them find rest and joy in the midst of a difficult year. It has been equally as wonderful to watch summer youth campers invite their families to experience camp for the first time and invite them into a place that has had a significant impact on their own lives. It is as if the roles are reversed and the kids are inviting their parents into an experience that has shaped and formed them and now they are so excited to share it with them. I have enjoyed walking our grounds on a quiet evening and watching families interact at their own personal campfires, just enjoying one another’s presence, or leading them on a sunset pontoon cruise around the lake to once again soak up the beauty of God’s creation. It has been encouraging to hear the testimonies of families who have experienced Christ at camp this summer, many have even decided to sign up for an additional week and do to the popularity we have decided to extend our summer getaway schedule so that more families could experience Christ here at camp.
Camp is different this summer, but our mission hasn’t changed, God hasn’t changed. The pace is slower, the dining hall is quieter, but the same God who has invited people into relationship with him is still here, inviting people to experience him in the beauty of a sunset, the quietness and still of a sunrise and even the kind listening ear of a family or staff member. I will confess that as we looked at the prospect of not having youth camp this summer at Covenant Pines, I didn’t know what our summer would hold, but I have been wonderfully surprised. God has remained faithful, shame on me for thinking it would be any other way. In the midst of a global pandemic, God continues to invite people into communion with Him, he continues to use these sacred grounds for his purpose of drawing people to Himself and we are grateful to be a small part of it.