“Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing… for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10
Ah, the beautiful image of a warm home at Christmas. The roaring fire, the stockings hung on the mantle, and the beautiful decorations draw up feelings of comfort and joy. You can almost smell the cookies baking in the kitchen and hear the Christmas music playing softly in the background.
Christmas, however, reaches far beyond the front door of the home. Jesus didn’t just come for me and my family. He came for the whole world. Many people don’t have a warm, safe home of their own. Like Ryan, for instance.
Ryan only came to summer camp to get out of the house. He had five siblings, from five different fathers, and the home was full of turmoil. He just wanted to get away from them for a while. He created a lot of problems during his week of camp, but on the fourth day, he had a face-to-face encounter with the love of God. During the morning cabin devotional time, he heard that Jesus had died on the cross so that his sins could be forgiven. Ryan began to weep. He had never heard of a God who loved so much. His cabin mates all gathered around him, praying softly, as the cabin director led Ryan to the Lord.
This is why we celebrate Christmas—because Jesus came to bring us new life. So, as we celebrate, let’s remember to reach out to others and share the love, joy, and peace of our Savior with them.
We’ve had a wonderful year at South Mountain Christian Camp in 2015. We had a great summer camp with 544 children and youth in attendance and 124 of them making a profession of faith and being baptized in our pool. We’ve also had our busiest spring and fall ever, with retreat groups coming from all around to spend time with God here. Our new high ropes course tower has been put to use nearly every week. In addition to all of this, our annual South of the Mountain 5k Trail Run saw a dramatic increase in participation this year with 110 registered runners—up almost 40% from last year.
This year also brought a few changes. Our facilities manager, Ken Powell, had to step down from his position, but God opened up a door for Scott Lane to take over the job. Ken and his wife Ada continue to volunteer here on a regular basis. Additionally, Lauren Henderson, who has worked here in various capacities for many years joined our office staff, and Betty Greene joined our housekeeping staff.
As we move forward into 2016, we are eagerly anticipating how God will bring the funding for a new multi-purpose building to house a larger cafeteria and chapel. Giving toward this project increased substantially in 2015, but we still have a long way to go to meet our need. Contact us at 828-245-3322 for more details.
We appreciate you more than we could ever express. Your prayers and support enable us to continue sharing the love of God with hurting people like Ryan. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this season, we also celebrate that He is alive and active in the hearts and lives of people like you to bring about His will on the earth.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year from the staff of South Mountain Christian Camp!