“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 ESV
We love the Christmas story. There is great pleasure in gathering our children together and sharing what happened on that night, where the events took place, and who was involved. However, as we share the what, where, and who of the Christmas story, let us not forget to share the why. Why did Jesus come? Why would the Almighty God take the form of a man? This is, without doubt, the most important part of the story.
Last summer Jessica discovered the “why,” and it changed her heart. At nine years old, she believed in God, but she told her cabin director, Stacy, that she didn’t want to get saved because she knew she would just sin again. Jessica thought that, after she became a better person, she would be ready to accept Christ.
Stacy then shared her personal testimony and explained to Jessica WHY Jesus came—because He loves us and wants to take our sins away. Suddenly the light came on, and Jessica understood. She surrendered her heart to Christ that day and was changed forever.
Looking back on 2016, we have so much to be thankful for here at South Mountain Christian Camp. We’ve seen so many stories like Jessica’s unfold through our summer camp program. In all, 561 children and youth attended summer camp here this year, eighty percent of them coming on scholarships provided by people like you. Even better, 117 of these campers made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized here in our pool!
But the good news doesn’t stop there. We’ve had hundreds of students here through the Fall, learning about God’s creation through our SEEDS nature programs. Hundreds more have participated in our ropes course programs, learning interactively about relationships, leadership, and character qualities. Our annual 5k trail run has more than doubled in size over the past two years. And we’ve also had thousands attending weekend retreats here from churches and other parachurch ministries. It’s been a busy year for sure.
Moving forward into 2017, we eagerly anticipate what God is going to do next. As God provides funding, we will continue with the plans for our multi-purpose building. This will provide much-needed dining and assembly space for summer campers, retreat groups, and special events. We have seen tremendous growth over the past few years in the number of people making use of what we offer here at South Mountain, and we expect that trend to continue.
As the increase comes, we have great confidence that God will meet every need that we have and we are excited to partner with supporters like you to continue reaching out to people in need. Thanks so much for your prayers and support.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from the staff of South Mountain Christian Camp!
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