God Who Provides in Every Season
By Elisa Dorman
As a summer camp and retreat center, our small business model historically hinges on a dozen people from different households sleeping in one room. They share washrooms and eat together hip to hip on dining hall benches. So one can imagine why business is slow in 2020. Many summer camps across the country, with dust accumulating on rows of bunk beds, can relate.
Financial challenges loom over months of cancellations. It feels like ministry efforts can only putter ahead in a shaky first gear. The future is so unknown.
If we didn’t know Jesus, I simply don’t know what we would do. Live in fear? Or give up? Scrap the mission and fend for ourselves? At best camp-people would be daunted, at worst, despairing.
Thankfully, however, we have an incredible Heavenly Father, who makes a way where there is no way. We have seen his faithfulness in this season and hold out for more. The horses have hay and property taxes are paid because of unexpected generosity, sometimes from total strangers. Because of strange circumstances last winter, we have enough wood to stay warm for another season.
With universities online, God brought a handful of incredible summer staff to join our on-site team for the season. By putting details in place that are beyond what we could have forethought, God prepared us for family days, school trips and short-term rentals, which have kept our gates open in a harrowing time for overnight facilities. We’ve even had unique opportunities to help campers grow with Jesus using online and remote content.
We pray humbly and follow God’s lead faithfully. He is generous and thoughtful, showering down bountiful ingenuity and forging a steady path of unconditional hope.
As I reflect on God’s provision in seasons past, I feel sure that God will see us through once again. Although our needs have changed from year to year, the evidence of God’s mighty hand working amidst us is a consistent reassurance.
If we had a collection of all the lost things found after frazzled summertime prayers, the lost and found bin would be brimming. If we had a photo of every kid who had a life-changing moment during worship, testimonies might cover a wall. God’s miraculous provision pervades everyday life, from the tiniest and most practical requests, to the most life-changing prayers.
I would venture to say that the more you live out of your comfort zone for Jesus, the more likely it is that you will see miraculous things. Perhaps it is because the Holy Spirit loves to provide for faithful people. Or perhaps it is simply because when you follow Jesus in-over-your-head, you are so frequently in need of God’s help.
We expectantly rely on God every hour of camp ministry, and we will expectantly rely on Him every hour of uncertainty, as well.
It is such a joy to live dependent on God’s provision because his gifts are a tangible expression of his care for us. His intervention in our struggles reminds us that our Father knows what we need, approves of us and delights in our imperfect efforts. His unlikely solutions reveal to us that God isn’t easily confined by our expectations. His generosity is a gesture of how He entrusts us to lead and love alongside Jesus.
When the uncertain future comes to mind, it’s a no brainer that we can respond with confidence. God doesn’t run out of options. His power to do the impossible isn’t conditional on our comprehension. The scope of our predicaments don’t overwhelm him. He authored our mission and he will lead us forward.
In this season, as camps face unforeseen financial difficulty and barriers to life-changing ministry, we take joy knowing we follow a provident God. If you would like to be a part of answered prayers for camps in this difficult season, we invite you to pray for God’s provision during COVID-19, as well as, to donate to camp.
Finally, God’s provision is not reserved for camps or Christian ministries. It’s God’s nature to be gracious with his children, attentive to our concerns and responsive to our requests, even if in unexpected ways. With every need, we can humbly ask Jesus to make a way forward and trust that he sees us and understands the complexities of unique seasons.