When nothing goes right

Trees Firmly Planted

I promise the end of this story is better than the title you just read.

In the camp ministry world, there are times when the wrong thing happens at the wrong time. Everyone is doing their job correctly, but something unplanned happens and everything gets thrown off. This past week was one of those times for us.

We had a men’s retreat coming up the next weekend. They aren’t a huge group, but they fill up our hotel (48 rooms) with one man in each room and their staff uses Indian Creek Lodge. Guess what 2 buildings had water leaks the week of their retreat? You guessed it. Lee Lodge Hotel and Indian Creek. Indian Creek had a busted seal in the water heater that flooded the ground, and most of it is carpet. This project was smelly and messy. Someone caught it quickly and we were able to begin getting rid of water fast. But it took moving 10 sets of beds and dresser drawers out temporarily, and our wonderful housekeeping staff spent a day and a half just using their shampoo machines and shop vacs to suck up every last bit of moisture.

Then the next day, a water main busted in the front of Lee Lodge. This was outdoor messy. Mounds of mud after the water was shut off and then breaking up concrete to find the broken pipe. And part of a work day with no water across the whole property. This was Monday, but with 2 major water projects, our maintenance men were sweating to get them fixed by Friday.

Long story short, everything worked out. Friday morning we were finishing replacing furniture in Indian Creek and moving out the dehumidifier just before the church staff arrived to set up for the retreat. I’m pretty sure every camp has a story like this in their history somewhere. And they have amazing staff like we do who will do whatever it takes to get a problem fixed for our guests.

But that’s not the end of the story. This men’s retreat happened, and the Holy Spirit showed up. Hearts were turned back towards the Father, and I can tell you that men’s lives are changed and their family’s way of life is forever changed because of last weekend. We have friends at this church who have shared some of the testimonies of men who cam, and the stories are powerful!

On our end, it can be so easy to feel frustrated and worn down when things go wrong like they did for us last week. You’re faithful to work and serve others and then the work load seems to double overnight. God knows our hearts and He is faithful to us when we continue to persevere on the long days. Our staff does not always hear back from our churches and guests to know what God did in the hearts of the people, but we encourage each other to always work hard, to always clean and fix and cook to the best of our abilities, knowing that God is faithful on the other end.  I’m so thankful to work with humble servants who work and “run with perseverance,” and who “fix their eyes on Jesus” even when it isn’t easy. (Hebrews 12:1-2)