February Newsletter

The Lord is doing extraordinary things on these grounds! We have seen 831 adults and students enter these grounds this year, and 435 of those were during February. Something special happens when students get alone with God, and when they seek Him. We had a group who joined us this month, they left Sunday morning and traveled home to join their church in the last service. The pastor was preaching out of Romans 2 when the Spirit fell and convicted 24 to step into obedience in Baptism. Many of those had just spent the weekend at camp. We had another group this month lead a men’s retreat. They invited a man they had been praying for, and at this retreat, that man surrendered his life to Jesus for the first time. These are just some of the stories we hear, and there are many more stories that rest in the hearts of others. I believe with all my heart, the Lord is moving, and we are in the midst of a revival!

We had an incredible planning meeting the last weekend of this month, and we are looking forward to revamping Camp-O-Rama. This weekend will be an opportunity for men to share their passions like fishing, hunting, welding, and many other things to boys and fathers while pointing them to Jesus. It will be set up to where you can bring the men of your church as well as father and son. You will have the option to camp in a tent or stay in a dorm. I am looking forward to how the Lord will use this event in the days ahead. Mark your calendars for September 25-27, 2020, and plan on bringing a group of men and boys.

Mission Impossible is around the corner, and the camp looks like it is. We are working on remodeling the kitchen and dining room, building a bathroom next to the open-air pavilion, building a walking path around the pond that leads to the prayer gardens, and remodeling Centennial Lodge in preparation for staffers. The task is truly a mission that is impossible, that is unless the Lord shows up and helps us get ready for camp in May. We also have a group joining us April 6-11 from Aurora Christian School in Chicago. Pray that we will be able to finish before camp starts and join us as we prepare and complete this impossible mission.

January Newsletter

Each morning the staff here at Spring Lake start our day off with prayer and Bible study; we just currently finished reading through Genesis. We came to Genesis 32:1-2, in this scripture, Jacob was met by an Angel of God, he proclaims, “This is God’s Camp!” As we read through the story, I saw a comparison as to what happens here at Spring Lake each week. Jacob was scared that the Lord had asked him to return home and face his brother Esau. He was afraid that his brother would kill him. In the midst of all the fear, Jacob sent his family on while he wrestled with the Lord. After a night of wrestling, he asked the Lord to bless him on his journey. Each week students come out to camp, The Lord has asked all kinds of things out of them, that they live for him, that they surrender to ministry, that they give up an unhealthy friendship or relationship. Whatever the Lord is asking of them, most often, they are nervous about the uncertainty that lies in front of them. They clearly hear from the Lord because they are at “God’s Camp,” and they might spend time throughout the week wrestling with the Lord; afterward, the only way they will achieve what He asks of them is if He blesses their journey as they leave this place. So today, when I look at Spring Lake Camp & Retreat, I see “God’s Camp” a place were men, women, boys and girls come to wrestle with the Lord to be blessed as they leave these grounds to go out and make an impact on the world around them.

This last month we hosted a group called Super Winter. I love watching groups like this. This retreat is made up of several different churches who gather together to share Jesus with students. In total, there were over 400 students at Spring Lake over this one weekend! Alone these churches could never put on an event like this, but when they come together, the impossible becomes possible. These pastors combine their financial resources, energy, and their passion for sharing Christ making it possible for these kids to hear the gospel. What could happen if we would lay down our personal agenda and work together to see Jesus known in our community? I believe if we all did this, we would see revival and awaking, schools would be changed, and the gospel of Jesus Christ would bring light even in the hardest of places.

Join me in praying for Mission Impossible. April 6-11,2020, there will be over a hundred and fifty plus students, adults, and contractors that will convene at Spring Lake Camp & Retreat to see an impossible mission become possible with the Lord’s help. We have a variety of projects we are planning to work on during that week. We would love to see the kitchen and dining hall updated, build a bathroom at the open-air pavilion, and renovate Centennial Lodge so that we can host staffers for the summer. Join us that week either by giving to the improvement fund, coming that week to help us build, paint, and landscape or by praying for us as we prepare for the week. Contact us at Spring Lake if you would like more information.

December 2019 Newsletter

My family just returned from Africa after the New Year, where we worked in a fishing village on the coast of the Atlantic. It is always eyeopening when you join the emerging churches as they seek to discover what it looks like to be the People of God that Jesus is calling them to be. It becomes even more exciting to see it happen in a fishing village. Watching the Lord call out men and women who have little knowledge of what it means to be “Fishers of Men” is almost like witnessing when Jesus called out James and John, Peter and Andrew to come and follow Him. They have grown up learning completely different traits, and the is Lord using them to disciple and equip west Africa to become the People of God, which He desires for each of us. It’s as if you are walking with the first church as it develops, it is truly a blessing. This month at Spring Lake, we have sought to go out from these walls to share the love Jesus has with those around us. In this newsletter, you will discover a few ways the resources the Lord blessed us with are being used to go beyond Spring Lake Camp and Retreat.
This past month, our staff participated with the help of Central Baptist Association and other churches in handing out food baskets around our area. We delivered these baskets to homes around the camp, which allowed us to meet our neighbors. While visiting with them, we shared the gospel and asked if they would be interested in a worship service if it were held at the Lonsdale chapel. We also passed out baskets in the Dixsonville community and invited people to a prayer meeting and meal at Dixsonville Baptist Church. The prayer meeting and meal is set for January 25th at noon. We believe this has come out of our prayer time each morning as we have been praying that the Lord would launch groups that would meet in these locations with the purpose of sharing Jesus in these communities. Join us in praying for the churches which today set empty that the Lord will fill them with His people.
Since 2012 my family has been blessed to be able to lead marriage and family training in the emerging Church culture. Our goal is to teach Christ-following families what it looks like to live in a Christ-centered marriage. How men are to love their wives like Christ loves the Church, and how wives respect their husbands like the Church does Christ. When couples do this, it becomes a beautiful picture of the world around them. Last week I had a couple say that as they lived this concept out in the middle of their family, it became difficult and they made the decision to move away from the family, after leaving the family asked that they move back because the “Peace of God” had gone with them. If we seek to allow our families to be a picture of Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and grace to our neighbors, we can become light in a dark world. Pray for the many families we had the blessing of interacting with over the Christmas season.

November Newsletter

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Spring Lake has seen the Lord bless the camp during the month of November. Over the course of this month we have seen 776 students enter these grounds and be given a chance to draw close to the Lord. We have seen 6,497 individuals total join us for either a camp or retreat over the past 11 months. And while it is impossible to know the spiritual implication of what that means I am confident that hundreds gave their lives to Jesus, thousands made lasting commitments, and many surrendered their lives to serve the Lord full time. I truly believe that The Kingdom of God will be impacted through the work of the churches, associations, and groups that have joined us this year and hosted an event here. It is breath taking, as one looks over these grounds and thinks of all the ways the Lord speaks to His people as they seek time and reflect on their mission to spread the love of Jesus to the ends of the earth. Join us in praying for those who have made decisions this year at Spring Lake Camp & Retreat Center.

Mission Impossible is just around the corner. When I say “Impossible” I mean it will be impossible to complete these tasks before camp starts in May, that is unless the Lord shows up and shows out at Spring Lake. This is what this group has asked us to do, dream big and expect God to show up. Five years ago, this group called “Mission Impossible” came and added onto our dining hall, built a staff house and completed many other projects in just a week.
 
We have many projects we are dreaming about but three are major projects that I would like you to consider in your end of the year gifts to the camp.
1.      One is to renovate the Kitchen/Dinning Hall and upgrade the flow so that we may have two serving lines.
2.     Second, we would like to renovate the Hotel rooms to family style rooms with a full-size bed and two twins and new bathrooms.
3.     Third, we need to update the bottom part of Centennial Lodge to be equipped for interns this summer. We are offering an intern program for eight students that will be designed to prepare them for ministry outside of college.
Join us by praying, giving, and preparing the way for Mission Impossible!
Almost ten years ago Spring Lake built Hope Chapel and purchased a portable stage to use. We never moved the stage much, but after ten years the stage needed to be replaced. I love to think about all the messages of salvation, the call to missions, to surrender your life to Jesus that has been preached from that stage over the past ten years. I am thankful for the beautiful feet of those who preached the gospel (Romans 10:15) from that stage. I am also grateful for those who built the next stage and are getting it together right know.
 
I am excited for these next years at Spring Lake! The Lord is moving in a mighty way. Just this last month we have booked two new groups for next year that will impact the entire state of Arkansas.
 
I pray daily for revival, that an awaking will take place in Arkansas and flow to the ends of the earth. So, as I wait with anticipation for the next stage to be built, I pray for those who will preach from it. I pray for those who will receive messages from it, and I pray for those who will use their beautiful feet to go from Hope Chapel to the ends of the earth to preach the News of Jesus Christ. Join me in this prayer.

October 2019 Newsletter

The lord has moved in great ways this month! We have hosted eight groups this month that make up 657 students and adults. This totals 5,721 people who have entered through these gates for the purpose of spending time with the Lord. This month I received a testimony of a group that came out last year and had four students give their lives to Jesus during a retreat. Those students went back to their school changed and shared with all their classmates. This resulted in many other students within their school giving their hearts to Jesus. It is my prayer that the same thing happens every week! Join me in praying for this month coming up.

Here are some stories from retreat season this month.

This month we were able to host New Life Church – Engage. This is the JR High groups from the many New Life churches around the state. When I witness this group work, I am reminded of Acts 2:44, “and all who believed were together and had all things in common.” They embark on the camp ground with a driving purpose of engaging student’s in the life changing gospel. All the volunteers serve with one purpose in mind, they stay up late, council students, and deal with difficult situations all for the purpose of Jesus. You can’t tell who is paid and who is not, because everyone works tirelessly for the same purpose. As I watch them engage in a retreat, I am reminded of what I read in the book of Acts. How the church united around the message the apostles were preaching, the message of Jesus. They tirelessly volunteered, served, and gave so the message would go forward. Pray this month as both the High School and College groups come out. Pray that the Lord will move just as He did during the JR. High group.

A mantel may seem insignificant to some, it is a piece of furniture that is often overlooked. That is until it is out of balance then it becomes all you can think about. This is what happened in Faith Dorm. We placed a TV over the mantel which then made it obvious that the mantel was out out of balance. This happens in our walk with Christ often. We go day in and day out and never realize how out of balance we really are. It is not until we stop and compare our walk to Jesus that we realize we need adjustment. This is where Spring Lake comes in. When people get alone with God they suddenly see were they are out of balance. It is then that they can make adjustments with the Lord’s help. Once those adjustments are made we then can truly do what the Lord has called us to do. Pray for those who will find themselves out here this month and that The Lord will want to adjust their mantel so they can fully do what He is calling them to do.

Above is a picture of the Mantel Herbert Gray built for the camp. We thank the Lord for his gifts everyday.

Pray for the several groups that will join us this coming month at Spring Lake Camp & Retreat

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