Throughout this year we have had the privilege to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Youth Camps For Christ, Inc. and its Christian camping and retreat ministries of Camp Willow Run (CWR) established in 1968 and Camp Willow Springs (CWS) established in 2014.
In June, we hosted a 50th anniversary celebration event for staff alumni. Over 550 staff and guests attended! J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church and a former CWR summer speaker, challenged us from Psalm 126 as he talked about faith and sacrifice. He defined faith as the audacious expectation that God will do something, against even incredible odds and shared that this is the kind of faith that God gave to founders Erbie and Linda Mangum as they started CWR. Sacrifice is the willingness to pay the price and give of ourselves through serving, praying, and giving. Through faith and sacrifice, we have seen God’s faithfulness to this ministry. It has been a true joy to serve the Lord through serving campers and families for fifty years. This same faith and sacrifice are needed for the next 50 years!
Construction of the CWS dining hall continues and is on track to be complete by the end of this year. We are excited to use this facility in 2019! The dining hall will have 11,485 square feet of space and includes a full commercial kitchen. The dining hall cost is $1.65 million and we currently have received gifts and pledges totaling $1.1 million toward the cost of this building. As we have stepped out in faith, we trust the Lord’s provision for the remaining funds.
At CWR, we continued to make upgrades to our facility by installing air conditioning and new lights in the gymnasium. This was a needed improvement that allowed us to have sweat-free check-in and closing programs! Also, for the 46th year, we hosted the NC Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) camp session. For this special outreach session, we raise $36,125 to cover the cost for up to 85 girls and boys through DJJ to attend camp. We are grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel with these young people.
As you prayerfully consider your end of year giving, we would appreciate you making a financial gift to this ministry to be used toward the CWS dining hall, capital improvements, or the DJJ camp session. All donations are tax deductible and will be used to support and expand this ministry as we serve more children, youth, and adults through our summer and retreat ministries.
God has greatly blessed this ministry by allowing us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with so many wonderful campers and their families. Thank you for partnering with us and supporting us. We look forward to the next 50 years!
Director of Operations & Development